THE FLIGHT OF THE RURU
Honesty. Dedication. Transparency. Individuality. Clarity. Fairness. Ethics. Productivity. Communication. Respect. Workflow. Team. Support. Empathy. Cleverness. Sustainability. Integrity.
Ruru Homes is a small, but very fast growing company creating tiny homes, relocatable buildings, cabins, baches and whatever you wish to define them as, on a high level for an affordable price. We pride ourselves in high end quality, top class workmanship, clever design and high standards - on a tiny footprint. Most importantly though we do this as a team.
Fran & Daniel Huelsmeyer, Directors at ruru, about the key elements of their company:
Our former family business, an Eco Lodge, got wiped out by COVID19 implications within a week in 2020, which was devastating. However, it also gave us the amazing opportunity to create a completely new company from scratch, with the right values, setup and goals implemented right from the beginning. A sustainable and ethical business, valuing every member individually, creating a trustworthy, high quality and useful product.
When it comes to company ethics, paying people a desirable amount of hourly wages or salaries is non-negotiable. Politely we have declined the request for an hourly rate in the past, as it was too low for the qualification of the contractor. Every business needs to make profit, and commitments need to be met, but profit is not the overall, all-consuming goal of ruru.
Every business should realise that it is crucial to pay their people fairly, and respectfully, without taking advantage of their often desperate need for a regular income. If you are unable to pay all your bills at the end of the month, can't take your children on a holiday, and struggle to get your car repaired, something is not right. If the low wages of your employer or client are the reason for it - something is very wrong.
Also, from a plain business perspective, we do ourselves a huge favour to ensure our team is happy, positive, looked after and gives all of their dedication into the products. We want them to stay with us long term. We replicate our tiny home designs, the better trained, and valued, and appreciated our team is, the faster they can build tiny homes, the better for the overall success of the company. Often with goosebumps I explain to customers that many of our team have lost their jobs through COVID and now have a full time, permanent perspective with us. At ruru, everyone is part of the company, and responsible for us to fly.
We were initially hoping to build and sell six tiny homes per year. We have in fact sold nine in the first six weeks of advertising a finished product. From four we have grown to 20 people working on the homes in just 8 weeks, and we are still hiring.
Our "office" started as a one-lady-show with a laptop and is now 6 people working on desks, in a 2 bedroom house repurposed as ruru's workspace. The demand and feedback on our products have been overwhelming.
At ruru, you don't apply to us, we apply to you. We have references available, if you like to talk to one of our people what it's like to work for us. The Directors can promise you a lot, but if you chat to the team, you'll get to understand the real deal. So why not talk to them whilst interviewing with us? We value our team, and contractors, and everyone contributing to the success of this company. We work together on the flight of the ruru and everyone is a part of it. We have no interest in minimum wage, or the lowest hourly rates possible.
We don't like people being stressed, pressured or living in fear of losing their job just because they're sick for a couple of days, or longer. Mental and physical health are closely connected and a healthy work environment and good company ethics are a major part of personal wellbeing. We love our building boys and we love our building girls, and have a good mix of men and women from all over the world waving the hammers and smashing it out. It is crucial to have enough people on board to ensure a healthy and happy workflow, cover for sick leave and holidays, and days where you wake and two of your four children have a fever, your partner has an appointment in town and you simply can't pull yourself in two. We value families and their needs as we are one, and are approachable as a whole, and not against each other.
The other important pillar of the company apart from the team is the product. At ruru, we pride ourselves to give 150% of everything into our tiny homes, every day, in every task. Professionally designed and thought through, we work with local suppliers and companies only, we don't do any cheap imports, and no prefabricated modular parts are being used. We meet and greet each single nail going into our homes personally, cross check quality, work on improvements, question our designs constantly and thrive to establish an outstanding excellence in quality.
At ruru we don't do open homes. Instead, we schedule a consultation with each client personally, and allow an hour for it at least. There is so much to consider, discuss, explain and talk through. And so many questions, for individual situations, that we don't rush things. We had clients who returned three, four times to view or simply sit in a finished space to inhale the size and space and energy of our builds. Whatever you need to decide on your ruru - we're supporting it. We also take transparency and honesty very, very serious. No hidden costs, no unexpected changes, no secrets. We have a clear answer to any of your questions, so please be encouraged to ask.
At ruru, we strictly do local only. Losing one business to COVID has underlined again how important it is to think about where your cashflow goes, and where profits end up. For example, all of our steel platforms are made in Motueka, we use a local supplier (NZ owned and operated) for materials. The windows are made in Nelson, the roofing comes from Christchurch. Locally sourced, locally build, locally operated. A full list of suppliers is available on request.
The ruru is flying and we're hoping to keep creating a good number of jobs. We have huge goals for the future, and see huge potential in our business, which is why everyone at ruru gives everything into it, together.
Come, meet us!
Daniel & Fran