Next year will mark forty years in business for Reborn Cabinets. The direct-to-consumer remodeling contractor specializes in providing kitchens, bathrooms, and replacement windows directly to homeowners. Reborn has offices in three western states: California, Nevada, and Arizona.
The company also has a network of dealers throughout the country that distribute its products and installation services. This is an area of the business that Reborn is looking to expand, specifically by way of its partnership with Costco.
In the early 1970s, with no real intended destination, Vinny and Brenda Nardo, along with their two sons, moved away from their home on Long Island in search of a better life. As a carpenter, Vinny was able to find work as a cabinetmaker here and there along the way. After exploring the country in their green station wagon and 22-foot trailer for a few years, the Nardo’s eventually ended up in Southern California.
Upon arrival, it became clear that the cabinetry industry was unlike other places in the country. Cabinet re-facing was a fairly new idea on the West Coast of the U.S., and Vinny Nardo gladly introduced the innovative and affordable method to the companies for which he worked in Los Angeles. The idea was a success, and it led to growth for those companies.
Getting tired of the commute from Orange County to Los Angeles, Vinny decided to branch off on his own and created his own company named Reborn Cabinets in 1983. It was a small operation with only one other person on staff, and the goal was simply to support the family. A short time later, his skill set and vast experience led the company to unexpected rapid growth, and the company began to add more employees.
Expanding a business at such a pace brings on significant challenges such as higher turnover rates, and this inspired the Nardo sons to join the team after college. “I looked at the business, and I realized that my Dad really needed somebody that he could trust to come in, so I joined the company in the late 1980s,” says Reborn Cabinets President Vince Nardo. “And from there, we looked at growing more, and my brother joined. The company quickly grew over the next twenty years, and today, we have almost seven hundred team members. We manufacture our own products here in Anaheim, and we serve three states.”
During this considerable growth period, Reborn learned that it needed to focus its attention on developing its employees and the company culture. Successful growth not only relies on top-quality products and services but also on the people that are a part of the team.
This new focus on employees resulted in implementing a set of company values roughly fifteen years ago. “We thought if we’re going to create this team and we want to have winners, we also need to create and live by a set of core values,” says Nardo. “The core values really have to be the directives to which we hire, the directives to which we fire, and the directives to which we operate.”
The first principle is to ‘build a winning team,’ and the second is to ‘have the ultimate working environment.’ These two standards shed light on the importance of attracting highly-skilled people to the team and providing an environment that fosters progress for them. For this reason, the leadership set out on a mission to put together processes and programs that help to create the ultimate working environment.
One outcome was a program called Reborn University. The sole focus of this group of dedicated trainers is to lead people through a successful career at Reborn and supply them with the tools and the education necessary to achieve that. Everyone who joins the team goes through a Reborn University course which usually lasts two to three weeks.
Reborn holds a company-wide monthly meeting during which it goes through one specific value in detail. The managers vote for the team members who exemplify the core value featured in that month and show appreciation for their hard work and outstanding performance.
The way that this family-owned-and-operated company supports its large team makes Reborn an ideal choice for employment in the construction industry. Earlier this year, it won a 2022 Top Workplaces USA award for the second year in a row.
While intent on increasing its team size, Reborn also wants to expand its information technology development services to continue improving its processes. The technology-focused company is always looking for innovative ways to be more efficient. This provides an environment with consistently more advanced opportunities for its many employees.
Recently, the company carried out approximately twenty-five promotions as a result of new opportunities that were created and presented to employees. The Arizona office was launched only six months ago, and it was a great chance for some people to relocate and get promoted into management roles.
Setting Reborn apart from its competition is its unique team and their ability to be innovative in the industry. The company uses technology at a level that is uncommon in the home improvement business to ensure its customers have the best remodeling experience. A kitchen, bathroom, or window remodel is a complex project with a lot of considerations, and technology simplifies the process.
“Using technology and being innovative allows us to provide an experience that’s really unmatched by any other remodeling company. I think those are the things that really have helped us to excel over the last almost forty years,” says Nardo.
Prioritizing customer satisfaction, Reborn tracks every aspect of the project to look for potential errors and patterns. “I personally live by the philosophy here at the business that once is a fluke; twice is a pattern, and three times never happens. We’re constantly looking for that second repetitious problem,” says Nardo. Using the core value of ‘built it better,’ as guidance, the team works together to continuously improve its work.
When it comes to cabinet re-facing, there are not many large providers of this type of product. Costco became interested after a discussion with Reborn about cabinet re-facing and decided to roll out a pilot program with the company. After it proved to be highly successful, Reborn was named the authorized cabinet re-facing provider to Costco. It is now a national program and a great partnership that opens Reborn up to new markets.
Surviving two recessions and now a pandemic throughout its history has shown Reborn that it has exceptional resiliency. Many of the employees have been on the team for between fifteen and twenty-five years, and these people have helped the company grow through difficult times and come out stronger. “We learned a lot through those challenges. We learned a lot through the recession back in the 2000s; we learned where our weaknesses were. In COVID, we really learned that we can overcome anything,” explains Nardo.
As the remodeling industry continues to mature, Reborn expects to stay at the front of the pack, leading the industry with innovative developments. It is excited to take on more exciting opportunities as it grows while remaining loyal to the team and the core values that have brought forth the company’s ground-breaking success.
The remodeling company is grateful for its forty years in business. Developing this valuable experience has allowed Reborn to make advancements in the industry and prioritize customer satisfaction. Above all else, it will never underestimate the importance of the team and workplace culture.
Looking to the next ten years in business, Vince Nardo is motivated to ensure a long-term future for the three-generation family organization. “We have multiple generations now in the company. My son is a general manager here; my nephew works here, and my son-in-law works here. We’ve also got to look at this organization now as three generations deep, and so we’re really trying to continually build something that’s going to last for a very long time.”