By Denise Ortuno Neil
In a male dominated industry, Charissa Farley has paved her own way with her construction company, Farley Interlocking Paving Stones, making her the leader in Pavers in Southern California.
Farley was set in a successful career in construction management in L.A. when the “91” recession hit. All at once, the effects of the times resulted in her losing her corner office on the 19th floor, and into uncertainty. She moved east to the Coachella Valley, and purchased an affordable property and set her sights on the future.
With the assistance of her ex-husband who was a tile-contractor, she propelled her construction management experience to new heights learning all she could about pavers and brought something fresh to the table enabling her to push forward into an industry that is not predominantly led by women.
Where men accumulate their knowledge in the field, Farley gained hers by immersing herself in industry data as the paver industry is very heavy in documentation, “That’s what women need to succeed in construction, to have their own skill set, not to replicate the skill set of men,” Farley said. She also was strong in marketing, sales and finance and offered another way of handling relationships.
Although Farley doesn’t need to put on work boots to run her company, she is very grateful for her loyal team that does, pointing out that she works with the best installers around, most of which have been with her for over 10 years. And although she may not install pavers herself on a daily basis, she is well versed in the skill and can install with ease and precision. She is after all ICPI certified and able to teach advanced residential paver installation, which is quite an accomplishment for a woman in this field. She is also WBE certified, distinguishing her with the Federal Government as a Women Owned Company.
Known as the “Queen of Pavers”, Farley took a chance by specializing only in pavers. When other companies offered a multitude of trades, she took a risk and decided to do one thing only, but do it the better than anyone else, “We will be the experts in pavers,” she stated…and that’s exactly what they are.
Farley recently went to Kentucky to purchase the “Biggest and baddest paving laying machine around,” she said enthusiastically. There are only a few in California and the model is the first of its kind in North America, putting Farley’s business at the top of Southern California installers.
She is dedicated to her clients offering them the best in installation technology and advancements. Her gratitude to them is clear, as she attributes her success to the loyalty of her customers.
Her company does jobs throughout Southern California, taking on bigger projects head on, “If there’s a big job we go for it,” says Farley. They work with HOA’s, driveways and streets as well as commercial projects, which is a large part of their business, in addition to new home construction and front and backyard remodels.
It takes quite the balancing act to have a successful business such as hers. Farley’s family is very supportive, including her ex-husband who has helped her every step of the way. Her daughter Jennifer 27, helps her run the company, and her other daughter Tieshia 24, has her own cupcake company featured at La Quinta Coffee Company in Old Town La Quinta. Farley also has her son Patrick, 14. “I couldn’t do it without all their help. You definitely need a support system,” Farley admits.
When Farley gets the time to step back from her hectic schedule, she relaxes with Bikram Yoga. And when she has to travel for business, she insists on comfortable beds to insure a good night’s rest. She sits on the board of the Desert Cancer Foundation and throws an annual gala to benefit them, which is a great time for her.
Farley is confident in her long term goal to expand her business, providing a valuable healthy future for her children and herself, giving her some ability to play a little bit. As Farley puts it, “Expand, grow or die!”
For all of your paving needs contact Farley Interlocking Paving Stones at 760-773-3960/877-533-8797