Husband and wife team turn hobby into new business

Worth Fixing of Hillsborough County

Worth Fixing of Hillsborough CountySarah and John Gambino are taking advantage of the current seller’s market, one neighborhood at a time.

“Our company is called Worth Fixing and we do house renovations,” Sarah said. “We are currently in the Westchase area primarily because we know the area and a lot of younger families gravitate toward this area.”

What started as a “side-hustle” for the couple, has turned into a lucrative investment that has them completely booked out until March 2020. “It was something we would do late at night and on the weekends. People kept telling us, ‘Wow, you guys should really turn this into a business,’” Sarah said.

They gained their opportunity to grow when they bought their first foreclosure. Being able to successfully renovate and sell it gave them the confidence they needed to get serious and start a business.

“We only had an idea of what our company name would be but nothing was legal,” Sarah said. “We didn’t know how to get on Sunbiz, didn’t know how to obtain our EIN or all of the specific things that you need to have to start a business.”

That’s when they turned to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida for guidance. There they met certified business consultant, Kyle King.

The couple said that King was able to help them cut through all of the initial red tape they faced, and so much more. “It was just having that personal experience and being able to say hey, this is my problem. I’m struggling with this at my business and he was able to give me the answers,” Sarah said.

Not only did they rely on the help they received from the no-cost one-on-one consultations, but they also attended every class they could to ensure continued growth and success. “I really liked the Startup Series,” John added.

Because King has proved to be a reliable resource, the couple continues to seek his guidance with any issue that may arise.

“[Sarah] would always ask me questions and I would respond, ‘I don’t know, why don’t you just email Kyle?’ He’s the one that has all the answers all the time,” John joked. “I know tax season is coming up, that’s something I would like to use Kyle’s expertise for,” he added.

“It’s clear to me if we continue to be booked up, we need to look at other things such as maybe hiring more people to our team or maybe subcontractors,” Sarah added. “Those are definitely going to be questions that I need to talk to Kyle about and get some guidance with.”

Sarah had previous experience with the Florida SBDC at USF through her previous employer. She said she wishes that more business owners knew about the service.

“It’s just such a great tool and asset, especially to small businesses,” she said. “I think it is really important to build your team and have people you can rely on, whether it be the services at the SBDC, or family members or friends that you trust. I think that’s really important.”