SANDWICH — A classified ad for a shop assistant at a cabinet maker in Plymouth sparked what, for Gail O’Rourke, has become a 15-year journey leading to the opening of her own business.
O’Rourke, owner of White Wood Kitchens, said she “fell in love” with her part-time job, which she fit in before and during her children’s preschool hours. After working there for a year and a half, the shop closed its doors and O’Rourke opened her own business, Hometown Woodworking. That eventually closed and, after a stint as a shop foreman at a Cape cabinet maker, she opened her own business again in 2013.
“When I first opened, people would always say ‘How long have you been doing this?’ and I could only say a year and a half,” she said of her first business. “It’s nice to be able to say 15 years now and to have come along on that journey.”
O’Rourke’s business specializes in working with builders to provide project management, cabinet and design services on their job sites.
“My expertise is being able to walk on a job site, measure rough framing, lay the kitchen out, do the lighting and become a dedicated subcontractor for the builder, just like the electrician and the plumber,” she said.
But it’s not an arm’s-length relationship with the homeowner, either. O’Rourke’s work starts with an in-home meeting to discuss concepts and measure the kitchen space; when the owner comes to her shop for a second meeting, the kitchen will be displayed on a high-definition TV screen with graphics showing the potential remodeling in place.
“I’m able to add that excitement and enthusiasm and build the rest of the picture,” she said. “It’s all about managing expectations.”
What is the most important thing your business does? For clients alone, it provides solutions. For builders, we provide project management and accountability. They know when they release 50 percent of their job to me that, in the…