Meet the PPN Pro Painters of the Month for August 2021 - Pro Painter Network

Meet the PPN Pro Painters of the Month for August 2021

A Brief Q&A with Ai Painting Plus

Who are you?

Lacie and Austin Ilsley of Ai Painting Plus.

We are primarily a residential painting company in Columbia MO. Austin started the company in 2013 and in 2021 I (Lacie) joined as the new owner. We are a training company, and we are big onn company culture and have adopted the PPN moto of “Elevating the Trade”. Our vision is to be a place where people love to work with people they love working with while keeping true to our mission of painting joy into people’s homes.

What type of services do you offer?

Interior and exterior painting, cabinet painting, and lead paint (renovation).

What are your goals for the second half of 2021?

  • Applying for a WOB (women-owned business) certification
  • Hiring and training a 4th crew
  • Staying on pace for our stretch goal of 1.2 million (in revenue)
  • Developing a Sales Job description and vision, and starting the recruiting process

What was the most important lesson you learned about running a business?

You must know your value and charge accordingly for it.

How did the pandemic affect you? And what changes (if any) will you keep?

Like a lot of other painting companies, we started offering disinfecting services which helped us get through the worst part of the pandemic. We have since stopped offering those services. We also completely reformed the business and put many processes and procedures in place during the pandemic. These changes have helped us propel forward in 2021 and will be kept.

What piece of advice would you give to a new painting business owner you wished someone would have told you?

Know your value and know your numbers!

What is a frustration in your business you wish you could solve?

It is difficult to attract good, committed people to join our team as I know most companies are also struggling with it. We are attempting to solve this by promoting our company culture, offering benefits, profit sharing and creating a path for growth for all employees.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Austin: Playing street hockey with the neighborhood kids all day

Lacie: Having my best friend living across the street and spending most days having adventures in the woods.

What are you currently into? (Show, movie, book, sport, etc.)

We are particularly into the show “Atypical” as our son is autistic.

Other things include: reading leadership/business/self-care books, listening to podcasts, cooking, playing guitar, dancing and listening to music.

Favorite weekend activity?

Camping, playing golf or having a big outdoor BBQ with games.

Post-work chill?

We enjoy cooking together while listening to music and having a glass of wine. After we eat together as a family we enjoy a good show or movie.

Favorite vacation destination or goal?

We recently spent two weeks with the family at Disney World and Universal Studios. It was awesome and we created lots of memories that will last a lifetime. Our favorite vacation spot when we don’t take the kids is Hotel Xcaret in Mexico.

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