Jean Brownhill, Nothing is Standard, Podcast

This week’s conversation is with Jean Brownhill, Founder & CEO of Sweeten — a network that connects people with renovation projects to general contractors and assists them with project management throughout the process. I invested the first dollar in Sweeten, and you’ll understand why when you hear Jean’s story of hard work mixed with an openness to the possibility of opportunity — this woman has followed her gut from a high school babysitting business to the Harvard Loeb fellowship, with tons of informative lessons in between.

Comments (Archived):

  1. LE

    Cracking this market makes childbirth and running a restaurant seem easy. I wish them good luckit’s something that I would probably consider using when it is available in my area. Last year we had a contractorskip out when a floor didn’t drain right, luckily he was owed the last 4 or 5k on a bathroom projectwhich will more than cover fixing the issue.The sweeten website site should make ‘before and after’ a prominent link. In order to see thoseyou have to go by way of the blog posts. To many clicks (most people won’t get to that point)I almost didn’t. I clicked on ‘renovations’ which shows you what appears to be available jobsfor contractors to bid on. Should be link at the top it’s an important selling pointfor potential customers. (Also colors could be more friendly and lively..)Another way they could earn revenue is by offering some version of performance bondsin the event of contractor default. That would be a value added service thatI think many would pay for. (I know that I would ..)

  2. JLM

    .Contractors putting on a new roof above my head right now. Resembles long distance mortar fire.While GCs are a sought after commodity, it is the small time, single discipline contractors who are a challenge. Getting the guy who does stone v tile?These guys rarely have insurance but a call to one’s insuror can get them covered for a month or two. I use USAA and they do this.They are also extremely cost effective. I had a hardwood floor rehab done (5000 SF) for a quarter of what the “big” guys wanted and it was more of a bespoke job.Take a look at NextDoor, which is a neighborhood association management app. I put our neighborhood on it. They have a “contractor reference” page and it works like a champ.In my neighborhood, if a contractor escapes with a recommendation and a testimonial, he gets a lot of work.This creates two benefits — targeted homeowners and targeted contractors. There is a painter in my neighborhood who works there exclusively and does incredible work.This would be a natural ally for your deal.Good hunting.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…