Business in Boardshorts Podcast
EP4 – Bryan Puckett


Release Date: December 16, 2020

Location: Rockport, TX

Guest Name: Bryan Puckett

Business Name: Vaquero Windows & Doors

Business Website:

Intro (guest speaking): Sitting at home for the first few weeks of the pandemic and realized I’m tired of living on an airplane and the hotel and I’m ever going to do it. Now’s the time to do it. It’s a perfect opportunity. And I just basically kind of pushed myself off the fence and said it’s now or never.

Intro (host speaking): Welcome back and welcome to the Business in Boardshorts podcast. Today, my guest is Bryan Puckett, from Round Rock, Texas. Did I get that right, Bryan?

Guest: You did. It’s actually now Rockport, Texas, but originally from the Round Rock area.

Host: How are you doing?

Guest: I’m doing great. How are you?

Host: Good. Thanks for joining me. So, let’s start with your backstory and talk about where you grew up.

Guest: I grew up in the Austin area, kind of North Austin Round Rock is a suburb of Austin, kind of wide, widely known now for Dell computer being their headquarters. But back 40 years ago when I was growing up, kind of between Austin and Round Rock in the outskirts. It was just a little small, sleepy town.

Host: Well, and Austin’s is booming from everything that I’m hearing here in the Midwest, it’s like the place to be

Guest: It’s absolutely insane. It’s definitely not the town that I grew up in not the town that I kind of cut my teeth in my career in it’s a turn into a very high tech. The town that I grew up in it was a college town and see the government so now it’s very much a tech-driven community and kind of a young vibrant, vibrant crowd but very different.

Host: And as we talked about previously, you vacation a lot near the water and can you can talk about that and the location of that.

Guest: Absolutely. Yeah, Austin, you know, as a kid growing up, we were about three hours from the Texas coast. there’s a little community so Texas is made up of a bunch of border islands barrier islands out around the Gulf of Mexico. The Mustang island which the little town out there is a town called Port Aransas happens right on the Gulf of Mexico and there’s a big pass coming in to get to the shipping channel to get into Corpus Christi. My grandmother lived in Port Aransas when I was a child so summers vacations everything was always spent in and around the beach Be it with my family or just solo going hanging out with her I’ve got a cousin that’s the same age as I am and we grew up side by side you know like brothers and the two of us are just always down there running around on the beach you know being kids causing problems

Host: I know we talked about how we have a very similar mindset and just pulled to the water until the ocean no absolutely not you would like when was your first recollection that when it when did you feel like you know, this is I love this, you know, this is a family thing and I enjoy it and this is all I know but like when it becomes like dang I’m really feeling a calling here I want to you know, I want to be here more and more often. Like I know you vacation all the time.

Guest: You know, as just as I started growing up and was spending time down there, my family ended up with a place in Rockport, Texas, which is just on the mainland side of Port Aransas a fishing community, and I honestly every opportunity that I could take I went down there as soon as I was old enough to drive my cousin and my friends and we’d spend weekends down there going and fishing or going and hanging out on the beach I really you know, to be honest with you it’s just been a natural thing for me for my entire life there’s not really ever been an awakening as an adult and moving into my life I’ve always chosen to even vacation further south be at the Caribbean been fortunate to have been all over multiple beaches from Australia to the Caribbean to the Pacific Coast to why I’ve traveled all over to just always seems to be tropical and aquatic.

Host: And what would you say is the vibe on the coast in Texas?

Guest: It’s cool. It’s growing. The Port Aransas Rock Port area which is where I’m based right now has always been kind of a I hate to use the term quote-unquote sleepy fishing village but that that’s pretty much what it’s been but the last five to eight years it’s absolutely just exploded with the population growth between Austin San Antonio it’s just really close the beaches are nice and you’re within three hours of the beach. the second home market has been very busy with new construction. But it’s just it’s laid back it’s the typical coastal town. You know traveling around the country for business the better part of the last 20 years you could be you know, bid if it’s a Wilmington, North Carolina or if it’s the San Diego or somewhere like that something about being on the coast everybody just seems to be kind of chill And kind of has that laid back vibe. Nobody gets in a great big hurry; I can tell you that.

Host: Yeah, I love that. Let’s talk about your early part of your career, just like the first chunk, as you spent a lot of time in the sales, sales leadership area and a lot of new, excuse me in the new construction, kind of how did that come about? And you always know you were going to go there or does it just kind of, Hey, I started the first job here, and it just sort of spiraled.

Guest: You know, I honestly always kind of thought it, my family was in the lumber business for a long time. And owned, owned a couple of lumber yards around the state. And I’d always told myself, I didn’t want to be part of that and didn’t want to be involved in it. I got out of college had a short career as a professional golfer, toured around, and play golf for a few years. got that out of my system. And it was just kind of a natural, natural fit to come in and kind of start my career with a lumber distributor here in the Austin area. And started in sales and basically really enjoyed the sales aspect. And then as I progressed up sort of moving up the ladder, I really enjoyed sales leadership and kind of chased the corporate ladder for the better part of 20 years with three or four different stops along the way. And was really blessed with some great leaders and mentors that that helped kind of shaped me and groomed me into what I am

Host: It a super interesting that you talked about the family business and trying to kind of get away from that sector. And then and then coming back because that’s, that’s very similar to my story as well. Or I should say, from a standpoint of like, who I was working with, working in my late father’s f&b agency, it was very own service space, I’d say that was about 70% of the clients that we worked with, so that when I went on my own, it was like, Hey, I got to do something different. That’s the thing. And, but then here, I am calm kind of, I see myself aligning back to that and being drawn back to that space. It’s funny how they just give a little time and it all will come back online.

Guest: It really did. You know, I fought it and fought it. And the more you know, what I when I got tired, or tired, or when I kind of got done playing golf and realize that, that I liked having regular meals and a regular paycheck and being able to make my car payment on time, it just was a natural progression for me.

Host: And let’s now let’s talk about you starting your own business, how did that transition from the corporate ladder to Hey, I want to do my own thing.

Guest: It’s kind of funny how it worked out. I kind of started the planning on it about a year and a half ago and started putting the wheels in motion and started thinking about it. I had originally intended on doing it last year. Some other things kind of fell in my lap with a former boss taking a new position and bringing me with her to accompany. But all things go in the pandemic really just kind of sped it up. I was sitting at home for the first few weeks of the pandemic and realized, you know, I’m, I’m tired of living on an airplane and the hotel and I’m going to be I actually just turned 47 last week and was like, you know, what, if I’m ever going to do it, now’s the time to do it. And it’s a perfect opportunity. And I just basically kind of pushed myself off the fence and said, it’s now I’ve never seen it now or, or go back and probably go get an MBA and try to shoot to you know, get to sea level if I wanted to do that.

Host: And then you most likely regret it for the rest of your life that hey, I never took that leap and at least tried it.

Bryan: Absolutely, yeah, no. And I’ve always been kind of an entrepreneurial mindset. You know, I’ve always kind of run my sales career and all my businesses like it’s been my own and had that mentality through my entire career. It was a natural progression. And, and but you’re exactly right. I didn’t want to be the guy that was 70 you know, sitting there on my boat with a fishing pole in my hand going “What if?”

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Host: Can you explain what exactly your company does?

Guest: Yeah, I am a window and door distributor in the residential new construction world. I basically sell to residential home builders residential remodelers renovators a little bit of like commercial work. But I represent four different window lines. And I’ve got several different door lines selling into to the construction aspect. The biggest product of my portfolio is the Andersen brand windows and doors, I spent a good chunk of my career selling their product and then actually working for them directly corporately. It was an easy fit for me. I know the product very well.

Host: I think I read on your website that there’s Tell me if I’m wrong, something about like, you’re like a mobile showroom, it was something was kind of unique.

Guest: Yes. I can’t it’s an idea that popped into my head about a year and a half ago when I was originally kicking the stuff around is kind of the way the industry works today is that a dealer distributor has a physical retail location, it’s a walk-in big, nice blown up showroom that has all the products, you know, for the homeowner to come in and touch and feel and operate. And I in my career, you know, especially being at some of the bigger cities I’d covered, you know, Houston, and Dallas and Atlanta and some other larger markets. In the past, these areas are so big and so spread out, you know, for example, you know, my largest distributor in Houston would have a local builder that selling a homeowner, but they could be two and a half, three hours away from the showroom just because Houston is so big and spread out. I said, You know what, I’m going to figure out a way to take the showroom to the builder or to the homeowner, so I kind of started kicking it around, and we built it’s essentially a cargo trailer that I took, and I fit it out and built slide outs with all the different products in it and all the different displays that I took what would be in a retail physical showroom, and I put it on a trailer that I can hook up to the back of the truck, and we can actually take it out to the job site or the builder’s office or the homeowners you know, place of residence and let them touch and feel and go through all that and, and, you know, save them the time and the expense of them having to come into the showroom and deal with that.

Host: I love that. That is genius.

Guest: Thanks. You know it actually worked out pretty cool. Because it’s a complete socially distancing tool as well. Now, you know, when things were shut down and closed out, all the retail locations weren’t able to be open. And I could just wheel the trailer up out there, open the back end up and I could go stand six feet away and talk about everything in the outdoors. And everybody slides them out and look at it. It works really well. It’s a pretty neat tool.

Host: Yeah, who would have known that years ago?

Guest: Exactly, I mean, like I said, it makes me look like I’m a genius today. It just it was me just trying to it was me trying not to have, you know, expensive retail space to begin with. And then also something that was convenient, and then kind of set me apart from my competitors.

Host: I know it’s really odd, but what as of now, do you love best or enjoy the most, being your own boss.

Guest: You know, it’s a tough question because I’ve kind of operated felt as I have been forever. You know, I do like the fact that that the old age is the buck stops here. And every decision that’s made every single thing with it goes from the logo to the, to the picture selection for my advertising to the color that I’ve you know, painted the, you know, the color of the display there or everything came back to me that that’s the part that I’ve enjoyed the most about is just having, you know, having my involvement in every piece of it.

Host: Yeah, there’s something to be said about that. Because I definitely, I’ve never been wanting to be a control freak. But from a business. There is something to have the final say on everything, and to be the one in charge that way and to do it your own way and put your own spin on it your own vibe.

Guest: Absolutely yeah, no, that’s been fun for me. I mean, I’ve had some great people that I’ve worked for and I’ve never felt like I’m sure I shouldn’t say that I’ve had felt micromanage and I’ve never liked that. And I tried have never done that to the people that that have reported to me and that worked for me today and but it is nice to have the control and to you can see your fingerprints on every little piece of it.

Host: What would you say is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Guest: You know, it’s kind of life and business advice. I had a lady that I worked for a long time, who I enjoyed is the advice that she would always tell me just She said she’d always say “Go be you, kiddo! go do your deal.” And you know, stand fast to your convictions and go at it and that’s what I’ve always tried to do.

Host: Yeah, I love that that hits it both. The question was what’s the best life advice but I think you’re just you just answered both in one

Guest: You could never you know on the sales aspect and what I used to tell young people and young people you know new salespeople and new to the businesses that I was always an over prepare for my sales meetings and for when I would go you know, cold call or go call on people and I’m a big believer and was always taught that you could never prepare enough and never know enough about that customer that you’re going to go call on and the more you know about them, the easier it is going to be to talk to them.

Host: Well if my listeners want to check out more on your company, where can they do so

Guest: The website it’s where it’s kind of a work in progress right now I’m in the middle of putting it all together we’re still fairly new but that’s going to be the best way to find me anything coastal windows and doors in Texas area that that’s our specialty. I’ve got a couple of gentlemen working for me that meant quite a bit of time in around the area and we like to say that we are the new construction experts when it comes to coastal windows and doors around Texas.

Host: Thank you very much for coming on.

Guest: Thank you for having me. It was a blast.

Overview: Bryan Puckett is the owner of Vaquero Windows & Doors, South Texas’s premier windows and doors boutique, founded in 2020. After covering the coastal region for several different companies, he quickly discovered a strong need for a locally based service-first window and door supplier.

VW&D includes a first of its kind mobile showroom. This revolutionary product offers builders and homeowners a flexible selection process while at the same time offering convenience and safety to view window and door options. Bryan’s team consists of industry and product experts with over 80 years of collective experience. They take pride in knowing they are bringing unparalleled industry knowledge and customer service to the market.

Bryan has worked in sales and sales leadership in the residential new construction industry for over 20 years. He has worked with publicly traded Fortune 500 companies all the way to startups.

Growing up in Central Texas, his family always spent time on the Texas coast. Summers and holidays were spent with his grandmother who lived full time on the island in Port Aransas. As an adult, his preferred vacation has been tropical in nature and his family has followed with a huge passion for the coast. Throughout the years they have traveled as much as we could to Rockport, TX seeing family, fishing, and hanging out with friends.

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