The Founding of Phoenix Masonry: How It All Began

Aug 8, 2020

Some thought Christy Crook and her sister, Cindy, were nuts for launching a business in the wake of the Great Recession. But masonry was what they knew. It was the industry their father, Steve Crook dedicate his life to. And despite a recent, dismal spate of personal events–bankruptcy, foreclosure, and divorce, starting a masonry business was the only thing that made sense to the two women.

A Chance To Reshape The Masonry Industry in Colorado

As female business owners, they knew they’d have an advantage over their competitors. They saw the opportunity to not just stand out as a masonry contractor in the Front Range, but also to challenge the traditional stereotypes, and help to reshape the industry. Even with all that in their favor, opening a business in a terrible economy, while enduring hellish personal challenges was a massive undertaking. 

Challenges Met With Bravery and a Bit of Luck

10th Anniversary Logo

At first, Christy and Cindy ran their new business out of their parents’ house (which was also facing foreclosure.) Desperate for a more permanent solution, and by sheer chance, they found the perfect place. It was 16 acres, $2,000 per month, and even better, it was available right away.

Christy pulled $3,000 out from the pages of a book on her bookshelf. It was all she had in the world, but it still wasn’t enough to fully seed the company. (Ironically, the book was William Shakespeare’s Complete Works. The money was stashed in the play, Alls Well That Ends Well, a story about a woman who overcomes economic, political, and personal hardships to achieve her desires.)  

The Investments of Others

Eager to help his daughters, in a leap of faith, Steve Crook borrowed against his life insurance policy and purchased the commercial insurance the daughters’ needed to solidify the business.

But they weren’t safe from the turbulence yet. Though they had landed a few contracts, their bank account was empty. They wouldn’t receive any payments till after completing the jobs. They still had to pay the masons who would do the work. With no more capital available, they were in a catch-22. 

Phoenix’s first employees stepped up to help the startup and graciously agreed to wait for compensation until after the company received payment from the general contractor. Deferring receipt of their paychecks made fulfillment of those first contracts possible. 

A Legacy of Integrity and Community

The people who helped us ten years ago gave us the strength to go forward. Without the sacrifices and trust of Steve Crook and those first employees, there wouldn’t be a Phoenix Masonry today. 

Since then, Cindy moved on to other adventures, Christy became the sole owner, and many more people joined the company. It is thanks to the hard work and dedication of all the members of the Phoenix Masonry team that we have reached this milestone and have many more decades to look forward to. Thank you for being a part of our story and success. 

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