Meet Jay Walker of Jay Walker Enterprises, Inc. in Tallahassee, Florida. Jay has been a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild for nearly 25 years and seems to know a thing or two about running a successful chimney service business.
What is a question you get asked most about being a chimney sweep/chimney sweeping/the industry?
How did you get into the chimney service business in Florida?
How did you get started in the industry?
I worked for another company called All Service Industries. One of their services was chimney sweeping.
What advice do you wish you had received when you were getting started?
Hire someone for the office. I tried to do it all myself for the first 10 years.
What is the biggest challenge you face on the job? What are your best strategies for overcoming it?
Having separation from work and home life. I finally built an office/warehouse separate for home after 20 years in business.
Who was your most famous customer?
Actually, 3. Mr. Busch (you know the beer guy), Ted Turner, and the White House (Bush, Obama, & Trump were guests at the time).
Have you ever attended NCSG Annual Convention & Trade Show? If so, what was your favorite takeaway?
Since about 1994 - Atlanta, Georgia - I've attend most all the conventions & trade shows. That first one in Atlanta, I was blown away meeting others in the same trade. Visiting the trade show was like being in candy store. I wanted one of everything.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Donating a woodstove installation to someone in need.
Have you ever had to make your own tool to solve a particular problem?
Yes, I built a device that hooks to a winch that can lift pre-fabricated chimney sections.
Weirdest thing you have ever found in a chimney?
I’m not sure about weirdest, maybe a car's license plate. I do like looking at old newspapers that folks had used to seal up where the damper would be.
What do you like to do outside of work?
My wife Candy and I are active with our church. I like to spend time at my farm on my tractor or taking folks hunting, I spend a lot of time with friends at our lake cottage.
What is, in your opinion, the most valuable part of being a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild?
Networking and information gathering. Once I retire, I hope to one day travel the country visiting other colleagues businesses.
Thank you, Jay! If you or someone you know should be the next Meet a Member, send your nominations to Annemarie Stockton at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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