The Mesa Tribune - Zone 1 - 12.19.2021

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BUSINESS

THE MESA TRIBUNE | DECEMBER 19, 2021

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EV plumbing firm’s business plan includes charity MELODY BIRKETT Tribune Contributor

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ome people might think Wayne Decker’s business plan makes no sense. But Decker, president of PlumbSmart Heating and Air, says it not only makes sense but a lot of cents. “We charge less than the big players and we still do very well,” he said. “Our profit margins are still very good. Our guys have every benefit you can imagine and have high compensation. There’s no downside to having this philosophy. They all (other plumbing companies) could have it, but they choose not to because they want to have much greater margins.” To top it off, charity is a big part of Decker’s business plan: Since the pandemic began, his company has done at least 200 jobs for free for people in need. Decker started his residential repair plumbing business in 2006 and previously was in the service business, serving

Wayne Decker, president of PlumbSmart Heating and Air in Mesa, find his business plan of charity and lower prices has yielded growth and strong profit margins. (David Mionton/ Staff Writer) homeowners for more than 40 years. He started his company exactly for the reasons it lives by. “It was more of an answer to the pre-

vailing attitude which exists today – that plumbing companies are just way too expensive and they charge too much.” For example, he said a lot of companies

charge $400-$1,000 to unclog a toilet that takes about 20-30 minutes. “If you make $20 an hour, that’s going to be about a week’s take-home pay to unclog a toilet.” While costs have gone up for parts or items like hot water heaters, PlumbSmart hasn’t raised its labor prices. “We’re so confident about our prices that even if a customer doesn’t want to use us, they can still call us…and ask for a price,” said Decker. “A lot of companies will spend $50,000$100,000 sending you to a course to establish you as one of the finest sales people you can be. You know what to say. You know how to manipulate. You have financing available.’” “When you have that attitude, it’s not about what is normal profit because that’s hard to say,” explained Decker, who has about 50 employees. “It’s very subjective.

see PLUMB page 19

Bricks and Minifigs Gilbert is a family affair BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI GSN Staff Writer

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heresa Bartholomew and Rachel Mangum understand Lego isn’t just for children. They have watched creativity blossom within their children and themselves, thanks to the colorful plastic bricks. Bartholomew and Mangum are getting their Lego fill daily as they’ve opened Bricks and Minifigs at Recker and Guadalupe roads in Gilbert. “Bricks and Minifigs is a place where we buy, sell and trade Lego,” Bartholomew said. “In our shop, you’ll find new Lego sets that are available in other places. Some of them are preowned and hard to find. A lot of those are preassembled, so you can see exactly what you’re getting.”

Rachel Mangum, left, and Theresa Bartholomew own Bricks and Minifigs, a new LEGO store at E. Guadalupe and N. Recker roads in Gilbert. (David Minton/GSN Staff Photographer) At grand opening weekend, Saturday, Dec. 11, and Sunday, Dec. 12, the first 100

customers will receive exclusive Bricks and Minifigs minifigures. Other goodies

include raffle prizes and a scavenger hunt. At the store, the sales floor is bordered on two sides by cases that sell individual minifigures. Other walls are filled with new and used sets. Customers can build their own minifigures from parts in a bin. Loose bricks can be purchased in bulk. “Our kids love them,” Bartholomew, a Southern California native, said about the minifigure table. “They just spend hours looking at the minifigures. In addition to that, there’s an interactive component where you can look at our bulk tables with loose pieces. “You can choose the pieces that you want for your special project. Whatever you’re adding to your collection, whatever you’re building, you can just get what you want. It’s an interactive shop-

see MINIFIGS page 19