By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
CAMDEN â€“ Anthony Talley said his back was up against the wall when he was downsized from his construction job with a Fortune 500 residential building at the start of the Great Recession.
What Talley did have, though, was talent and skills acquired over years in the construction trade in the Philadelphia region, customers who have come to believe and trust in his work and an abundance of faith that told him he would weather the hard times.
In 2009, with the economic times at their worst in decades, Talley founded A E Talley Construction LLC with few resources but a reputation in the industry of completing some of toughest construction assignments as project manager, general superintendent, owners’ representatives, and site superintendent.
The Willingboro native said it took time to regroup and some little reminder about his own faith that got him going.
“When I lost my job, it was a really tough time because I was making $250,000 a year,” Talley told Front Runner New Jersey about his experience. “I had bonuses coming in. It was a really, really good time financially, but I wasn’t being responsible and I wasn’t saving any money.
“So when they told me I was downsized, I, it was like an out of body experience. I literally did not sleep for about 10 days. One day, I bumped into a woman and I didn’t even know her. And she just said to me, ‘Why are you putting a question mark where the Lord put a period?’ From that point on, I just felt peace. I knew I had to do something,” he continued.
Talley started with talking to people he done business with before prior. He found while the recession continued, the need for construction help did not as he started off small with his business and grew it steadily.
Starting the business with less than $500, it now operates with a multi-million dollar yearly gross. Talley has done it by developing professional relationships with virtually every component involved in the commercial and residential construction industry.
He works with designer professionals, property managers, sub-contractors to help grow his company’s knowledge base and increase their sales yearly. He also worked closely with residential property owners and a number of house flippers.
Not Slowing Down
The coronavirus pandemic has not slowed Talley, as his business worked on 20 projects ranging from remodeling home kitchens and bathrooms to larger projects such as apartment buildings fit out for a ground-up multi-family project in Philadelphia and the Main Line area of Pennsylvania.
Talley said that success and confidence came when he embrace his faith even more.
“I am a person of strong will,” Talley said. “For a long time I would do things on my own. My parents both died when I was quite young, so I’ve been trying to figure it out on my own for a long time. I got a lot of bumps and bruises and everything else along the way.
“When I finally surrendered and realize that the Lord is guiding me, then I was willing to allow a pastor at my church and administration at my church to be able to mold me to guide me in iron sharpening iron.”
Talley said it was those God-given skills that led him to the construction business in the first place.
“I’ve always had an aptitude for doing things and figuring things out,” Talley said. “From an early age I just had that kind of mentality that you know what I can make this work. I started engaging in construction, then encountering other people who were craftsmen or carpenters and electricians. I just picked it up.
“I also had the luxury of having a father-in-law who was a master at everything. So my father-in-law was instrumental in helping me and he told me you’ve got to do this so that’s how I got started.”
Talley said he started doing home projects and his craftmanship caught the eye of an architect that led him to doing construction work for the City of Philadelphia.
“I went on to bounce around from company to company working with some of the larger construction companies in the city of Philadelphia,” Talley said. “When the bottom fell out in 2008, I was downsized and what I thought was the worst time of my life. It actually turned out to be the best time of my life.”
Now with a track record of more than a decade of construction service with a firm he can call his own, Talley said he has built a trust â€“ literally and figuratively â€“ with many of his clients.
“We understand how important trust is in a general contractor or construction manager client relationship,” Talley said. ” Due to this, our clients rely on us to serve on their behalf, ethically and responsibly, and with a fiscal responsibility that is a top priority.
“Our construction company conducts our relationship with small businesses the same as we do with large businesses. Respecting both with the same passion. Together with attention to detail, we focus on customer satisfaction. Our selection of experienced workmen and or women will work around the clock to assure our customers have complete satisfaction,” he added.
Talley said one of the things he would be interested in is doing a television home renovation show, often seen on the HGTV.
“Last year we were contacted by a production company asking if we were interested in hosting a show,” Talley said. “It really wasn’t the kind of show that I wanted to do so I declined the offer. But I’m hopeful another will approach.”
Talley said while the construction business has been a blessing, more so has his 34-year marriage to wife Kimberly and their three children — Anthony Nelson 33, Alexander Edward 29 , and Ashleigh 22.
“We try to let faith be the catalyst to anything we do,” Talley said. “Even when we do charity work.”
Talley now had found his own space in the Philadelphia area’s construction world with a little bit of faith and his own determination and skill.
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