Burnett Painting made its debut in Adrian, Michigan back on November 6th, 1996; while Steve was 19! Oh, those were the days. He was at that perfect age where he knew it all– or so he thought. Ha! He persevered and grew to a nice size company servicing Lenawee County, Michigan. He was the estimator, the painter, the punch out guy, and the book keeper, eventually building up to a crew of 6 painters.
He built up a nice size company back in Michigan, and then heard about a “Hurricane Charlie” wiping out Punta Gorda, FL. He had heard about how there were not enough trades to help put Punta Gorda back together. So, he talked to the guys- as work was slow in December as usual- and one of them was crazy enough to ride down with him.
They drove through the night and arrived in Punta Gorda on December 30th at 11:00 am and went straight to work.
At the end of the day, they learned that because of the many devastated homes, there were no hotel rooms available with in an hours drive. So, they pulled into a gas station and prayed, “Lord, we need a place to stay, please.”
Not two minutes later, one of the painters they had worked with that day called and asked if they needed a place to stay for the night!
From there, Steve contacted the local Young Life office-where he volunteered back in Michigan. They happened to be on Christmas break, which was good news as they offered their office for the two of them to camp out in for the week.
While camping out at the Young Life office, they met the Shepard family who served on the Young Life board in Florida and they offered them their motor-home in exchange for painting their home. Perfect!
You have to understand– Steve had never been to Florida before. He saw plenty of post cards with palm tree’s and watched Miami Vice when he was younger, but to experience it in person! Now that was a life changing experience. It was then that he decided to give his company back in Michigan to his lead painter and start all over here in Paradise!
Come April of 2005, he found a home to rent in Port Charlotte from his customers, the Vagts. Then, after investing over $2,000 and driving to Naples, Cocoa Beach for license testing, he passed the Licensing Test for Painting and was off and running!
1,250 miles away from all family, friends, and business contacts, he was now a single father of two: Steven II, 7 years old, and Nadia, 5 years old, and starting all over. Then the great recession hit!
With his burning desire and drive to succeed and with support from his new church, Grace Bible Church, more specifically, George Jackson, Rob Mann, and Pastor Mark Clarke, whom Steve is extremely grateful for because of all of their gracious support, he persevered through all the challenges and is grateful for them and the character it developed.
In 2006, the 3 of them found a house and move to North Port, Fl.
One day, Nadia, then 7 years old, comes to Steve and said, “Daddy, we (she and her big brother) think you should find a new wife. He was surprised and asked, “Why is that?”
“So you won’t be lonely” .
He replied, “I am not lonely, Sweetie, I have you two.”
Nadia said, “We know, but we still think you should have a wife.”
Steve’s life was very full with establishing the painting company during the rescission, then picking up the kids from school by 3:00pm, getting dinner around (lots of Hamburger Helper), house chores, and paper work after putting the kids to bed. When would he look for a wife?
He looked online and tried Match.com and eHarmoney.com and they were not that helpful. After a year, he thought that he would just focus on building the business and raising Steven and Nadia. Then an ad appeared for www.ChristianDatingforFree.com. He had decided that he was finished paying for the online service, so he went ahead and filled out a profile– being it was free and a Christian site, and soon forgot about it.
A month later, October 1st, He received a message from April Rhodes saying that she liked his profile and thought he looked sharp. April was not looking for a date, but using the site to prospect for sales for her business at the time-little did he know.
Well, he replied and after a few weeks of communication through the site, then e-mail, then phone calls, Steve flew up to Wisconsin for the weekend of Oct 31th. He met her family and friends and had a great time.
Two weeks later, on Nov 14th, April flew down to Florida and visited Steven II and Nadia and their friends. At the end of the weekend, when he was on his way to take April to the airport, he pulled over to a park in Punta Gorda, Florida to take pictures. With Nadia taking pictures and Steven II acting like he was playing a video game on Steve’s phone, but actually video recording, Steve proposed to her! Watch it here.
April said yes! She moved down December 31st and stayed with friends until they were married on April 3rd, when the two became one!
Nine months later Samuel was born!
Now they run a smoother operation with their “Armies of One” top notch painters, along with his officer manager, whom he is in love with (aka, his wife!), and he sticks to the estimating and selling.
Life is often filled with obstacles, but Steve says, “I am thankful for every twist and turn that makes the story of Burnett 1-800-PAINTING and my family!”
Now check out what customers have to say about Steve in the ‘Testimonials‘ section!