At the heart of Petersen Custom Glass is a prodigious partnership.
“The foundation of the business started with our super strong, amazing marriage,” says Valerie Petersen, who co-owns the company with Kris Petersen, her husband. The pair have been married since 1997.
For close to a decade, their Parker-based business has designed and installed glass showers for residences from Wheat Ridge to Castle Rock. It also handles custom glass work such as enclosures for home offices and wine rooms.
And the business has more than doubled its income every year, Valerie Petersen says.
Her spouse attributes that growth to working hard to make sure clients are happy. It’s a priority for him. Kris Petersen was in the glass industry 14 years before going into business for himself. He noticed that customer service is an area in which some companies are lacking.
Kris Petersen also credits the company’s success to the way his wife’s skills complement his own.
Petersen Custom Glass began in the couple’s Cottonwood home in 2014. After a year and a half, the Petersens moved it out of their garage and into Parker’s light industrial district southeast of Lincoln Avenue and Parker Road. Two years later, needing more room, they moved one door over and settled in at 10226 Progress Lane, where they have a workshop and a small showroom.
In the beginning, Valerie lent her executive skills to the fledgling business on nights and weekends. She worked as a paralegal in Denver during the day. Then in 2019, she joined the company full-time, which her husband says made all the difference.
“(She) filled in the gaps where I was weak and really helped blow the top off of it,” Kris says.
In addition to the Petersens, the company has three other employees.
The newest member of the team is Eric Glasgow. He was hired as a general manager at the beginning of the year. Although the Petersens had to cut their own salary to bring him on, it allows them to have a better work-life balance, the couple says.
In fact, the Petersens will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this summer with a long-awaited, much-anticipated trip away. It will be the first time the pair has left the business for more than just a long weekend without bringing some work with them, Kris Petersen says.
He says they’re blessed to have employees that can handle just about anything the business requires.
‘Worth every penny’
But finding skilled laborers is difficult, the Petersens say. So is finding an affordable location for an expanding small business.
For the third time in its eight-year history, Petersen Custom Glass has outgrown its space. Valerie and Kris Petersen are on the hunt for a place about twice the size of their current 1,500 square feet.
“Right now, we’re busy enough where it’s going to be really hard to take on more work if we don’t have a little more space,” Kris Petersen says.
So they’ve got their eyes and ears open for a larger location and for some extra help, he says. Their immediate goal is to double their square footage and double the number of people they employ.
“And from there, building our empire,” Valerie Petersen says, while her husband chuckles. “One shower door at a time.”