Being in the male-dominated industry of home building, owner of Kingston Homes Erin Wriston said there are many times people are shocked to find out that she is the owner of the business.
“After they survive the initial shock, it is usually business as normal,” Wriston said. “I have made an effort to hire and support women in the industry. At Kingston we have an outstanding woman job supervisor, which is extremely rare in the business.”
Having lived in Clark County since 1992, Wriston founded Kingston Homes in 2011. She said her and her husband raised their children in Vancouver, and are strong advocates for the region. Kingston Homes, a custom home builder in Southwest Washington that builds an average of 50 homes per year, currently has 10 employees, several of whom have been with Kingston for many years. Wriston said the company saw phenomenal growth in the early years, and over the past few years she has purposely held the number of homes they build steady in order to maintain quality as their number one focus.
“My background was in the financial side of residential land development,” Wriston said. “During the Recession there was an opportunity to acquire high-grade building lots at rock-bottom prices and build homes on them. I assembled a team of experts in the building industry and empowered the team members to reach for a benchmark of excellence in design and quality.”
Wriston said they have many customers who put a lot of effort into researching where to live; people who come from all over the country and choose Clark County.
“Some who have lost everything in a California fire and are ready for a fresh start,” she said. “We are proud of where we live and think they have made a great choice. We listen to our customers and make every effort to build them the home of their dreams. I also encourage our team to act in a collaborative way. I think this is a huge asset for us as it allows us to be creative and flexible.”
Looking into the future, Wriston said home building is a tricky business to plan for the future.
“It is extremely difficult to make quick changes due to economic factors,” she said. “In order to have an inventory of building sites available for our customers, we have to make investments well in advance. At this point the economics look very good for home building. Interest rates are very low and people are still wanting to live in our beautiful community. I feel we will continue to see a strong and healthy building environment.”
As for advice Wriston would offer to other women who want to start their own business?
“I would encourage women to do it their own way, trusting their instincts whenever they may doubt themselves.”
Owner, Kingston Homes LLC