ROBBY DEMING, For the Daily Facts
Article Launched: 01/09/2007 03:05:18 PM PST
If you've walked around downtown Redlands lately, you may have noticed that several buildings have recently received a new look. Mark St. John, owner and founder of DunnRitePainting Specialists,is the man responsible for these changes. St. John describes his business as a full-service painting company with 23 years of experience.
"We handle all aspects associated with painting, including drywall patching, pressure washing, cabinet staining and more," St. John said. St. John's website, www.dunnritepainting.com, describes even more services, such as deck refinishing and waterproofing. For St. John, offering these services is about integrity and confidence.
"There are so many horror stories about this industry," St. John said. "I believe in basing my business on integrity and in being honest with the customer."
These goals are evidenced in DunnRite's work orders, which reflect detailed step-by-step guidelines for the project, down to naming the specific products used. St. John's devotion to his work has not gone unnoticed.
"He's meticulous," Tamara Barr said of St. John and his work on her Crackerjack Gift Co. store. "He was so easy to work with, and we've received several compliments on his work."
St. John and his team of part-time and full-time painters completed the renovation of Crackerjack's highly visible façade on the corner of Orange and State streets in early November. Crackerjack was one of the first of St. John's many completed and proposed projects for the historic downtown area. "I love this downtown area," St. John said. "It's beautiful and it deserves to look as good as possible."
To this end, St. John has begun offering special deals for all downtown business interested in his services.
St. John's offer has been extended to any Redlands Chamber of Commerce members. "It's a two-way street. I want to help downtown businesses, and in turn, it helps us," he said.
"That's my specialty," St. John said of DunnRite's willingness to perform late-night work. "I remember one time I was working for a painting company to do a Tarbell Realtors location. I realized that it's a distraction, and if I could paint during off hours, it would make everything easier. During the summer, you better believe that I'd rather be doing work from 7 at night to 2 in the morning," St. John joked.
Though DunnRite has an impressive list of commercial clients including Starbucks, Arby's and others, DunnRite also does work for residential clients.
"Although I enjoy working on new commercial projects because there is less to worry about in terms of disturbing people, after a few commercial projects, I can't wait to get to a residential one," he said.
St. John cites his pride in being able to help people through a difficult process such as home remodeling.
"I once read that painting a house can be one of the most stressful events a person ever goes through. I get a lot of satisfaction from being a part of someone's life when they're making such a major decision," St. John said.
As if he weren't busy enough juggling residential and commercial projects, St. John has also volunteered DunnRite's services to help clean up the community.
After reading an article in the Daily Facts about an effort by the Redlands Police Department to clean up some graffiti in Redlands, St. John said he contacted the department to volunteer. St. John said that the department initially said they already had in place an effective system for graffiti removal. However, they realized that they might need some help with some of the graffiti higher up on buildings.
"When the officer expressed a need for ladders, I let him know that I would be more than willing to volunteer my company for the 'hard to reach' places. We decided that DunnRite would go over the areas that needed to be tackled by ladder," St. John said.
St. John said he is donating the paint. He is working with Officer Travis Martinez from the Orange Street substation.
St. John said that the sum total of his work is in an effort to help out the city, which he is admittedly charmed by.
"I started my company on Feb. 14, 1990, in Orange County," St. John said. "After a couple years, I moved up into the mountain communities and I prospered there. Along the way, I became acquainted with Redlands, and was charmed by the city and its history. I decided that this is where I wanted to settle down."
St. John said his hopes became a reality when he opened DunnRite's new Sixth Street office (now located at 18 E. State Street) in November. He moved to Redlands in August 2005.
St. John said that he envisions being in Redlands for a long time. He has plans to start a booth during Market Night, and he has pointed to the level of activity by the Redlands Chamber of Commerce as a reason why he's optimistic about business.
"We have it so good in Redlands. I speak to people in other cities, and they're amazed at what the chamber does for members in Redlands," he said.
Ultimately, St. John said that within the year he hopes to have forged relationships with business owners in Redlands, as well as people in the community.
"In a year, I'd like to know that I've positively impacted the residents by beautifying the city," he said.