Interview with Entrepreneur Sergei Kaminskiy – Founder of Kaminskiy Design and Remodeling.
Recently we had the chance to interview Sergei Kaminskiy of San Diego, California. Sergei Kaminskiy is an Entrepreneur, Investor, Real Estate Agent, and Businessman who’s run his company “Kaminskiy Design and Remodeling” since 2005. The company has since been voted Best Home Remodeler & Best Local Construction Company in San Diego by the San Diego Tribune for five consecutive years in a row. From kitchen remodels to bathroom renovation or entire home remodeling – Kaminskiy is San Diego’s number one choice when it comes to home renovations.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Tell us about your background getting to where you are today?
Sergei Kaminskiy: I was an entrepreneur at heart for as long as I can remember. Stating at a very early age I would buy candies in bulk, repackage them and later sell them in smaller quantities for a profit. I was doing this in 7th grade. One time the principal even called me into the office and told me that I can no longer sell candies at school because my candy wrappers were all over the school playgrounds.
Later I was mowing lawns in different neighborhoods and printed out flyers with rates to wash cars. When I turned 16, I was hired by a family friend to sell Ferrari’s, Porches, and Lamborghini’s. We were a brokerage firm that would sell these vehicles without ever seeing the cars. We would act as the middle man between the buyer and the seller and coordinate the pre-purchase inspections and transportation of the vehicles. It always amazed me how our clients would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars without ever seeing the cars in person.
When I turned 18, I moved to San Diego and started working as a laborer on a construction site for a remodeling company in Rancho Santa Fe. This was something that was interesting to me. I wanted to learn more about home remodels and construction. I was learning a lot every day. We would work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. I didn’t have time to spend money, so I ended up saving a pretty good amount of money during this period.
Fast forward a year and a half and I was married and quickly realized that making $17 per hour would not allow me the lifestyle that I was desperate to have. My wife Elena and I opened up a handyman business and we would wake up at 4 Am and walk door to door and pass out flyers in different neighborhoods.
Opening up my own business and starting to grow it from scratch taught me what a strong work ethic really is. I would work 16-18 hours daily. The truth is, it rarely felt like work because we were building a legacy for ourselves and our family. Our handyman business grew rapidly and within a few years, I was able to get my contractor’s license. We renamed our company and Kaminskiy Design and Remodeling was born. Now we’ve been in business for almost 17 years and have won multiple awards in San Diego. Named San Diego’s Best for multiple years and in different categories of construction and remodeling. With our business becoming successful and me optimizing it to run on its own, I was able to dedicate more of my time to start investing in real estate.
Where are you from?
Sergei Kaminskiy: I was born in Siberia, Russia. I came to the United States, California when I was 7 years old.
How did you get into real estate?
Sergei kaminskiy: We originally bought our first home investment in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2006. I was only 20 years old at the time. The home was an older home that we bought as a fixer-upper to flip.
We ended up losing a lot of money on that project because that was the time when the recession hit. I also underestimated how long the remodel would take and how much it would cost to complete. However, this experience was the best preparation and schooling that I could have ever received. As painful as it was at the time, it taught me many lessons that I still implement today into our current investments.
What is the most challenging thing you have overcome in your life?
Sergei Kaminskiy: The most challenging time in my life was when the Scottsdale, Arizona investment was not going to plan. We were losing lots of money every month and at the same time, I was building a business in San Diego. There were days when I literally worked 23 hours a day to make it through.
Who inspires you the most to do what you do?
Sergei Kaminskiy: There are many successful business people that I look up to as well as some successful athletes that a lot can be learned from. My dad was my biggest inspiration to start in business. I watched him come to this country and build an import/export business from scratch without knowing how to even speak English. Watching my dad, I saw that having your own business allows you the freedom and flexibility that I wanted in my life. However, I have always been a very driven person and didn’t need much motivation from others.
Any new investments that you have in mind?
Sergei Kaminskiy: We are currently in the process of rezoning a five-unit hotel, that was hit by hurricanes in Fort Meyer Beach, Florida. Our goal is to achieve maximum density on this lot, tear down the building that is there now and build a much nicer hotel. The location is spectacular. It is beachfront and surrounded by much larger hotels. There is a lot of redevelopment happening in Fort Meyer beach. This will have a positive impact on our project as well.
We are also in the process of purchasing a lot in Tulum, Mexico that we would like to develop 20-30 condominiums on. It is also in a great location. Only about 1 mile from beach Tulum. This area is growing rapidly and there are many resorts being developed all around.
What is your greatest achievement as an entrepreneur?
Sergei Kaminskiy: My greatest achievement as an entrepreneur is that we were able to build Kaminskiy Design and Remodeling into a company that runs on its own. With the minimal time required from me to keep it running smoothly. This allowed me to focus on investments and development projects that I really have a passion for.
Who is one entrepreneur that inspired you to come up?
Sergei Kaminskiy: The one entrepreneur that inspired me early on was Donald Trump. I read his book The Art of a Deal when I was 18 years old. After reading this book, I gained respect for him and it inspired me to work harder. It also inspired me to start investing in real estate.
What does a day inside your shoes look like?
Sergei Kaminskiy: Now, most of my day consists of phone calls and emails dealing with rezoning attorneys, real estate agents, design companies, and some clients.
I have had to travel a lot this past year to different countries and states looking for the right investment opportunities. With that said, I also get to enjoy quality time with my wife and watching my kids grow up and spend quality time with them.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!
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