Building A Business On Trust

Don Moomaw and son Bodhi on a job site. Photo from Amanda Gregg

Don Moomaw
Owner, Moomaw Construction

How did you get started in this business and how long has it been going?

I began working with my father-in-law when we moved to Kaua’i 11 years ago. He’s been a contractor for more than 35 years and was very generous with sharing a lot of knowledge and experiences with me. I became licensed seven years ago.

Where are you from originally, and what role does that play in your business?

I enjoy living in smaller, more intimate communities that are close to nature. Growing up in Dana Point, Calif., in the ’70s and ’80s is where I began to appreciate that lifestyle.

I ended up going to school at the University of Oregon and enjoyed the small college-town feel there as well.

Before we moved to Kaua’i, we lived in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains and ran a whitewater rafting company there for about 10 years. During that time we got to meet and interact with people from all walks of life.

I’ve been able to pull from all of my experiences, the good and bad, and it’s encouraged me to become a flexible, creative and approachable business person.

What is your specialty?

I enjoy doing everything from the smallest remodel to large, custom homes. I really enjoy building homes for clients when it is their first home. It’s really exciting to see firsttime homeowners move into a home that they’re totally emotionally invested in from start to finish. I have been fortunate to build multiple homes for a couple of clients, and the relationships we’ve developed have turned into great friendships.

What sets your business apart?

I believe our ability to simplify the build process for the client is a strength of ours.

Having the flexibility to navigate the hurdles in the building process and to keep a project running on schedule and budget. I have a great crew of craftsmen and women that I have worked with for more than five years.

I strive to keep all parts of the building project in-house, to ensure a quality product.

Why do you do what you do?

Living on Kaua’i and raising our son here is such a blessing. Being able to get up, jump into the ocean and go to work in one of the most beautiful places in the world and make a living doing something I enjoy is a no-brainer. I’m grateful for where I live and what I do and the people I work with.

What motivates you to get up and go to work every day?

My wife Christine and son Bodhi are the greatest support system anyone could ask for. Getting out the door in the morning is no problem with them on my team. I really enjoy going to work every day because every project and every homeowner has something new to offer.

Do you have a business motto or philosophy for doing business?

Being honest and upfront with the client is essential.

What is the most challenging aspect of your business?

Living on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is probably the largest challenge in the building process. You can’t just run down the street when you need a specialty item right away. Over the years, I’ve learned that the more time you put into a job up front getting everything organized alleviates a lot of problems when you get into the heart of a project.

What is your business plan for the future?

I hope to continue to work with great people on interesting projects.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

Probably on a river somewhere fly-fishing as much as possible.

Where can people learn more?

Moomawconstruction.c om or email