Sandra Hofmeister moved from Florida to Frederick in 2010, when her husband was hired by NIST. She immediately embraced the farms, parks, Downtown and, most of all, the people. How did she go from being a CPA to one of two finalists in The Frederick News-Post’s 2021 Best of the Best contest for Best Roofing Company? We asked this unconventional, determined entrepreneur and she shared her inspirational story with passion, humor and warmth.
How did you get from moving to Frederick in 2010 to starting A&S Construction in 2020?
I discovered at a young age that life is a journey and takes you to unexpected places. My father was a WWII Veteran. He was expelled from his country by the dictator, became a diplomat, met my mom and the rest is history. We spent time in different countries until my parents settled down in Peru.
When I arrived in Frederick, I didn't want a long commute to a job. Instead, I stayed local to work for a roofing company...I was new to the industry and had no idea about measurements like square foot and yard, because my world was the metric system. It was hard to learn...but I was determined and spent my nights studying...Eventually I was promoted to production manager...As the only hispanic woman working at the company, I was overseeing everything…until a layoff due to Covid-19.
What does A & S stand for?
My husband’s name is Andrew and my sister’s name is Angela. (Angela lives in Peru, but we are very close.) These are the two people who I care about the most. And, “S” is for Sandra. So, it’s A&S.
The reason I chose “Construction” and not “Roofing” is because I plan to grow. I want to expand to siding, windows, decks, etc. Right now I’m focused on roofing because that is what I know best. I’m taking my time to grow. I’m a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right.
What are some qualities about you that set you apart in your industry?
I am a woman-owned company based in Frederick! I am a part of the community. If you need me, I can take care of you ASAP because you are a priority—you’re like family.
When you call, I am the one who meets with you...I don’t send a sales person...I go myself with my technician...And, during the install, 99% of the time I am there.
As the owner, I want you to feel special. I think people appreciate this special attention...I love and enjoy this very much...I want my customers to know I will take care of them. I’m always there to serve them.
When you started your business, what resources in Frederick did you tap into?
A local business owner told me about the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. I joined…talked with a mentor…attended classes…participated in networking…watched a ton of videos for marketing, sales, bookkeeping; Every. Single. Thing. I. Needed.
I have met a lot of wonderful people through the Chamber who really care and have been instrumental to help me grow my business.
What would you tell young women?
I want the young girls to know that there is a lot of opportunity in the trades. Do not be afraid to enter the trades…There is great money to earn…It’s going to be more challenging because you have to fight harder. But, here I am. I survived!…I consider myself an unconventional woman. I don’t follow the path that everyone else does…At this time, everything is possible. You can do it all!