At Hester Painting & Decorating, we have always taken great pride in the fact that we are able to retain many of our craftsmen for decades. Being a family owned business, we strive to make our many team members part of the family too.
In the case of the Auslander Family, we not only have the longevity of decades of employment, but we also now have the rare opportunity to have three generations of their family installing wallcovering for our company. Louie Auslander was one of Tom Hester’s first hires back in 1968, and he continued working with our company for over 50 years. His son, Marty Auslander, joined Hester back in 1991 and Louie taught him the wallcovering tricks of the trade. Now Marty is passing on the same family knowledge to his son, Ryan, who just joined our company last year as an apprentice. Ryan is already learning the wallcovering installation trade from his dad on as many jobs as possible.
We asked Marty and Ryan to answer a few questions this great generational tradition:
Marty and Ryan, it is a very rare thing for a family to have 3 generations of wallpaper installers who also all have worked for the same company. How special is that for you two?
Marty: It’s a unique situation not only to be able to all work for the same company, but I am appreciative for the years I got to learn alongside my father and then take those skills and help pass them on and teach my own son. Those are memories you can carry with you forever and that’s pretty special.
Ryan: I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to follow in my grandfather and my father’s footsteps working for Hester. I’m grateful to learn the skill of wallpaper hanging from my father as he did from his father.
Marty, you grew up at the company with your father, Louie, training you to be a specialty wallpaper installer. Are there any “tricks of the trade” that your dad taught you that you are now passing onto your son?
Marty: Yes! One of the things they don’t teach you in apprentice school is how to fix defects in the paper – that is a big one I learned from training with my dad. Sometimes there can be defects in handmade wallpaper and you can use some of these tricks to fix the defects in the wallpaper so the client doesn’t have to deal with the headache of sending all of the paper back to the manufacturer.
Ryan, you joined the company shortly after graduating high school. At what point did you realize you wanted to follow in your dad’s and grandfather’s footsteps?
Ryan: Growing up watching my grandpa and my dad painting and doing the wallpaper hanging made me realize I could have a successful career doing that. I didn’t enjoy school very much, and I enjoyed working with my hands and this gives me the opportunity to have a rewarding job.
Marty and Ryan, what is it about the art of wallpaper hanging that you enjoy?
Marty: I enjoy the beauty of the finished project and a job well done with the end result of a highly satisfied customer. At the end of the day, I want to be proud of my work and make sure the customer is happy with it.
Ryan: I enjoy having to be precise with wallpaper hanging and transforming a room into something that the clients will enjoy for years to come.