Open for Business: Paint Dabbers provides touch-ups, splashes of color for more than four decades
Beginning his journey as a business owner in 1977, Clif Shultz, owner of The Paint Dabbers, has spent more than 40 years in the trade, and business is not showing any signs of slowing down.
Shultz began his journey with Moffat County in 1964 as a sophomore in high school, after his family relocated from Broken Bow, Nebraska. Graduating in 1966, Shultz did not originally intend to be a tradesman nor a business owner, but instead, he sought after a career in academia.
“I taught for seven years in Craig after college, social studies, and to make ends meet, I started painting with a guy named Dave Edwards,” Shultz said.
Over time, Shultz arrived at the conclusion that the salary he was making as a teacher simply could not afford his standard of living. After painting part-time with Edwards for a few years on the weekends and holidays, he took the entrepreneurial leap to start a painting business with one of Edwards’ other employees, Dan Crabtree.
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“I bought all of the painting supplies and equipment, and in 1977, we named the business The Paint Dabbers,” he said.
After some time working on his business, Shultz had to make a decision about his career.
“The painting business got busy enough, and I had to make a decision between painting and teaching, and I chose painting,” he said. “I enjoy painting. It’s always nice to see a new finished project.”
Shultz and Crabtree continued to partner the business together until 1988 when Crabtree decided to move to Colorado Springs to start his own painting business, while Shultz decided to keep The Paint Dabbers in Craig.
“My home is established here, and I always liked Craig. My wife is a Craig native, and she also wanted to stay here,” Shultz said.
Most of Shultz’s business is focused on painting remodels and new construction.
“98% of business is residential; we don’t do much commercial stuff,” he said.
In the early days of his business, Shultz would travel all over Northwest Colorado to paint, taking jobs in places like Meeker, Steamboat Springs, and Baggs, Wyoming, but nowadays he find that he is busy enough that he can just focus his business on local projects.
Shultz isn’t the only one invested in The Paint Dabbers, as his wife, Lowa, his daughter, Jamie, and his grandchildren — Issac, Ian, and Morgan — all perform various roles in the business.
“I have my grandchildren work for me in the summertime, and my daughter works for me full-time, and my wife does the bookkeeping,” he said. “It’s become a family affair.”
Embarking on his 42nd year as a business owner, Shultz has this advice for any entrepreneurs looking to start their own business.
“Be honest with people, be prompt with your bids, and treat every customer equally,” he said.
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