How Reborn Cabinets Built A Successful Family Business
Learn the history of how the Nardo family founded Reborn Cabinets and why they’ve been so successful for more than 35 years. They share their family’s journey and how it led to the creation of Reborn Cabinets.
Details On “How Reborn Cabinets Built A Successful Family Business”
Anthony: Back in the early ’70s, my parents wanted to find a better place to live rather than New York, so they packed everything up into a Woody station wagon, that’s what they were called back then, and then throughout the next several years, we traveled back and forth across country and eventually ended up here in Southern California and actually lived in a trailer park right outside of Disneyland.
Brenda: The depression in New York hit, it was 1974 by then, and we decided, you know, there has been a lot of issues for us here. We had gone on welfare, they had liened our house because that was the process back then.
Vinny: So I decided that, you know what? The family needs a vacation.
Vince: And at that point, my dad, being a craftsman and knowing the kitchen refacing business and the carpentry business, decided that he would use that craft and go to work for some companies here in Los Angeles.
Anthony: It’s interesting because he was one of the first people to ever do cabinet refacing in California.
Vinny: The gentleman that I worked for, when I introduced it to him, he thought I was crazy. He says, “You’re nuts, this is not going to work.” But after going along with him, and the hardest part was training the public and explaining to them what we were doing, so it caught on after awhile and it took off.
Vince: Lo and behold, him and one guy, and Reborn Cabinets was born.
Anthony: For the first 10 years, we grew, interestingly, into the buildings right around the original building, and we have stayed in the same mile and a half location for the last 35 years.
Vinny: I only had around $1,600 to open up the company. That was the max money I had. I had to put a down payment on the utilities and two months’ rent and so on and so forth. I went out and I said, well, I need to buy the smallest, cheapest table saw I could buy. And the one I found was like $300. I said, “Okay, that’s it.”
Brenda: I think from the very beginning, and it may sound a little pompous because here we are, just Mom and Pop with a little saw and a little shop, we knew that God had called us to this.
Vince: And for the next several years, life was rough. You know, I remember many years where Christmases weren’t what Christmases, how we’d want them to be, and things were tight as they started to develop Reborn, but they were persistent with their faith in God and what they believed that they could do and my dad’s craftsmanship, they persevered, and Reborn grew and flourished. So in the early days of Reborn, when they first started it, I was still in high school, and post high school, I did a little stint in college and the business started to take off for my dad, so at that point, I actually dropped out of college and decided to come work full-time for my dad.
Anthony: We both were always involved in the business, whether it was working at home shows and events and talking to people, and Vince was really good with his hands, so he came in on the manufacturing side of the business and worked in the shop and I worked in the office and helped out and started doing sales for my parents.
Brenda: They always had been our little kids, so the biggest transition was seeing them as grown men and seeing them with their own families, and we had to keep telling ourselves, wait a minute. When we were their age, what we were doing?
Vince: And as the business grew and it became, you know, we hired more people and we brought in more families, we changed from a family business to a family with a business.
Anthony: So if you come and walk through the halls and you’re at Reborn at any time, it’s a family atmosphere, even though it’s a large business at this point.
Vince: Early on in the business, we realized that to be able to be successful and to have a large organization, that we needed to have a set of rules. We are a Christian business, so we do live by a higher authority and we wanted to take some of that and really say, you know, how do we bring that to our business? So we developed our core values.
Anthony: One of the core values is the Vinny principle, which is treat each family’s home as if it were your own. Fortunately for us, it seems that every decision we have made has just worked out for the best. People want to be around those that do the right thing.
Vince: After our first big move from our 1,200 square foot facility into our 10,000 square foot facility, the company continued to flourish, continued to grow, continued to get larger and larger. At that point, it was really time to make another big move, and we moved from our 10,000 square foot facility and we actually quadrupled, and then right after that move, a few years later, what happened? The big recession.
Brenda: At that time, Vinny and I had pretty much been stepped back from the business. We came back into the business, not because our expertise was needed, but our bodies were needed. It was free labor, you know?
Anthony: Lots of companies went out of business at the time of the recession. One of the things that we found effective was to take a look at our staff, look at the core folks that have been here that have given their heart and soul to the business for so long, and we made sure that we kept them employed. That was a priority to us. In fact, the family didn’t take paychecks so we were able to keep the staff going. It’s a great feeling to be able to give people a place to come and work and be able to provide them a good living for their families, it really is.
Vinny: It’s way beyond what I ever thought it would be. I thought it was just going to be a little mom and pop business, you know, just her and I, but I can’t believe it is what it is, and I’m happy that it is, because there’s a lot of people here that we support.
Anthony: I’ll give my brother a little credit here. When the recession hit and things just went crazy bad, the economy started coming back and we started making some important changes. In about 2010, Vince started telling us, “Hey, guys, this is what we should do,” and the rest of the family said, “No way, “we’re not going to do that, we’re not taking that risk.” And finally, in 2012, he talked us into making some significant changes to the business, which is one of the reasons why we are here today.
Vince: You know, we currently service the entire state of California, we currently service the entire state of Nevada, and the rest of the states around us, watch out, cause here we come.