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Solutions in sawdust

image Nelson Alexandre (red shirt), founder and owner of AAA Woodwork

HOUSTON - For Nelson Alexandre, a problem isn’t an obstacle; it’s an opportunity for a solution.

 

 

 

 

    Case in point: When he was a young tyke, he got his toy stuck in a tree. That’s the problem. The solution: build a ladder to get it out.
    “I didn’t want to get in trouble so I had to figure out a way to get up there.”
    That was the start of his carpentry career. As the fifth generation carpenter in his family, he followed his father, Albino, who came from the old country of Portugal in 1973.
    Alexandre worked with dad during summer breaks in high school, eventually starting his own company in 2004. Alexandre now owns AAA Woodwork, where he continues his life-long philosophy in providing solutions, but now for his clients. AAA does more than just wood; it provides metal fabrication, acrylics, resin and glasswork.
    Alexandre and his crew of eight men have had to educate themselves when a client asks for something they haven’t done before. That’s the solution to the problem. They do this so they can “provide that service to our clients,” he says. The necessity that prompted him to build his ladder back then is used to find solutions today.
    Alexandre has gone as far as Los Cruces, NM, to do a job, but prefers to stay close to home. Nor does he want to grow the company too large. “The bigger you are, the easier it is to lose the quality,” he said.
    As far as the sixth generation following in dad’s footsteps goes, Alexandre doesn’t think that will happen. “[I] can’t force my kids to do what I do.”
    Alexandre is very hands-on when it comes to AAA’s work. He doesn’t just delegate to his workers. He emphasizes teamwork and cross training so any one of them can do a job in case they have to.
    That’s all part of the solutions-based carpentry shop that is AAA Woodwork. And if some client out there should ever have anything stuck in a tree, Alexandre knows just what to do to get it out.
    AAA Woodwork is a wood and millwork business in the Houston area. -dsz


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Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net