We had the good fortune of connecting with Imagine Renovations – Luis & Isabel Gachuzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Imagine Renovations – Luis & Isabel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risks are opportunities waiting to be discovered by those brave enough to embark on such journeys. I know, I know. You can almost taste the coffee from the mug this statement is written on. This sentiment is motivational, idealistic, even romantic, but to us who have lived the literal meaning of that sentence, it holds real and heavy weight. Luis and I have taken a lot of risks for our lives, both professionally and personally, but the truth is, risk-taking is our heritage. Risk, for us, is a constant companion, one that has traveled with us through many generations, various terrains, and ever-manifesting political barriers. It’s just been a matter of whether we will allow that risk to terrorize us or motivate us. Will our risk be a fire that burns or a fire that fuels? Needless to say, without choosing the latter and taking the risks we wouldn’t have the life or career we have now, but we also wouldn’t have the chance to minimize future risks for our own children and our people’s children by going into homes across our community doing the work we do to bring understanding, peace, neighborly love (love?), and creativity. And thus, we have traded one scary four-letter word for a deeply satisfying four-letter word: We’ve exchanged our “risk” for our “home.” This is our passion. This is our work. Luis and I, through decades of risk-taking labor and now through the work of Imagine Renovations, have literally built the American dream for ourselves and for others. We’ve made the DFW a home for our family and work daily to make it a home for all Latino people by bringing diversity and representation into our industry. We demonstrate that when you think of a Hispanic in construction, you should be thinking of them as the valuable technicians that they are, while simultaneously thinking of them also as owners of companies, as designers, administrators, managers, CFOs, and CEOs. I want my two boys to feel completely at home in a boardroom or as a leader in the chamber of commerce if that is where they wish to be, without needing to compromise their culture. I want them to be at home in their own skin, being successfully and boldly brown. And the poetry of it all is that we are making a home for them by making homes for you. You see, “Home” is something essential to Hispanics. We’re known for our hospitality and for good reason too; just refer to the old adage, “Mi casa es su casa.” Home is a pillar of our cultural tradition, and it is a pillar for our company and lifestyle as well. Imagine Renovations creates spaces of peace and productivity for families in the hopes that our work will incite those families to then open those spaces to people who are different from them. Maybe, just maybe, the doors we’re hanging for people will be truly open to us and to our people, and to immigrants who at heart believe the very same thing that you do: Home is worth all the risk.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Imagine Renovations is a full remodeling and construction company with the ability to assist in design and direction to bring forth the clients vision. This is really important, because not every contractor follows the client’s lead. We’ve done everything from traditional design to eclectic motifs to mosaics of flamingoes wearing sneakers. Individual expression is the whole point of remodeling your home; changing things up so that you can feel more fully yourself in your space. This reflects who we are as a company. We’re latin owned and operated, happy, eager, and unapologetic about being who we are. And we love to share the love! We celebrate our clients with a Mexican posada at the end of every year, allowing them a glimpse into our culture. They bring us into their home, then we bring them into ours. I have to say, It’s a pretty amazing fiesta! Of course, we believe our intentionality with our clients has to be present in the daily details as much as in our annual events. Luis is an on site contractor. He’s there to problem solve efficiently and effectively, something that he’s recognized for with our clients. It’s this meticulousness, and, again, our amazing team and our inherited penchant for risk-taking, that has allowed us to build our business from the ground up. From one truck and a few tools, living in a trailer and printing out bids and contracts at the public library, to being voted best in our town and creating jobs and homes for more and more people every year, including our own—We are proud of having overcome many challenges and of our largely word-of-mouth success. But work ethic is not enough. Over the years we’ve learned the value of having the right people in our lives, true and loyal friends that function as a community of life-giving people. Since I’m a full-time homeschooling mom as well as co-owner of the business and the wife of the other co-owner, this is especially essential to me! Still and most importantly, we’ve needed constant prayer. Our company is made of many answered prayers and faith in the waiting. The obstacles for us have been great: personally, because we are a married couple working together and have put our whole livelihood into our company, but also systemically, being one of the few Latino owned general contractors in our area and in an industry that uses us for labor but does not give us due credit or equal opportunity. You won’t find a Hispanic couple with their own show on HGTV, and statistically, you should. I want the world to know that we’re here and that we’re different because of the skin we wear and the skin we put into the work. We’re committed to quality, and we strive for excellence, but we also use our culture and our faith to bring visions to life. It’s our joy to be a part of that, to channel a client’s personality and their individual aesthetic to create a space for their family that feels like a place of rest. I want Imagine Renovations to be known for loving our neighbors in a way that generates that feeling of home, and makes people feel at home with us. Then in the end, hopefully we’ve given people a glimpse of a Love that they may not have known about before and a new longing for a greater Home that is yet unseen.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We live in the northern tip of the beautiful golden triangle of DFW. Denton is our home and we love the small town feel coupled with college town excitement and just a quick drive to the bustling cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. As often as we’re able, we love supporting local businesses and have our favorites. For a nice and quiet dinner we head over to “Hannah’s Off the Square.” It’s a perfect spot for a date night and long conversations. If we’re looking for a more lively, youthful atmosphere, we like “940’s Kitchen and Cocktails.” Of course we can’t neglect to mention our favorite dive where you’ll eat authentic Mexican street tacos, “Don Pancho’s.” They set up their taco truck at a local church on Friday’s and Saturday’s and never disappoint. Our absolute most favorite thing to do when friends visit is, to stay in! We truly believe and live by the motto “mi casa es su casa!” We are so incredibly blessed to live on a small piece of land overlooking our peaceful pond with farm animals grazing about. Because of this peaceful environment, our friends find our home to be a respite from the normal stress of life and love to come in and immediately make themselves at home. Luis starts a fire and we all grab a blanket or mosquito spray, depending on the season. When we opt to stay in, we pick up cheese from “Ten : One Artisanal Cheese Shop“ and head over to see our friends at “Ravelin Bakery” for delicious bread and pastries. Other times we opt for hot chocolate from “Cocoandre Chocolatier” in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas and then swing by to get the most authentic Mexican bread in town that is made fresh daily by our cheerful “panadero“ friend at “Lucy’s Bakery.” A major perk of homeschooling and owning our own business is being able to take full advantage of the greater DFW area when it’s not so crowded. We love hopping on the train and heading to our favorite spots such as Dallas Museum of Art, listening to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra perform at the Meyerson and then grabbing a bite to eat from one of the many food trucks at Klyde Warren Park. We can enjoy everything that the greater DFW metroplex has to offer and be back in town for dinner at any of the aforementioned spots.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We absolutely want to give a huge SHOUTOUT to our team! These are joy-filled, happy-hearted, hardworking people who give 110% every single day. Our team members understand that it’s not just about the building of the home but the building of relationships, and our clients love them. Our crew guys connect with each client they work with because they’re the type of guys who work quietly when the baby’s napping and shout out greetings and jokes when you walk through the door. Our administrative and creative department doesn’t just connect with the client; they also make sure the client gets connected to the person or resource they need. Whether it’s through our social media, designing, or just answering the phone, they are all about anticipating and satisfying needs. Altogether our staff embodies the courageous and innovative hospitality that is the very heart of the work we do. Of course, no heart can function without electricity making it beat or blood pumping through it to send out oxygen to the body. This is what our clients are for us! They spark our enthusiasm and creativity, breathe life into us on days of heavy labor, and carry out their positive recommendations to the community. We’re old school- we do very little marketing! Almost all of the new clients we take in heard about us through word-of-mouth. In particular, we’d like to shoutout to Drake Livingston and Gary Calmes. It’s hard to describe the effect of someone believing in you, trusting your expertise, and encouraging you to never give up the way that these two clients have. Their patronage and friendship are what’s helped us persevere.
Kim Ward Photography