River City Six – Dave Houston
Meet Dave Houston, shading specialist at Echo Systems.
Tell us a little about your business.
Echo Systems is a group of professional audio/video integrators committed to expanding people’s thoughts of what a luxury home experience should be. Executing those ideas with great attention to detail and responsive service, we focus on providing smart home technologies with design aesthetics in mind. We approach window shades, TVs, sound, and lighting as part of a daily routine in your life, instead of a random need or afterthought. In my role, l listen to a client’s history of experiences with window coverings, address fears and dislikes of those previous experiences, educate them on what they could and should not do, and provide an appropriate solution for their windows.
How did you get started in the business?
I started in 2006 as an apprentice to the design and furnishing industry with a middle- to high-end furniture store in Iowa. After a few years, I began traveling to furniture- and accessory-buying markets in High Pointe, NC and Las Vegas, NV. I had valuable input and created relationships with vendors who helped further my education and execution within the shading and design industry.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
When my wife and I decided to relocate to Maui, HI in 2013. I entered a completely different environment, economy, and culture than the Midwest. I had to learn the window covering market there and prove myself in a relatively short period of time to become an influencer for a deeper breadth of clientele. Some people cared to discuss proposals in the metric system, some required translators or a consultant that handled all the details, and others understood window covering terms differently. I had to adjust from the familiar understanding I was used to, listen more intently, and avoid assumptions.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
The culmination of all the years’ worth of projects that have made me an expert in the window covering industry. I have become somewhat of a craftsman of the trade, physically installing and managing every shading project I have designed. That experience allows me the confidence to properly engineer and design a shading project to greater positive outcomes. To that end, however, I still am humble and realize that every project is a learning opportunity.
Tell us a little about your family.
I have a wonderful, patient wife. We have a blended family. There is eight of us total—four sons, two daughters, and two step-sons who I have helped raise since they were toddlers and consider them my own.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Exploring new places. Most recently, we have been hiking at various Nebraska State Parks.
Who inspires you?
My children inspire me. Simply their existence motivates me to be a responsible and hard-working member of our society. I hope to instill in them a strong work ethic to better themselves and their future families.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“There are many ways up a mountain, but the person who takes the most direct path gets there faster than all the people walking around trying to find the best path.”
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
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