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We are back with another Bissett on-site feature, but this time we hit the road to meet up with Shaun Krawec, also known as “The Bearded Sider”. Shaun runs his own siding company, Upper Level Home Renovations and has a rapidly growing social media following. We meet Shaun at his home in Niagara, ON. He welcomes us into his beautiful back deck (built by Shaun himself), and we sit down for a chat about how he got into the industry, setting work boundaries, and the construction community on social media.
Shaun Krawec: I was working for a tire company and I always had the same people come in. One guy, he actually gave me the shirt off his back. He was wearing a “Git-R-Done” shirt and I was like, “I love that shirt.” He was a roofer and he walked back to his truck, came back, took the shirt off, then gave it to me. He walked back without a shirt on. A couple days later he offered me a job. I did two or three years of roofing and then got into a home improvement company. Our specialty was roofs and siding.
Shaun went on to run his own company with his business partner. After many years of working together, the two went their separate ways. Shaun now runs Upper Level Home Renovations on his own. He talks to us about what it means to be his own boss. Working on his own gives him several perks like getting to be selective about what jobs he decides to do. This allows him to create solid work-life boundaries by creating a flexible schedule.
Anthony Perrotta: One of the things I think you do differently from most people is that you don’t work weekends. You save that time for your family which I really respect.
Shaun Krawec: I haven’t worked a weekend in probably 10 to 12 years. I’ll work late most weekdays but I never work weekends. I prefer to be in charge of my own schedule and set my hours. I posted a reel a few weekends ago talking about not working on weekends and setting boundaries with work, and I had a lot of guys comment on it. They were like “man you really opened my eyes, I got to be more family oriented”. To me having that set time is so important, even if it’s not for family. Even if it is just sitting and doing nothing, that time for yourself is important.
Anthony Perrotta: Yes, it is so important. How does running things yourself affect how you choose your jobs? Are you picking and choosing jobs at this point in your career?
Shaun Krawec: Pretty much. I’ve been in it long enough and my name’s out there that I have calls come in for jobs. I’ll pick up the phone, talk to the person, get the feel for the job, and look at it. If I can’t do it, I’ll hand it off to someone else who I know would do a good job. From social media, I’ve now got a network of people that I can pass along work to. For example, Tip Top [Tip Top Exteriors]. He lives down the street. I never would’ve met him unless it was from social media. Now we’ll hang out, we go snowmobiling together. Baxter Construction, he lives close by too. Never would’ve met him either if it weren’t for social media. It’s the networking, the number of people I’ve met has been awesome.
Over the last few years Shaun has put a lot more time into his social media for his business. What started off as a way to self-promote and get a few free items, has turned into a community of individuals who are eager to learn from each other and connect.
I like to sing fun song when doing the crappy jobs. Sometimes it makes those crappy jobs seem better. But what really helps is those @Hyspecs Eyewear safety glasses. Keeping my eyes protected. Man are they beautiful. Go check out the website and use my code bearded15 for a discount 🙂 #tip #diy #thebeardedsider #beard #dewalt @dewalttough @Diamondback_Damani @Diamondback Toolbelts @Profile
Shaun Krawec: I started with my partner about a year and a bit ago. I was always on it personally, but when I’ve watched a couple of guys, like Big Dog, I was like, “Man, look at all the tools they’re getting.” I thought, “We could do this.” We had a lot of fun together. It started as, “I just want to get free stuff,” but it turned into not the free stuff and the number of people I met, and the fun I had. I talk to everybody. Anyone that sends me a message, I’ll talk to them. If I can teach what I know to somebody, then for sure. I’m going to try. Also spreading awareness about products that I think are great. Like Bissett.
Anthony Perrotta: It really has become a community online within our industry. It’s clear to see through guys like you who are sharing tips and tricks and connecting with other contractors. You mentioned Bissett as a product that you thought was great. What are your thoughts on Bissett and why do you like our products?
Shaun Krawec: I love the product. I got it through Instagram. Without Instagram, I never would’ve probably seen it. I know I have used it before, but I didn’t know what I was using. But for Bissett, it was a lot to do with your social media presence being so fun. I also appreciate how much you care about the community and give back to people. You look at some other companies and they aren’t doing that. That and the product performs. But really for me, I like to have fun. So it wasn’t just about a product, but it was the way you presented the product. For me, that’s what got me excited to work with your stuff.
Thank you so much to Shaun and his family for inviting us to their home for this interview. To learn more about Shaun you can follow him on his Instagram @thebeardedsider !
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