By Savanah Mandeville
Photos by Amy Howe
What role do each of you play in your business?
Jon: Sarah plays the role of anything in the office. Payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, all of the financial side of the business.
Sarah: Jon’s role is … basically everything. He manages crews and subcontractors. He takes on most of the custom home building as well. He truly is the rock of this company.
Tell us a little bit about the background of Abernathy Roofing and Construction and what it has been like to see it grow together.
Sarah: Jon started the business back in 2001, and all of his work came by word of mouth with most everything being handled by Jon himself and a few employees. Jon was the bidder, the salesman, the field worker, the collector, you name it. Years later, after I came into the picture, we decided to revamp and restructure. So over the last six years, everything has drastically changed for the better. We took our business from a handful of employees to now employing close to 30 people with two locations and still growing. It’s amazing to see just how far we have come, and we couldn’t have done it without the goodness of God, friends and family, our employees, and, of course, our loyal customers.
What’s the most challenging part of working together?
Sarah: It can be hard for us to separate work from marriage. Everything we do is business, business, business. This is not necessarily a bad thing because we are so passionate about what we do that we are constantly looking for ways to make it better.
Jon: Yeah, I agree, we have been guilty of putting the business before everything else, which stems from our loyalty and dedication to what we have built.
Has working together strengthened your marriage in any way?
Jon: For sure. Not because it’s all rainbows and butterflies but because it has challenged our marriage which has, in turn, strengthened it.
Sarah: I would say it has really helped us to know boundaries and balance each other out. He’s a spender, I’m a saver. He’s a go getter, I’m reserved. Every decision we make is really balanced, and we never go to one extreme or the other. We always meet in the middle, whether we’re at work or at home.
What advice would you give to a couple who’s thinking of going into business together?
Sarah: Make sure the end goal is the same for both of you. You have to have the same passion, share the same vision and have the same interests as far as the business is concerned. We always make decisions together. Jon and I rarely, rarely make a business decision outside of each other, and that keeps us very honest and open about everything and keeps us united.
Jon: I would also say that if they decide to do business together to never lose sight of the goal. If we get sidetracked, we ground ourselves and refocus on the initial goal. Day by day, our roles are completely separate, but we work together on the big picture.
Sarah: They should also always be faithful in giving, whether it’s to their church or local charities. We, through our business, have always used it more as a ministry. Whether we’re giving jobs to those who couldn’t get a job somewhere else or giving to our church or giving to the community, we’ve been blessed to be able to receive, so we keep that at the center of our business.
Jon: Ultimately, we love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. We actually do really well together. It’s testing and trying at times, but we overall do well. We know each other.
Sarah: We’re polar opposites, but opposites attract, and it does work!