Rusty Meador is the owner of Beach & Barn—a lifestyle
apparel brand that inspires memories of the simple pleasures that coastal
living and country life bring. He’s used social media and highly focused
branding to build Beach & Barn into a company with retailers from Delaware
to Georgia. Rusty also does custom carpentry under the name, “The Preppy Carpenter.”
At the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS), Rusty is
presenting two sessions: the Tech Bytes session, “The
Builder & Remodeler’s Guide for Using SketchUp to Get More Work,” and
the Building Knowledge session, “You’ve
Got the Whole (Marketing) World in Your Pocket: A Remodeler’s Guide for Driving
Leads with Your Phone.” We caught up with Rusty to get a sneak peek into
his sessions and a few fun tidbits, too.
share a little bit about your backstory.
2009, I was laid off from my 10-year position as a Real Estate Development
Project Manager. I threw my tools in the truck and literally went door to door
looking for people who needed help with home projects. My design style was
influenced by my experiences growing up in a small mountain town, as
well as life in the smaller beach town where I was now living and working. While
other contractors were spending their first dollars on trucks and fancy tools,
I spent mine on an Intellectual Property attorney to make sure I was setting
the foundation for a brand that could grow beyond the design and re-modeling
giving too much away, what will people learn at your IBS sessions?
RUSTY: For the
marketing session, it is important to note that we are entering an era where a
well-curated social media presence is more important than your website, word of
mouth and industry referrals. It is not about the number of followers you have.
It’s about how well you connect with the person on the other end of that mobile
device that they are glued to for 40 percent of their day.
In the Tech Bytes session, I will emphasize why I believe
that tradesmen and builders that don’t use SketchUp are leaving money and
opportunity on the table. Understanding a few fundamentals of 3D design will
help you capitalize on those opportunities, and you will spend less time
waiting on designer and customer decisions.
NAHB: Why should people come to the show to hear you speak?
RUSTY: I am
not a consultant looking to get more consulting gigs. I am not a professional
speaker that discusses theory with no experience, and I am not
an executive that has no idea what to do with a toolbelt. I am a
boots-on-the-ground guy who has done something different in this industry, and
I just want to share some of the lessons learned along the way. My goal is for
people to leave Orlando and be able to immediately apply what they have
learned to increase their return on effort.
NAHB: What are you looking forward to the most while attending IBS?
RUSTY: I have
done a number of product collaborations with some large Instagram folks that I
have never met in person, and many of them will be at IBS. I look forward to
meeting them for the first time.
NAHB: Do you have a favorite aspect about public speaking?
RUSTY: I enjoy
being able to transfer knowledge and get immediate feedback and questions.
industry trends are you noticing, and where do you think the changes will
happen in the next five years?
RUSTY: I am
interested to see if the movement to attract competent young men and women into
the skilled trades will continue to build momentum. I also believe that social
media will eliminate many of the inefficiencies in the way work is currently
procured, as well as escalate the speed that design trends are adopted. The
demand for the trades to be involved in the design process is as high as it has
ever been, and I believe that demand will only increase.
NAHB: Who would win the fight between Batman and Spiderman and why?
He not only has the (clearly superior) Marvel Universe in his corner, but he
also has access to Disney’s resources—which now include the Star Wars Universe—
and this means that Boba Fett and the Imperial Guard are on Spiderman’s side. Batman
and the entire DC Universe couldn’t take out Boba Fett and the
NAHB: What book did you read last?
RUSTY: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of
Turning Trials into Triumph, by Ryan Holiday.
NAHB: What is your favorite travel spot?
North Carolina. I live at the beach but grew up in the mountains. Boone reminds
me of home.
NAHB: If you could do another job just for one day, what would it
NAHB: Success Quote …
can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain
NAHB: In three
words or less, describe your prediction of the building industry in 2018.
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