Whitetail Plumbing: The apprentice becomes a master

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Born and raised in Sebring, Tim Schroeder went to Sebring Christian School and after he graduated, he started working in the plumbing trade. “All I knew at first was how to work a shovel,” laughs Tim. “I apprenticed for a time, working at both Highlands Plumbing and Shoemaker Plumbing, then took my master plumber’s test and got state-certified. I always wanted to start a family business,” says Tim. “My dad was an aluminum contractor and I worked with him while growing up. Not everyone is geared for college. If practical work is your talent, then focus on that. We need good quality licensed people in these fields. I knew I wanted something I could build for my own family.”

Ironically the boom happened right as Tim struck out on his own, opening Whitetail Plumbing. “It was crazy back then,” Tim remembers. “I had to hire on additional staff just to keep up.”

During the recession, Tim had to rebalance his business, effectively starting all over again. “The Lord helped us hang on,” he insists. “Each week brought in just enough money to pay the bills. We struggled through it by keeping our priorities straight. It was hard, but it trained me in faith. I worked through those difficult times and saw God’s provision. Now I don’t worry because He works it all out. That’s important because I have a lot riding on this business,” he laughs, pointing out his unusually large family of eight children.

Tim may have a big family, but he has opted to keep his business small from now on. “I get to give a better quality of work,” he says, adding how it also offers him the freedom to spend more time with his family. “Money isn’t everything,” Tim reminds, mentioning how he likes to take his kids fishing and hunting.

Quite passionate about these outdoor sporting activities, Tim mentions his eldest son, Buck, who worked with him before he entered the U.S. Army. “He suggested Doe as our first girl’s name, but I shot that down,” laughs wife Debra. “I love deer hunting so much,” explains Tim. “It’s the peacefulness of the woods, the quiet when you’re out there. I love having this quality time with my kids and teaching them about self-sustainability. That’s why the business is named Whitetail Plumbing and our motto is “We’re Hunting for Your Business.”

“The beauty of our business,” adds Tim, “Is that when you call us, you either speak to me, my wife Debra, or one of my sons. Right now my boys Ethan and Isaac work with me regularly. My son Levi will just be starting to help out this summer. We are all invested in this business and people who know us are always asking when the next boy’s going to start.”

In the twelve years Tim has operated his business, he’s enjoyed getting to know his customers on a first name basis. “A lot of former plumbers hire us. They appreciate that we are a family-owned and operated business. The father-son aspect is very appealing to them because they know we will do quality work. We warranty our work and stand by what we do. We may not be the cheapest, but we put our heart and soul into it. We get hired to re-do work from other jobs sometimes and it makes me wonder what people are thinking. This is a small town and if you don’t take care of people and do a good job, word gets out.”

“We hold ourselves to a higher standard,” explains Tim. “I tell my boys all the time, we will do the best of our ability on all jobs because we’re not just representing ourselves, the Schroeder family or Whitetail Plumbing; we’re representing The Lord. My grandpa started some of the local businesses in this community. We’re from here and we aim to give people the best plumbing service we possibly can. If you call us, you get us, no matter what time of the day it is,” reminds Tim. Whitetail Plumbing services all of Highlands County and the surrounding areas.

Source: http://highlandstoday.com/hi/news/the-apprentice-becomes-a-master-20150531/

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