A Better Opportunity
Ecuadorian immigrant chases the American dream as owner of Super LLC Environmental Services & Shot Blasting
For Ecuadorian native Tailor Dominguez Sr., the decision to leave his home country in 1995 and settle in New Jersey was one based on economic opportunity. “In my country, even if you have a career, [the economy] is really bad,” says Tailor Sr., who still has a heavy Spanish accent even though he’s spent over two decades on the East Coast. “That’s why I came to the United States—to find better opportunity for my family.”
With a wife and toddler daughter to provide for, Tailor Sr., who was 26 at the time, initially got a job as a construction laborer. He spent much of his time working in the fields of asbestos abatement and demolition. “It was really hard doing this kind of business, but I learned,” he says. After a year, he was promoted to foreman, then after that became a supervisor—all the while gaining diverse experience as he handled different tasks and mastered various pieces of equipment and machinery. He sometimes worked two to three jobs at a time; eventually, he saved up enough earnings to fulfill his personal American dream: to open his own business.
Living the American Dream
In 2006, Tailor Sr. founded Super LLC Environmental Services & Shot Blasting (Super LLC) in Haledon, New Jersey. Catering to clients in both the private and public sectors, the company specializes in asbestos abatement, mold remediation, lead abatement, demolition, concrete shot blasting, sandblasting and water blasting, excavation and hazardous waste management.
The business has a portfolio brimming with various types of projects, ranging from commercial and municipal to health care and education to residential—and much more. Staffed with about 25 employees, Super LLC performs about 80% of its work in New Jersey, but has also done jobs in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York.
“My company is a union company,” Tailor Sr. adds. He pulls workers from the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 78, a chapter that represents 4,000 union employees in the area. He takes pride in hiring from the union because each of his workers is highly skilled and dependable and has received extensive training to recognize and avoid potential hazards on the job.
Building a Solid Business
Even with the support of a talented and reliable team, Tailor Sr. has faced many challenges as a business owner. The biggest, he says, is the language barrier. When he first started his company, many people declined to work with him because they struggled to understand his broken English. To overcome this obstacle, he hired a native English-speaking person to serve as the face of the company and help him coordinate jobs.
He also turned to The Blue Book Network® for help in building his company’s reputation and developing a solid client base.
“One of the best things that happen to my life, to my company, is Blue Book,” Tailor Sr. says. “Robert Mazzatta from The Blue Book showed me how to do business, how to make money, how to get contacts. I like the Blue Book, I tell you the truth from my heart, because I get so much work.”
Tailor Sr. takes pride in fostering strong relationships with his clients and tailoring the company’s services to suit each customer’s specific requirements. This approach has earned him much repeat business, including from the city of Paterson in New Jersey. At the time of reporting, Super LLC was wrapping up a project for the city involving the former Paterson Armory building on Market Street, which was destroyed by a massive fire in 2015. To make way for a planned mixed-use apartment and retail complex, the city selected Super LLC to knock down the historic structure. The team was also tasked with preserving certain building components, such as 300 pieces of architectural stone, to be used in the new development. According to Tailor Sr., his company’s reputation for properly handling this type of complex work is one reason Super LLC won the bid for the job.
Another recent project took place at a church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which also had been damaged by fire. Super LLC was contracted to perform interior demolition while keeping the building shell intact. After shuttering the approximately 7,000-square-foot structure to avoid damaging the walls, windows and exterior metal construction, workers removed all interior items by hand.
No matter the size of the project or the task at hand, the team at Super LLC is committed to conducting itself with proficiency, professionalism and integrity. “All customers are important for us,” Tailor Sr. affirms. “We never walk off our jobs, even if [a customer] owes us money. We just get it done—and we get it done the good way,” he adds.
Prospects for the Future
Thanks to steady business, a now 53-year-old Tailor Sr. is contemplating early retirement. “I love this country—it’s given me everything I want,” he shares.
He hopes to pass along the business to his three children: oldest daughter Leslie Tamara Dominguez and 18-year-old twins Tailor “David” Dominguez Jr. and Tayan Dominguez, who were born in the U.S.
What started out as a one-man operation is now a family-run company. Tailor Sr.’s wife, Angela, whom he says has always been supportive of the business, helps with supply orders and accounts payable/receivable. Leslie, who is 26, handles payroll and Tayan is the Office Manager. David helps his dad with preparing takeoffs, estimating and setting up proposals.
“I like that we are constantly moving and doing things—it’s never boring. I shadow my dad to learn how to interact with people, learn the terminology, and understand how to work the machines properly and safely,” says David, who is also attending college to study architecture. “I can see myself having a career here. Now that I understand things more, it’s getting easier.”
Tailor Sr. enjoys sharing his industry and business knowledge with his children. Eventually, he hopes they will feel comfortable enough to take over the company so he can return to Ecuador and have some much-deserved personal time (he hasn’t taken a vacation in 26 years!).
“It’s a big responsibility—they will have to work hard,” Tailor Sr. says. He plans to return to New Jersey regularly so he can help them as needed.
For David, working alongside his lifelong mentor has been a great experience. “I like that I can ask him anything. He makes me feel not stressed and helps me manage my time between work and college,” he says. Also, David is grateful to share in the legacy his father has carved out for the family. “We’re some of the first of our whole family to be here in the U.S. My dad sacrificed a lot for us, and I want to make him proud.”