My dad wasn’t a plumber, but I wanted to be one. When I was 17, I was assigned to name a business in my distributive education class. I named my imaginary business, “Royal Plumbing.”
The day after I turned 18 (three months after graduating high school), I took my first job as a plumber’s apprentice with Mr. Gentry. He believed that there was only one way to do a job–the right way. For the first three weeks, he assigned me to work with Lozano, digging ditches and laying pipe. I didn’t know there was a right way to dig! lozano showed me. It really saved my back and muscles. Soon I was unclogging drains. Next, I learned to repair and install pipes, fixtures, toilets, and water heaters.
After learning and working alongside technicians and becoming a master plumber, life changed. In 1990, my wife and I were expecting a child. I took a position as a plumber for a local hospital. In my off time, I did some plumbing work for Mrs. Smith. Each time I finished one of her projects, she would always invite me to sit for refreshments and conversation.
One day after the job was done, she pushed a check across her kitchen table and said, “David, I want to help you start your own business.” I couldn’t believe her generosity and her belief in me. With her check, I bought my first truck and started Royal Plumbing, 12 years after naming it in high school.
As soon as I could, I paid her back. Over the years, I hired more plumbers and bought more trucks. I still believe what Mr. Gentry taught me about doing things the right way–it’s made me a better plumber. Mrs. Smith challenged me to become a bigger person–to give individuals who have “the right stuff,” a chance.
For my imaginary business, I liked the name, “Royal Plumbing.” Now, that it’s my real business, I know what it means. Royal Plumbing isn’t who we are, it’s how we treat you…and your home. When we fix it right and treat you right, “we take the hassle out of livin’ in a castle.”
I’m David Havelka. We want to be your plumber.