Jaime Henao arrived in Florida from Medellin, Colombia, in 2005, and is now the owner of VIP Painting in Tallahassee, Florida. PPC sat down with Jaime to learn what he did to carve out a new life in the painting trade.
How did you get started in the painting trade?
I grew up in Colombia and have a college degree in Business Administration. When I moved to the U.S., I knew I probably would not be able to use my degree and would have to start from scratch as a laborer. I began in remodeling and painting, but always with the goal of having my own business so I could apply what I learned in school. I started VIP Painting in 2012.
You decided to focus on residential work. Why?
I like customized work, with many details to take care of, where you have more of a personal interaction with the customer. And our cash flow is better. In commercial painting, payment settlements take more time.
How important is your paint supplier to the success of your business?
Things started to improve greatly when I partnered with Sherwin-Williams. One day, a Sherwin-Williams store manager recommended me for a commercial project of a scale I had never done before. It was a trial by fire that forced me to improve procedures, equipment and products. I am very grateful to Sherwin-Williams because they helped my company really take off. Today they advise me on my projects and recommend my work for high-level residential homes.
You recently started offering Paint Shield® Microbicidal Paint for your residential customers. How’s that going?
It’s been well-received in high-end residences for bathrooms and kitchens and also for children’s bedrooms. Killing select bacteria is a compelling argument for our customers. Homeowners love to hear they may wash the walls whenever they want, with water and soap. Besides that, the Paint Shield finish is just spectacular – even, consistent, and definitely high quality.
Related story (in English and Spanish)
Read and see more about the work of Jaime’s company VIP Painting in our feature article in the bilingual paint industry magazine Pintor Pro.
A condensed version of this story was originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of PPC magazine. Jaime Henao was interviewed by Jorge Arboleda, an editor for Pintor Pro magazine. Read more of what pro painters have discovered on the job in the What I’ve Learned archive.