(North Pine Painting is organized as a limited liability company. John and Katie are majority partners, and they are joined in the business by David Krieger, who's been John's partner since 2003 when the company was based in Minnesota.)
Except for a short time being self-employed, John had worked for other painting contractors since he first started in the field when he was in college. Being able to have his own business eventually was his dream, and realizing just how much profit his employer was making on his services was just what he needed to make the move.
But before we get to that part of John's story, let's give a little more background.
On hiatus from Bible college in 1983, John (who had recently become engaged to Katie) was living in New Orleans, working to earn tuition money to finish his college. A friend owned a painting business and put him to work. There in New Orleans he learned many of the basics of the trade, and after graduating from college in 1985 and getting married shortly thereafter, he started working in the painting industry.
John and Katie were living in a small town near Dayton, Ohio at that time, and John had an encounter that would change the direction of his career. He met an older painting contractor who specialized in wallpaper. He was was looking for somebody who would eventually take on the business, and he saw John's potential. John worked for Whitey for a couple of years, learning the wallpaper installation art from a true master.
That training and exposure turned out to be life-changing for John, at least from a career standpoint. And today, wall covering installation makes up almost half our business. If you ask John, he'll tell you it's his favorite thing to do.
Because of the training John had in wallpaper nearly 40 years ago, North Pine Painting today is one of the few wall covering contractors in the Puget Sound area. Sadly, it is a vanishing trade. This makes no sense to John, because the popularity is on the rise, both with decorators and designers. Commercial facilities like hotels as well as schools are moving to vinyl wall covering instead of paint, and there are few experienced professionals to install it.
If you've ever been around John as he's working, you've probably realized quickly that he's a stickler for detail. He's also very dedicated to making sure every customer is satisfied with the job. That quality has made North Pine Painting one of the best in the area.
(In 2012 North Pine Painting relocated from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to Bellingham. We're happy to have left the below zero temps and hot summers behind. Recently we relocated from Bellingham to Ferndale, but we will continue to serve the same greater Bellingham area that we've been working in for 11 years. We also occasionally travel as far south as Seattle, north to Lynden, and even out on the San Juan Islands. Today as a matter of fact you'll find John working in Anacortes - hanging wallpaper on two separate projects. One is a residential mural, the other is wall covering on a yacht.