Tell us about your business.I am a fifth generation builder who developed a passion for this industry by spending my childhood helping my father on his building sites. Twenty-five years later, I’m still working with contractors – though, now as a small business owner, I can say that my responsibilities have increased quite a bit. As a woman in this traditionally male-dominated field, it’s been a real trial to set myself apart. I’ve been successful, however, by combining my builder’s technical knowledge with a designer’s sensibility. I call it “building with design in mind.” Another unique feature of my homes is that they are built with more than 90% American-made products. At Marnie Homes, we work with our clients to build their dream beach homes on one of the country’s best beaches: Bethany Beach, DE. Everyone has a little designer in them, and I love working with clients to translate their ideas and inspirations into their new custom home.
What makes your business stand out?I believe it is important to follow your passions and incorporate them into your work. As a builder, I strive to improve our economy and the environment through my homes. In 2012, for example, I worked with a client to build my first “All American House” using over 90% domestic building materials in the most cost effective way. Now, as a national spokesperson for 84 Lumber's “We Build American” campaign, I am helping builders across the country learn about American-made products with the goal of creating more domestic jobs and reducing the strain on the environment (less shipping, more production regulations, etc.). Because American-made products are not much more expensive and of generally higher quality, all the homes I'm working on now are over 90% American. In fact, a home with 90% to 95% domestic products cost roughly 1.5% more than a home with the majority of the products outsourced! I also built Delaware's first LEED certified "green" home in 2009.
What's the best business advice you've received?Helen Hayes has an excellent quote to live by: “If you rest, you rust.” In this economy, no one can afford to get rusty!
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONS ENDAug. 31, 2015
Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.
VOTING ENDSOct. 19, 2015
Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.Discover the American Made Summit