When you think of well known local families, you don’t get much more recognition than the Schmudes. One of the four brothers, Damien, has just embarked on a new business venture, bringing the New England a brand new plumbing service …
How long have you lived in the region?
I was born and raised in Armidale, after my mum and dad, Virginia and Karl, moved here from Sydney in 1970. I’ve lived in Armidale for most of my 33 years. My wife Nat, who also grew up here (the daughter of Barb and Trevor Weston) and now works as a nurse, and our three sons, really enjoy being part of the local community. I have three brothers, who with their families also live and work in Armidale, so all of the Schmude’s feel a strong identification with the people of New England and a real sense of involvement in its development.
Where did you learn your trade?
I completed my qualifications at Tamworth TAFE in 2007, and I’ve worked, both as an apprentice and a licensed plumber, for several firms in Armidale. I’m grateful to the experienced professionals for whom I’ve worked at different times. They’ve all helped me build a sound foundation of knowledge in all aspects of plumbing.
Why are you starting your own business?
I feel I’ve gained the necessary experience in plumbing and a sufficient reputation in Armidale to be able to form an independent business. I’d like to be able to make my own decisions on those areas of plumbing I feel I can do best and want to concentrate on.
I’m also looking forward to the greater freedom and flexibility with time which having your own business allows. Having young children, I’d like to be able to balance my work and family commitments as much as possible.
Tell us what special services you will offer.
I aim to provide a comprehensive set of plumbing services, both new and repair work, but I’ll concentrate on a couple of special areas. First, highly effective solutions to serious drainage problems – I have a new high-pressure jetting machine to handle all types of sewer and stormwater problems, and a CCTV camera for showing the exact location and extent of blockages.
A second area I’ll focus on is water conservation. I want to help ordinary householders with water conservation measures that will reduce costs. Managing the use of water is an area of high priority for all of us in the community, and I think plumbing professionals have a key role to play in the process of water management.
Will you be offering employment opportunities at Schmude Four Elements Plumbing?
Initially I’ll be operating as a sole trader, but as my business expands, I’d expect to put on staff – including giving local apprentices the opportunity for training and employment. I’ve always worked closely with fellow professionals in the building and other trades, and I certainly want to strengthen these links as my new business develops.
Why is your new business called ‘Four Elements Plumbing’?
I’ve used the four basic elements of nature – earth, water, air and fire – as they describe the fundamentals of my trade as a plumber. But the basic four elements of my business – what I’ll be striving for all the time – are a prompt, efficient, reliable and friendly service.
Thank you Damien.