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Home | SAN ANTONIO | Spotlight | Spotlight - Jaime A. Flores and Yolanda Flores, Cal-Tex Interiors Inc.

Spotlight - Jaime A. Flores and Yolanda Flores, Cal-Tex Interiors Inc.

image Yolanda and Jaime Flores.

SAN ANTONIO - After 20 years, Jaime and Yolanda Flores of Cal-Tex Interiors Inc. still love working together. Their respect for each other both in business and in marriage radiates outward to include their customers, employees and work.

 

 



How did you start in construction and establish your company?
    Jaime: My father, Hignio Flores, was a carpenter by trade and a subcontractor. During my summers and off times growing up, I would go to work with him and learn the trade from him. I worked with him through high school and continued to work as a drywall carpenter for other companies. Work was scarce in San Antonio for a period of time and I chose to leave for California. I worked for the carpenters’ local 1506 union and spent 10 years there, gaining more experience and knowledge of the trade.
    Early on in the trade when I was working with my dad, I saw a lot of struggles that he went through being a subcontractor. I knew early on that I always wanted to own my own business. When I was in L.A., I came back to Texas one year to visit, and I noticed there was a lot of opportunity in San Antonio in the construction industry. My wife Yolanda and I decided that it would be a good opportunity to come back home and start a business.
    I wanted to start the business the way my dad had always envisioned it – with the proper insurance, with the legal name – but unfortunately at the time he had to raise a family and never had the opportunity to do it in the proper way. I told my dad I was coming back home, that I wanted to open up this business and asked him if he wanted to be my partner. He said absolutely. We went back, dropped Yolanda off, came back to San Antonio, opened up my DBA and opened up the business in 1998. Our first project two weeks within opening up the business was at Alamo Bank Center in downtown San Antonio which was around $859 dollars. From there on, we just continued with the business.
    Yolanda: My background was as a workman’s comp administrator and a real estate mortgage lender. When Jaime decided to open up his own business, I thought he could do the technical side of it and work out in the field. I started taking classes and started learning about construction accounting, and that’s how I started contributing to the business, all of the financial and operations side of it.
    The first years were hard because we knew it was going to be a matter of getting to know people and working at the business. I worked at USAA and would help with his office needs at night. It wasn’t until the business was established for about five years that I quit working outside of Cal-Tex and came to work here full-time.

What is the reward of this industry?

    Yolanda: For the first 10 years of our business, we focused a lot on the private industry. I think the biggest reward is just driving through the city; it’s great to see how it has grown and know that we had a hand in a lot of businesses and restaurants that are still standing. We’ve worked so much on this city’s growth the past 20 years.
    Jaime: I enjoy, like Yolanda mentioned, being able to see some of the structures that are still standing, and being part of the growth of San Antonio. We have been very blessed to be part of it and being part of
a team of businesses that are well-known
in building these structures and facilities.

What qualities does your spouse bring to the business?

    Jaime: Yolanda brings a lot of great assets to the business. She’s very well rounded; she knows so much of every aspect of the business that needs to be known, from human resources to financial to the technical portion of it.
    Yolanda: Jaime brings a lot to the business. Jamie runs his business the way he runs his life – with a lot of integrity, with a lot of pride in his work. That’s throughout the company; his guys know what is expected. He’s driven by excellence, doing a good job and by keeping his customers satisfied. Most of our work is from repeat customers. We work with just a handful of people, and I think building those strong business rela-tionships also falls on him since he’s out in the field having the day-to-day-contact. I think more than anything, he brings that. He brings 30-plus years of knowledge about building things and being able to work with everybody involved who has a hand in it; he’s able to work very well with people.

What lessons have you learned?

    Jaime: The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that communication is key. It’s very important to have open communication with your client and the contractors that you’re working with.
    Yolanda: What I have learned the most in this business is that there are a wealth of resources out there to help you. You don’t have to excel at everything; you just have to know the right resources to go to. 
San Antonio has great resources. You can attend training and stay up-to-date by tapping into those resources and learning about every aspect of the business.
    The biggest thing I have learned is how hard it is to run a business. You have to know about so much, everything from insurance to workers comp to some legal aspects of it. You have to be well rounded and you have to keep an open mind. It’s a must that you will always be learning because there is always something to learn.

How do you bond with your employees?
    Jaime: We have about 30 employees, and we enjoy doing different activities with them. We like to barbecue and have lunches. We go on fishing trips and we also go on family outings where some of our guys are able to take their spouses and go on a weekend getaway and things of that nature.

What is it like working together?

    Yolanda: We love working together, and I think the way we have been successful after 20 years of working together is that we respect each others’ opinion and we value what we each bring to the table. Jaime is very much set on what he needs to work on. I feel like when it comes to the office, I have a say so, but we keep that open and we know that we respect each other’s opinions and we value each other’s decisions.

Share a little about your family and how you enjoy your free time.
    Yolanda: We have 9-year old twins – a boy and a girl – that keep us very, very busy. We are blessed; we’ve been married 24 years next month. We feel that we stay grounded with a strong faith and a strong involvement in our church and our community. We do feel that we do have God’s favor and blessings, not only in our personal life but also in this business. We know what the driving force behind this is.
    Jaime: I just love spending time with my family; family is very important to me in my life, as well as travel. We travel as a family and we do life as a family.
    Yolanda: The kids spend a lot of hours here after school if we’re trying to finish a project up; they know that owning a business is not just going to work for eight hours; it is basically our life. They know that this is a big part of our life and they’ve embraced that.

Have your children expressed an interest in helping with the business?
    Yolanda: Both have expressed an interest in the business. Our son is blessed with great hands and loves to work with them. He also is very imaginative and sees himself as an engineer later. We’re not sure what route he’ll take this business but he has shown interest in taking over Cal-Tex.

What are your plans for the company?
    Yolanda: I think we’ll retire doing this. I think we’ve always played with the idea of maybe retiring or venturing off into something new, even as we’ve had tough years. But the truth of the matter is, Cal-Tex is our bread and butter. We also have a very good team of employees that depend on our work. We just want to make sure that they are okay and that they gain benefits from working for this company as we have.
    We also see ourselves diversifying. We have played with the idea of growing the company, but we also know that with growth comes a lot of different growing pains. At this time, we’re very comfortable where we’re at, with the employees that we have; it takes a lot to get a good group of employees working with us. Right now, we’re a strong team and the key is maintaining this work we have diversified already. Because those partnerships with the people that we have partnered with have been good, I think that we will continue to build those partnerships.
    General contractor Cal-Tex Interiors is located in San Antonio. –mjm


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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net