In each issue of Pintor Pro magazine, senior editor Jorge Arboleda goes behind the scenes with successful painting company owners for our series, The Painting Life. This time: Guillermo Jiménez of Memo’s Painting in Omaha, Nebraska.
In painting, success is not measured by size. Many large firms are laden with problems, for instance, and others, being on the small side, are admired for their achievements and management, and for keeping clients and employees happy alike.
Guillermo “Memo” Jiménez is the manager and owner of Memo’s Painting, a small contracting firm in southeast Omaha, that with just five employees has earned recognition for the high quality of its work. Focused exclusively on residential painting, the firm paints about 15 custom homes per year, with value ranges from $600,000 to $5 million and where quality demands set the pace. Finishing each residency, he says, takes his company three to four weeks of work.
Memo was born in a town called Jamay, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. From a very young age he dedicated himself to woodworking. “I was a cabinetmaker,” he says. “I carved wood to create and repair fine furniture, Louis XV style, and learned to use lacquer to paint it.” When Memo came to the United States, he continued in that work.
Based in California, he discovered that his specialty was in high demand.
“There are a lot of artists and wealthy people there who appreciate antiques and classic furniture of European origin, and they pay good money to renovate them,” he says. “I made good money, but when I got married and had a family, I decided that I had to move for my children because I didn’t want them to live in an environment where they could go astray.”
On a walk through Omaha while visiting his sister, he and his wife Rosa decided to stay.
“Everything seemed very nice here,” he says. “When I wanted to buy a house in 1995, I met a contractor who was my liaison to this industry, and from then on, I started working on painting and I haven’t stopped. And to be honest, I like my job. Some people may not like painting because of the hard work. But not only do I like it… I love my job.”
Starting his own company
In April 1997 he started working independently, and that was the beginning of Memo’s Painting. In 2006, his firm partnered with a builder of custom homes. With that company he plans his activity for the year.
“In January we decide which houses we are going to paint until July. And then we will plan for the rest of the year.” To generate more projects is not his goal. He prefers to offer quality over quantity, he says.
“I have no intention of getting big,” he says. “Look, our forte is painting on wood. In the house that we are painting now, for instance, there are some large beams that go through the ceilings and lots of other wood work. And I’m the only one spraying beams, cabinets, trim, headers, frames, mantels, etc. If you ask, they will tell you that nobody does the job like we do. With more work, I could not continue to offer that high level of quality that my clients expect.”
High quality products, colors and service are among the main reasons he shops at Sherwin-Williams.
“What helps me the most is that their colors are consistent,” he says. “No matter which store you buy your paint, they will exactly match the color you need. With other companies the colors are different depending on the store. We can’t play games with it. We have very sensitive customers and that is why I only put my trust in Sherwin-Williams.”
This story was published in the Spring 2023 issue of Pintor Pro magazine. ©2023 Randall Reilly. Story by Jorge Arboleda, Pintor Pro senior editor. Photography by Cesar Castellanos. Read more stories about successful painting contractors in the Pintor Pro magazine archive.