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Rising Stars: Meet Jesse Griffin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesse Griffin.

Hi Jesse, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started painting in 2008 after losing a really good job I had to the economy, and the owner being investigated. I was going through a divorce and at the time, my x wife and I have three kids together and they were all really young, today they are 14, 15, and 22 two boys, and a girl, she is my oldest.

In 2014 my girlfriend that I am with today was living in San Francisco and I was in a not-so-good place mentally myself but we had each other to lean on and I decided that I wanted to move to San Francisco so I did we both worked, we had good jobs, but we where homeless, we literally lived in Airbnb homes and hotels, and some nights we would have to stay in our car because it was San Francisco and it would be hard to find places or it would be too expensive.

So we worked and we both have kids from prior relationships so five kids all together but my kids were back here in Utah and I was desperately missing them and in a serious state of depression, my girlfriend and I were both dealing with depression. After about a year we ended up moving back to Utah, I started working for a painting company doing painting, then managing crews, and then ultimately learning the business side of the painting and in 2016 we started our painting company.

It started out very, very slow we would get a job here and there and slowly start to gain traction, then the pandemic hit, and then everything stopped for us for about two or three weeks and our phones started ringing with people wanting homes and businesses painted, so literally the last two or three years our business has really exploded!

So here we are today m, we are in the process of painting a custom basketball court, a 10k sqft commercial space, and two homes, so it has been a ride for sure.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Some of the obstacles were money, and not having a lot to start a business- we literally started with personal experience and knowledge alone. Not having a painting crew, we have done most of not all of the work and it is hard to find good workers.

My girlfriend and I have both faced obstacles with her being female, and me being black where people may not necessarily want me painting inside of their home, or my girlfriend because they think oh she is just a girl.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Together we own and operate our business BLS COLLECTIVE. A collection of all our talents and networks of local people who also contribute to this brand. We specialize in improvements for business or residential, interior/exterior, all custom driven by our client’s vision of what they imagined for said improvements/upgrades.

We began this journey over 5 years ago, and have improved our lives and those we love. What sets us apart in this type of business is our unique approach to any small local business, we do all our own work, and we take pride in all we take on, especially when it comes to creating something in our client’s mind, into a reality!

What are your plans for the future?
Our future plans include sharing the knowledge of where we began, to this day- to hire a phenomenal team who then can learn from us how we went from being homeless in San Francisco to move to Utah and the steps we took to build this business for success, together for the legacy for our kids to one day take over.

Our team would be free to grow their own division with what they’re passionate about and go the distance to building their own legacy. We believe in sharing knowledge to uplift others. Our future is also looking more like creative lanes for custom design work, and artistic ways to beautify any location!

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