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Old 10-26-2007, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Hello from Key West, FL

hi, just all over the place online trying to work on website, advertising, and finding support sites.
No painting today except for body painting going on for Fantasy Fest. Huge festival here where people dress up or get body painting. I'm hiding from the crowd, lol.

I specialize in detail painting. As a woman in the trade, I have ended up getting stuck with all the detail work, touch-ups, cutting in, trim, doors, stairwells, urethaning, wood-staining, and decorative finishes. Not that I don't spend days orbital sanding ceilings, lol, but doing all the detail has helped me become quite good at it.

I work alone (unless I need temporary help with somthing heavy duty), fully licensed and insured, and try to cater to higher end customers. This area is full of multi million dollar homes with 5 dollar paint jobs if you know what I mean, so there is plenty of general competition, but there is not much when it comes to detail work.

I'm tired of working for other people that want to make a quick buck and cut corners (more power to you, just not for me). I just started my own company and have ads coming out in yellow pages in dec. So, fingers crossed. All I need for now is enough work for just me.

I do single story exteriors, but leave large, severely damaged, or large commercial exteriors to the big companies. I'm no threat to them, lol. However, I did just beat out a large company because the owners loved the quality of another exterior I had done. Truthfully, I prefer interiors, faux, decorative painting, murals, and all that fun stuff. But, I can do all the rest if needed as well. At this point I have worked with epoxies and all kinds of paints, so I can pretty much prep and paint ANYTHING.

I am happy to share information. Currently I am trying to figure out what general information I want to put in all my contracts. Specifics would then be added. Actually that is how I ended up here, browsing for samples. I know florida law states that you must inform clients of the lien law. I am interested in covering my butt legally, as a small company I can't afford to get stuck for a huge bill. I want it simple, but also complete and not leaving me exposed. If I can, I'd rather not pay a key west lawyer thousands of dollars to prepare something for me, lol. I guess I would need one version for homeowners and another for general contractors or businesses.

Anyway, hello all, never heard of this site before and have not even explored it fully. So busy with other stuff.
Have also painted in Mass and Wisconsin. Hablo espanol, vivi en Venezuela por cinco anos. Grew up here.
Take care and good luck fellow painters. Bridgette.
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:09 PM   #2
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www.bridgettespaintingplus.info
Forgot to put the website address. Its not the best, I whipped it up myself, am still working on it. It gives a basic idea though. Feel free to throw suggestions.
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:18 PM   #3
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Hello Bridgette
Welcome to the site
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:35 PM   #4
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Glad to have you aboard Bridgette. Your website looks like lots of fun!

I'll criticize... are you taking criticism? LOL
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:21 AM   #5
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Default criticism?

There are nicer ways to approach that I think. Criticism sounds like intentions are to knock someone down may be trying very hard. A nicer way of putting it would be to give constructive or helpful advice. I guess it depends on what your true intentions are. But believe me, I take plenty of criticism, especially from "know it alls" who in the end, don't have all the facts and just like to toot their own horns, lol.
I'm sure you didn't mean it that way though, so shoot. But keep in mind, I'm not interested in blending in or being exactly like every other company, and I'm far from finished with figuring out how I want everything. I'm not hurting for work.
I am definitely open to constructive advice, which is one of the reasons I am here. Its just different things work for different people and what works naturally for one person may not for another. I definitely have some methods that may steer some people away, but at least I can be myself.
Not sure if guy methods work for women either. I find women's methods easier to relate to. Though guys methods certainly are aimed at making more money.
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:36 AM   #6
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Default Bridgette

You seem like a painter with a good head on your shoulders that's for sure. Your site is a little busy, but it's very unique and personal, which I like and would be looking for if I was to hire a tradesperson. Keep up the great work...especially those murals

oh yeah, welcome to the site...you'll love it here
also FYI, your pricing seems very reasonable (thought I'd throw that in, since at some point, we all question it)
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:36 AM   #7
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Welcome to the site Bridgette.

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Old 10-27-2007, 01:46 PM   #8
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I am changing the site daily, because I am a bit nervous about what exactly to charge, etc. I would like to charge what everyone else does, but since I am starting out, I thought I should cut my price until I my ads start and I get regular customers or work flow. At the same time, I don't want to lower my prices too much and scare off the client base that I want, which is people who don't want a cheap painter. But then I'm afraid if I go to high, I will scare off too many people who could have been good word of mouth or whatever. I mean, I end of year I have to start paying yellow pages like 275 a month, so I'm nervous about putting myself out of work by charging too much. Also, Key West had soaring real estate for the past few years until last year when the economy started to plummet. Now, there are tons of people who don't even have work. Companies are getting desperate and cut-throat. Its a very bad time to start, lol. But, besides cutting out the general contractor and getting that extra pay for myself, I really just want to do business my way and enjoy myself a bit more. Maybe get to a point where I can choose nicer work, instead of having to take jobs I would rather leave to someone else, lol.
So I'm open to suggestions on pricing. I do beautiful work at a good rate. However I do not have a shiny new van (yet, lol) or some of the other nicer things other companies have, so I just don't know. I have all the tools I need and a decent work vehicle (looks like a work vehicle! Was thinking about trying to do some sort of faux or paint on it. Hood paint is peeling).
I get tons of negative feed back from the benjamin moore store workers. They say appearance is everything, etc. But unfortunately, a new vehicle is not in the budget right now. It hasn't bothered any of my other clients, but I do understand that appearance is key. So, I'm trying to think of what cool thing I could do to my vehicle that wouldn't look ridiculous, lol.
Time to go check out Fantasy Fest I guess. Lots of painted people instead of houses for a change, lol.
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:07 PM   #9
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Hey Bridgette,

Yah, pretty stoopid for me to do that soon as you get on the boat...
and yes, I am definitely a know-it-all... it's always been MY job.
If I couldn't get it done, I had to find a way.

THIS BB helps me find solutions !!!!

What I had meant to pre-qualify, was IMO a female working alone may not want to advertise to the WHOLE WORLD that she will be solo on a jobsite.
and, that she MAY even travel to get to that site.

In the past, I supervised entire crews of females, and we always sent them out in a group, or at least in pairs.

(An incident DID occur on one of our jobsites, in a different trade.)

I work with a female helper, almost daily, when in private homes. At the least, I feel it MAY make female clients more comfortable.

...your website DID seem to be REAL busy, to me, also... but from reading your posts, you're a real busy girl! Hi energy, intelligent, and outgoing...
Excellent traits! No doubt in my mind you'll do great!

Glad to have you here.
I'll return to your site and see what I can learn. Lot of stuff there!
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:44 PM   #10
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Welcome Bridgette. I like your site.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:54 PM   #11
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Welcome from St. Louis.

I have to admit, this is the best damn picture I've ever seen on a painter's website!
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Old 10-28-2007, 12:53 AM   #12
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You have a great head on your shoulders, Bridgette.

I'm betting you will do just fine.

Don't be afraid to charge what top painters charge. You seem good at what you do, so charge accordingly.

Be careful out there by yourself. I'm sure you are capable to do so.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:42 AM   #13
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Default ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProWallGuy View Post
Welcome from St. Louis.

I have to admit, this is the best damn picture I've ever seen on a painter's website!
I agree Pro...
and she most likely did not have a clue she would be the new Poster Girl
for the painting trades.

...uncanny resemblance to my ex.. except for the smile, and skewed aim!..
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:48 PM   #14
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You have a nice site that is full of good content. I can't remember the last time I actually read all of the content on a site. The layout is a little funky which is cool because it forces people to look around (to find the links to other pages).

Between the shotgun picture and the why hire a woman page I dont think that you will have a problem. How about your whole van as a moving mural?
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:09 AM   #15
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She can paint and knows html! Your site actually rendered pretty good, which is saying something because of my crazy screen resolution. Yahoo site builder did ok.

Welcome to the site, and I have to say I envy your location a bit.

PS If you would like me to make you nice tabs for your links I would be happy to.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:37 AM   #16
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Hello Bridgette,

Definitely a unique, fun website!
And I can fully understand your wish for a unique presentation.

To present constructive criticism, I would say the home page should be more focused, and not attempting to get so much info out there at once.

Although the page DOES load quickly, it's a surprise to see how loong it is.
The purple and dark blue text are hard to read against a dark background.
IMO it would be better to put your passport photo in some other informative page.
...Unless it is your intent to cater to the hispanic market, that tidbit would be best placed on an information page, also.
Here on the left coast, the hispanic market IS showing phenomenal growth.
If that is your target, I would advise a site solely in Spanish!
Your tatouage displays have GREAT impact. Focus on that, balanced with select interior shots so a page is not overwhelmed.
OK, I'll say it... IMO artillery is too sensitive a subject and generally taboo for casual mention when you are attempting to make a first impression. Unless you're in Texas.
I'm all for pretty girls in advertising, but think you'd have just as much impact if shown wielding a dripping red paintbrush, ready to strike!

So, tell us Bridgette, what program are you using for your website?
I've never done one...
And what do you use to apply the tatouage? an edge smoothed stir stick?
never tried that either...

We've got an artograph cm250 projector that we dig out every so often, but it's been awhile, now...
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:02 PM   #17
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You know, I can't believe I never thought
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:05 PM   #18
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You know, I can't believe I never thought of that, as far as being alone and there being wierdos out there. I think I changed that though. If I was to travel, it would of course be checked out thoroughly and have to be legit. I'm sure once I get going I'll hire at least one person to help me with sanding, etc. For now though, don't want to complicate things. Thanks for reminding me of that safety issue though.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:24 PM   #19
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I changed my site a lot just in the past week, so it may be a bit better now. I think I have to take a break from it. Site builder is ok, I didn't use any templates though. I appreciate all the supportive comments and helpful insights. I will probably check out the section on marketing etc, and technical support. There is definitely some great info when you combine everyone's experiences. Glad I found this.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridgette View Post
I changed my site a lot just in the past week, so it may be a bit better now. I think I have to take a break from it. Site builder is ok, I didn't use any templates though. I appreciate all the supportive comments and helpful insights. I will probably check out the section on marketing etc, and technical support. There is definitely some great info when you combine everyone's experiences. Glad I found this.
Bridgette, check out www.thenapp.com. The membership is worth every dime.

Not that it costs very much or anything.

Good luck.
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