Why Small Businesses Matter in Westport: The O'Dell Group

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT The O'Dell Group!

Four questions with Chris O'Dell, founder of The O'Dell Group.

Why did you start your business?

We started with the idea that we were going to create a more responsible business model within the somewhat chaotic industry of residential construction. One which was always built with an eye towards high efficiency, one which always paid our team what they were worth rather than the lowest amount an open market would bear, and one which prioritized serving our customers above the bottom line.

What is your best-selling product/service?

We started out building new construction homes which were extreme in their approach to energy efficiency, however, in the last 3 years, we have pivoted to remodeling with great success. Unfortunately, it is our experience that too often in new home construction, the clients were choosing to maximize the leverage of their purchase in negotiations and decision making rather than pursuing the optimal path for the quality and execution of their project.

In remodeling, while we have experienced a much messier process, we have also found that the clients are making better decisions which allow for a symbiotic approach to both the execution and final product.

How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?

Much of our team is homegrown talent along with our subcontractors and vendors who are almost exclusively local. Our projects have a community atmosphere whereby many of the players involved, whether on our team or others, have known each other for years and interact outside of work as much as during our projects. It allows for a high level of productive communication and coordination.

We support so many local businesses that I could not begin to list them as it is everyone - from our lumber supplier (who lives in the same town as my team) to our cabinet makers (whose kids play soccer with children from members of our team) and even our clients!

Have you "reimagined" your small business?

This is a tough one to answer. Besides the comment above regarding our switch to mainly remodeling, I can say that we have imagined and realized having our company and its vendors operate as a family. We have almost no attrition within our ranks and regularly hang out on weekends as much as we hang out during the week.

Having worked in larger, more corporate-style companies, I would find it hard to go back to that existence after experiencing the camaraderie of a small business like ours.

The O'Dell Group is located at 51 Riverside Avenue in Westport. Visit The O'Dell Group online here, and make sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages as well!

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!


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