Today we’d like to introduce you to Joe Carafa.
Joe, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story begins when I moved to San Diego from New Jersey in 1984. I came to Encinitas to visit my wife’s family and while on vacation, I got a job in the concrete business. I was a dispatcher for a concrete company in New Jersey. My wife and I went back to New Jersey packed up our house and headed to California. Once here I was able to do well in my job but I always had a strong desire to be self-employed. Every month, I would subscribe to Entrepreneur magazine. I would always look at different opportunities that would fit my skill set. As I was continuing in the ready-mix business the company, I worked for sold out. I went to work for the new owner but never was satisfied. As I continued to look for business opportunities, I came across an opportunity to start my own carpet cleaning business. I contacted the person who was selling the equipment and purchased what I thought I would need. I was still working my full-time job ten hours per day. By this time in my life, a had a mortgage and two kids. Leaving a job for a start-up was not really an option. I told my boss my plan and asked if I could work eight hours per day so I could clean my carpets after work. Since I started work at 530 am, I was off at 2 pm.
That was January 1990. So, once I started that after work, I started knocking on doors, calling on businesses or anyone that was in need of my service. To my surprise, I quickly built up a decent clientele. Each month after I found I was leaving my full-time job earlier and earlier to clean my carpets. As I progressed, I realized the equipment I purchased was not adequate for the jobs I was doing, so in April of 1990, I purchased a truck mount machine which was very used and rebuilt it. That made my cleaning much more efficient and profitable. In May of 1990, I quit my full-time job to run my carpet cleaning business. Since that day, I have worked every day or five days per week and most Saturdays for that past 30 years. My secret sauce was and still is to do quality work at a fair price. I always subscribe to trying to do more than is expected. When I receive phone calls, I either answer the call or call back in minutes. My years in construction really taught me the value of a satisfied customer. My goal is to build relationships with my customers not just be a vendor they call on. Nowadays, I run two trucks with two crews and still enjoy going to work. I have some well-trained employees who are high character people.
In my personal life, I have a wonderful wife of 36 years, two beautiful children and their spouses with three grandchildren who are the joy of my life. I am very involved in my church and lead a home bible study group which I love. I am a very blessed man and thankful to God for all of it.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been plenty of struggles from the economy to training and maintaining employees and customers but we always made it through.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ultra-Brite Carpet Cleaning, Inc. – what should we know?
We started as a carpet cleaning company but have expanded to upholstery, tile and grout cleaning and wood floor cleaning. I am most proud of what I think my reputation is as someone who works hard and cares about people
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My wife has been my biggest supporter. When I started, she really held down the house and the kids freed me up to be out there working.
Most of my mentors were pastors or friends that lived a life of integrity for me to follow.
- Address: 2588 F El Camino Real
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
- Website: Ultrabritecarpetcleaning.com
- Phone: 7603106597
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org