We had the good fortune of connecting with Kosta Saridakis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kosta, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was 5 years old when I first starting visiting job sites with my Father. I would wear my tool belt Loaded up with all the needed tools. I watched and listened to everyone working. I was amazed with the transformations of remodels and I knew this was what I wanted to do when I was older. After school and weekends were the days I looked forward to visiting job sites. In 6th grade I started learning to do different trades; framing, plumbing, electrical and concrete work also digging trenches, carrying buckets of concrete up 3 flights of stairs on my shoulder, moving lumber piles around to help the framers.
By 12th grade I was supervising job Sites, pulling permits, meeting with city inspectors and running multiple million-dollar construction sites. I remember in high school, we were framing a big spec job my parents were involved in, that was right on the beach. My friends would all be hanging out at the beach right in front of this job site, all day, and I would be sweating in the sun, with saw dust and dirt all over my face, thinking to myself, that one day this will all pay off. I did go to college for a few semesters but for me, the best learning was “on the job training.” My parents who created a construction/development company, were very tough to work for. They held me to high expectations. They held me accountable. It wasn’t easy. They both had the work ethic of 4 people combined.
I alway envisioned myself creating a bigger company than my parents. Maybe building hotels, hospitals or bridges. I went out on my own in 2012 and have been involved in creating some amazing homes, restaurants and commercial businesses. I love what I do! It wasn’t easy, but every challenge along the way, was a much needed learning lesson to bring me to where I am today.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am not a paper contractor/developer I am on the jobs everyday, multiple times a day, if needed. I have definitely gone thru some hard times especially in 2008 when the market crashed. But I was one of the fortunate ones that came through the other side, and never without work. I learned some life changing lessons during this time. I work with the same team of sub contractors. That helps the flow of the job when the crews have to work over the top of each other. I enjoy being creative and solving problems that arise.
I do love what I do, and look forward to working everyday.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to the top tier restaurants in Los Angeles. Take them for a Drive out to Malibu. Take them to Rodeo Drive for lunch or dinner. Sunday car show in Malibu, “Cars N Coffee”. Lunch or dinner at a beach front restaurant such as shutters.
Head out to Arizona for a night to see the desert life and then go to Las Vegas for a night. If given the time, take them for a race day at Thermal Race Track out near Palm Desert. Take them around to my job sites.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents are Menelaos Saridakis and Lisa Saridakis. My father came from Greece by boat when he was 15 years old, with $100.00 in his pocket and not one word of English and my mother was born and raised in The United States. Both were my mentors. My father was the brains behind the job sites and my mother was the brains behind the office and business. They both worked extremelty hard. Watching their work ethic and perseverance, I became the same way. I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps, or even bigger, like building hotels or bridges. My parents were not afraid to “Work.” and they showed me the value of “not being afraid to work.” They built a small empire together and I learned many lessons along the way that I use in business everyday.
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