Currituck Small Business Spotlight is presented by Currituck County Economic Development. Our goal is to share the stories behind some of our most successful local small businesses.
Stacy Justice is the co-founder, CEO and President of Bluewater Restoration Inc., a specialty licensed general contractor that handles emergency indoor environmental property losses such as water and fire damage as well as general contracting for both residential and business needs.
Have you always lived in Currituck or did you relocate here?
We moved here in 1986 from Virginia Beach/Norfolk where we were born and raised.
What was it about Currituck County that most appealed to you?
If you are born and raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, you automatically consider the Outer Banks as part of your hometown footprint… with a whole lot more beach. Did I mention there was a beach here?
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start your own business?
Oh yes. The moment I met my boyfriend and soon to be business partner. That was all he talked about. He was already working for himself when I met him.
The moment I graduated from ODU, we started to talk about our goals in life (1985) and this was all he wanted to do. We followed Inc. Magazine as our "bible" of how businesses succeed and it became our guidepost. Our biggest takeaway was that out of every 100 business startups, only 10 make it the first year. Of those 10 businesses, only 1 makes it to 5 years. Today, we are at 33 years.
Photo: Eric Hause Photography
What's the best part about owning and operating a business in Currituck County?
You get the best of both worlds. Proximity to Tidewater gives you all the education, hospitals, and music and arts events you want. But Currituck lets you live close to nature, in the quiet end of "town" where you don’t have to live in a neighborhood.
Outstandingly clean, non-commercialized beaches are a source of complete relaxation and proximity to them was always a draw for our families growing up... and holds true to this day. There are many advantages here for those seeking solitude and quiet.
What's the hardest part about owning and operating a business in Currituck County?
We travel to Virginia many times a week to have our children receive advanced musical lessons with world class instruction. There are some experiences that you’re just not going to get in a rural community.
But once our kids experienced Tidewater culture (i.e. malls), they became incredulous about the benefits of living here. But I’m sure there are other, much more well-behaved children who love the surfing, boating, fishing, and equestrian opportunities that are available here.
What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business in Currituck County?
If it’s a local service, find the need this community is lacking. If your business isn't location dependent, then be very clear on your social/material/personal needs and be aware of the socio-economic-cultural dynamics of this area to make sure they are compatible.
Speak to the Currituck County Economic Director, and most certainly be aware of the Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC), hosted by Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City for good direction on the opportunities and challenges of this area. These folks offer a great number of resources to entrepreneurs and existing businesses in our area, but many people are not aware of this must trusted source of information.
What's one thing you wish you could change about your business?
There is not one thing I would change about my business. I’m very proud of how we’ve evolved over time and with the quality of our service. I’m also grateful for the wonderful local population who appreciates our work and who work here.
What do you most want people (in Currituck County and beyond) to know about you and your business?
Bluewater Restoration, Inc cares. We understand you did not expect us to be in your living room picking up the broken, sodden pieces of what means a great deal to you. We understand where you are right now, and we are here to help you through a very challenging situation with compassion and attention to detail.
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in Currituck County, NC?
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