Brett Marlo DeSantis lives the life of a typical small business owner: juggling her design and building projects with a busy schedule of meetings, community events and management responsibilities. Still, she finds the time to dream about what’s possible. From her company’s perch along the waterfront in Downtown Gig Harbor, Marlo sees big things coming for her community, and for the Puget Sound region more broadly.
"Our company takes great pride in that label of small business,” says Marlo. “By being small, we can be innovative. We can meet the opportunities that present themselves. We can be the kind of company and do the kind of work that takes care of our communities and the people we live around. We can take care of the natural communities, too.”
For Marlo, and for Brett Marlo Design Build (BM-DB), that opportunity is with re-thinking the building industry that tends to focus on large projects and uniformity.
The local company was recently selected to participate in Kitsap Bank’s Edg3 Fund Competition for small businesses. The competition features 11 small businesses, and the cash award will “help entrepreneurs dedicated to growing our local community economically, socially and environmentally.” The public is invited to help Kitsap Bank select the winner by voting online for their favorite company.
“For us, the Edg3 FUND award would help us expand into our new focus on local manufacturing,” says Marlo. “We have developed a unique product line of healthy tiny homes, and we have some needs as we keep building our business. We need to improve our manufacturing shop and make it safer for our workers. We need to build our capacity for storing materials and bulk orders of supplies. And we need additional resources for meeting insurance and regulatory standards as we grow into more efficient manufacturing.”
BM-DB’s prototype tiny home on wheels is already generating excitement and interest at its current home beside the Gig Harbor History Museum and the company’s office and shop. The model features local products, compact design, healthy materials and “off-grid” features with a solar array for energy and compostable toilet.
“Every day, people come into the office and ask to see the Tiny Home,” says Marlo. “We’re in discussion with several people about building custom models for their needs. More than that, though, the tiny home is a showcase for what compact design and healthy materials can do for small spaces. It doesn’t have to be a tiny house on wheels. We can design and build projects of all kinds using the same products and principles.”
To learn more about Brett Marlo Design Build and its services, or to schedule a viewing of the tiny home, visit the company athttp://www.aaahlive.com/ (AAAH stands for Affordable, Adaptable, Alternative Housing). Votes for BM-DB, or for other semifinalists in Kitsap Bank’s Edg3 FUND Competition, can be cast online at: https://www.kitsapbank.com/edg