November 11, 2022 at 11:32 a.m.

Editor’s note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Michelle Mulder of Nailed it Roofing. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long-term professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Hello and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from Roofer’s Coffee Shop. This is Heidi Ellsworth and I am here today with Michelle Mulder of Nailed It Roofing in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Okay. So that’s pretty cool right there, but I’m telling you, the really cool part about this podcast is that Michelle is the winner of Beacon’s annual North American Female Roofing Professional of the Year competition. Michelle, congratulations.

Michelle Mulder:

Thank you so much.

Heidi Ellsworth:

And I understand you just got your award today.

Michelle Mulder:

I had the award ceremony at Canadore College and everyone was present and it was an amazing day.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Oh my gosh. Well congratulations. That is just such a phenomenal accomplishment.

Michelle Mulder:

Thanks.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I have all kinds of questions for you, but before we get into that, I would really love if you would just introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you, and about your company.

Michelle Mulder:

Yeah. So my name’s Michelle Mulder, also known as the littlest roofer, and I’m the owner and operator of Nailed It Roofing here in North Bay. We have been operational since 2014 and it’s my husband and I who started the company.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That is so great. So now why do they call you the littlest roofer?

Michelle Mulder:

That’s kind of the name I got for myself. I’m quite petite on the roof and yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That’s great. I love it. That is so perfect. And congratulations on being a women owned business. Roofer’s Coffee Shop is too.

Michelle Mulder:

Perfect.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Michelle, talk about just a little bit the history of your company. How did it get started? What kind of led you into roofing? We’d love to hear that.

Michelle Mulder:

Yeah. So I first was introduced to roofing, I took a construction carpentry class at Canadore College and there was an interior finishes class and we learned about shingles that day. And after that day I found myself looking at roofs and all that needed to be repaired in North Bay and I’m like, “This is something I want to do.” So I really fell in love with roofing and had a passion for it. I actually met my husband working on a roof. My crew would build the roofs and his crew would come up and shingle them. So I was a framer and cheater at first and then got into the shingling after.

Heidi Ellsworth:

And you met your husband on the roof?

Michelle Mulder:

Yes. We actually met on the roof.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it.

Michelle Mulder:

That was great. Yeah. So we moved up north together and then we started our own company.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That is so cool. I love it. So since then, I just think a lot of people are always, when you have a husband wife team and they’re working and think, “How’s that going?” How has that been since 2014?

Michelle Mulder:

Yeah. Well, we’re still together. So-

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah.

Michelle Mulder:

It’s going great. Yeah. We have a great dynamic. We know our strengths and we have a great understanding of what we need and we just work very well together. Sometimes we’re not married on the roof though. We have the space.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Michelle Mulder:

It’s tough. But we come home, we have our children, we’re a really great team, and it’s been amazing.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That’s so cool. I love hearing that. Well let’s talk a little bit about Beacon Female Roofer of the Year. How did you feel about winning? That’s just so cool.

Michelle Mulder:

Oh my. I was first shocked at first when I was named a finalist. And when they told me that I won, I was just so proud of myself. It was such a huge honor and such an amazing award and I knew that I had made the right decision going into roofing.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Oh. That’s great.

Michelle Mulder:

Yeah. It was all my hard work and successes recognized and I finally felt successful.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it. And when you look at how successful your business is, because you don’t win this unless you have a successful business. So it really kind of all completes a circle like you’re saying.

Michelle Mulder:

It was just that acknowledgement and it was amazing.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah. That is so cool. So I have my own, I’m the owner of Roofers Coffee Shop and my business partner was a woman too. So we strongly believe in women owned businesses, but really even taking that one step further, in construction I think it’s even more so where it’s a woman owned business. There’s definitely challenges, but how important is it, do you think, that Beacon is recognizing and celebrating women owned businesses?

Michelle Mulder:

Yes. I think it’s amazing to celebrate and recognize these women owned businesses. It’s inspiring and great incentive for other women. There might be some on the fence wanting to enter the trades and if they see these awards out there, that might just give them that extra push they need.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah.

Michelle Mulder:

Yeah. And so this might motivate them to follow their own dreams. So I did receive my award today at Canadore in front of the female construction class. So I was really hoping to inspire them and be that role model for them if they needed it.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Did you have any of the students come up and talk to you about it afterwards?

Michelle Mulder:

Oh yeah. It was awesome. They asked me questions and then I gave out my cards if they ever needed a job down the line.

Heidi Ellsworth:

We’re all looking for labor and you’re smart.

Michelle Mulder:

Yes.

Heidi Ellsworth:

You’re going right to the source. I love it.

Michelle Mulder:

Yeah. The fresh ones right out of college.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah. The fresh ones. I know, but you know what? I think women need that. Whatever you go, you kind of want to see someone who looks like you. And so for so long you didn’t see a lot of women business owners or they weren’t recognized. I think they were there, they just weren’t recognized. And now being recognized, it’s bringing more women into the industry.

Michelle Mulder:

There’s a ton of us out there. You have to look in the right places.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yes. You do. I don’t know if you know, but I’ve been involved with National Women in Roofing since the very beginning and that’s what we all said. We have to have women being seen and being a part of it on all levels. Everything in roofing.

Michelle Mulder:

Exactly. Yes.

Heidi Ellsworth:

So talking about those young students who you’re talking to and other women out there who are listening to this podcast, what would you say to other women who want to get into roofing?

Michelle Mulder:

Well, what I’d like to say is it definitely is a tough job. I’m not going to sugarcoat that or anything. It is very hard work and long hours. Yeah. So some days you will feel exhausted, but that’s like any first workout plan. It’s going to be hard, but we get better, we get stronger, and it’s so worth it. It is the best job that I have had. It’s so enjoyable to me. I love the physical work. You get paid to work out. I have amazing views and you just get that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. You can look back on what you did that day, your work, and that’s going to be there for years to come.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah. So I have to ask because we used to do this with our kids, but as you’re driving in the car, are you looking at roofs?

Michelle Mulder:

Constantly. We’re like, “I’ll point out.” I’m like, “We did that one. We did that one.” And yeah. It’s amazing.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

It’s such a sense of pride and to share that with your kids.

Michelle Mulder:

 

It is. And there is such a shortage for laborers right now. I’ve been talking to employers and they’re even giving bonuses for workers who are just showing up on time and daily. We need those workers.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

We need to think. In talking about advice too and even being a woman out there, I love how you started it, the littlest roofer, but I know you’re very much about being yourself, being present, really kind of being out there. Talk maybe a little bit more about that.

Michelle Mulder:

 

Yeah. So I do have my Instagram as littlest roofer and we have fun at work. We’re up there, we’re singing, and it’s not so stressful. You’re just outside, you’re enjoying the sunshine, and we have a great time on the roof.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

Yeah. That’s what I love to hear. It’s so much fun. Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about the importance of the distributor relationship. So you were nominated and you’re working closely with your Beacon distributor. Tell us, how important is that to your business and to the success of your business?

Michelle Mulder:

 

Oh. It’s so important to have that good connection. If I don’t have my shingles, I can’t complete my job.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

And what about, as you’re looking at some of the things, are you doing some of the other things with Beacon? They’re offering so many different programs through technology, just relationships, this contest in itself, really working with them to get the most out of the program. They seem to be doing so much for the contractors.

Michelle Mulder:

 

They are, yes. And my advice is to make yourself known. You have to go in, introduce yourself, be a present. Yeah. I go in as much as possible directly and put in my orders and I know the guys that take my orders, I know the boom truck delivery guys. I just want to be friendly and they’re going to give that back to us. So you have to have that give and take relationship with them.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

Yeah. And friends, right?

Michelle Mulder:

 

Oh, yeah. You make amazing friends. Yeah. It’s great.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

There’s been a lot that has gone on since COVID and there’s been some loyalty changes, but really, how important is that loyalty, those long-term relationships?

Michelle Mulder:

 

Oh, yes. That definitely makes us competitive for other roofers. We stay with our current supplier. We get our prices and we can stay competitive. Yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

Yeah. Yeah.

Michelle Mulder:

 

Yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

I know you have some stories about that, as you’re looking at things too, really how that distributor has helped you on job sites has kind of become that extension of your business.

Michelle Mulder:

 

There. Yeah. If I’m in a pinch and I’m short material or something happened, I know I can call them up and they’re going to get that to me. I don’t need to leave site, my day goes flawless, and it’s just nice that I know that they have my back and it’s not stressful.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

Yeah. I think a lot of people out there might be saying, “Someone from Canada won. This is so cool.” Because I don’t think people really understand the reach of Beacon and especially Beacon is just so important in Canada. I would love to have some of your insights just about being Canadian and winning this. That had to bring a whole new level of exposure too.

Michelle Mulder:

 

It was. Yeah. Being the first female Canadian to win, Beacon was all over that. We finally get to celebrate up here in Canada and it was amazing just to represent female roofers, but Canadians as well and it’s just been an amazing honor and Beacon has been so great for me and this is a real, I don’t know. I’m still excited about it.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

I know. I love it. Okay. How about advice for other women owned businesses out there who maybe are thinking, “I want to win this someday,” or, “I want to continue to grow my business.” What’s some of your advice to other women owned businesses out there?

Michelle Mulder:

 

There’s definitely going to be the ups and downs. Definitely you want the more ups than downs. You just got to keep pushing and remember why you started. I always look at my children now and they’re my why and I want them to know that hard work does pay off and to follow your dreams.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

Yeah. And be in a great industry where everybody helps each other, hopefully.

Michelle Mulder:

 

It is. It’s great.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

That is great. So anything you want to add or say to Beacon about the award?

Michelle Mulder:

 

Oh. I’m just honored to be named Female Professional of the Year.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

Yes.

Michelle Mulder:

 

And they were so friendly and courteous and it was just the celebration today. It was like they spent time with my family and it was just an overall great day and I really appreciate everything they did for us.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

I love it. I love it. Well thank you. Thank you for coming on Roofer’s Coffee Shop and being a part of this podcast. I hope you’re coming onto our site up there in Canada and checking us out.

Michelle Mulder:

 

Definitely. I will be.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

Okay. That sounds great. Well, thank you so much Michelle and congratulations again. We’ll have you back again on this podcast down the road, maybe on Stories from the Roof or something.

Michelle Mulder:

 

Perfect. That’d be awesome.

Heidi Ellsworth:

 

Sounds great. Okay. And thank you all for listening. This is so exciting to be able to visit on the day that you got her award with Michelle. And you can find out about the Female Roofer of the Year award. It’s all on the Roofer’s Coffee shop directory under the Beacon directory. So check it out. So many great finalists. It’s just an amazing award and really it’s changing the industry with professionalism and inclusiveness of bringing more women into roofing. Be sure to catch all of our podcasts under the read list and watch initiative on rooferscoffeeshop.com or on your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe and set it for notifications so you don’t miss a single episode. And we will see you next time on Roofing Road trips. Have a great day.

Speaker 1:

 

Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the rooferscoffeeshop.com.





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