James and Laura Engler founded their company as a part-time business that began as a combination of mutual skills and interests. Both enjoyed repairing their own home and helping others to do the same. A married couple with five children, Laura, co-owner and president, was raised working in her father’s plumbing business (Gillespie Plumbing and Heating), and James, co-owner and manager, was educated by his employer and friend who built homes and was an electrician.
The company has a staff of 10 full-time employees with the occasional addition of part-time and family employees as needed during busy seasons. They cover Cleveland and its surrounding area doing repairs and licensed mechanical services of all sizes.
“We are code-compliant and do all work under permit and with proper city registrations,” Laura Engler says. “We uphold our many affiliations and memberships to keep our commitment to our community and our integrity as part of our personal brand.”
All seven vehicles have a coordinated look with pin striping, black bands and the signature tilted graphic logo “Jim Engler’s Homework.” Included in the lineup are two Ford Econoline E-250 vans, model years 2002 and 2010; two Ford Ranger pickup trucks, model years 2008 and 2010; a 2008 Jeep Liberty Sport; and two personal vehicles that are used when needed.
“The Ford Rangers have great gas mileage, so they are wonderful for looking at projects,” Laura Engler says. “The Econoline vans have great shelving and tool bins. We also love the convenience of the topside ladder racks.”
The design was a group effort with the Englers, Innovate Frame and Design Co., photographer/designer Mary Kay Rouse, and Newton Marketing. The sign company for vehicle graphics is Graphic Expressions Signs N More. Still working on future changes, Engler says the team effort will be important moving forward.
“Keep watching us for new and improved things because we work on this stuff all the time,” she says. “When we are not doing our real work, we are having too much fun with marketing and design. Everything we do has similar design influence, but we work around whatever is new and interesting while keeping the same general principles in mind.”
Engler says she was looking for an identifiable look that uses every inch of the moving billboards while still looking clean and unique to the company. In addition, they do local television as the “How-to-Guru” and the “Homework Guy,” providing information to the viewing public. They also speak regularly at local senior centers, libraries and home shows about issues of value for protecting homes, and they teach classes in these subjects at community education and recreation departments and home stores.
The slogan “We do it all” can be seen on the side of all their vehicles. They co-ordinate the systems of any property and understand the interaction of all the systems in a home or building.
“With our slogan, we wanted to let homeowners know we can take care of all their needs,” she says. “Our multiple licenses and our ability to think outside the box when it comes to the entire system set us apart. Just like a doctor, we have to think of the entire patient.”
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