Featured Employee

Meet Vitor Estanqueiro

At Southern Staircase, we take immense pride in our team of dedicated professionals who embody our commitment to craftsmanship and innovation. Today, we shine the spotlight on Vitor Estanqueiro, an exemplary member of our family whose passion, expertise, and unwavering dedication sets the standard for excellence in our industry. With Vitor’s unparalleled skill set, creative flair, and relentless pursuit of perfection, he exemplifies the values that define Southern Staircase. Join us as we celebrate Vitor’s invaluable contributions and the mark he leaves on every project he undertakes.

1 – How long have been an employee of Southern Staircase?

I started working for Southern Staircase, out of the Washington, DC branch, in November 2nd 2015, 8 years ago. However, my story with Southern goes way back to circa 2004 when I completed my fist job as an independent subcontractor out of the Raleigh, NC branch. I will always thank Mr. Phill Wallace for taking a chance on the new guy in town 20 years ago.

 

2 – What is your background and how did you start this line of work?

I’m a Portuguese European 3rd generation carpenter, and I started my career at 15 years old. Initially as my dad’s apprentice and later, as I gained his trust and grew my knowledge, side by side with him. My apprenticeship consisted of literally watching my dad work for a whole year before I was entrusted to handle any type of working tools or make any cuts. I worked under his mentorship for 8 years after which I ventured on my own at 23 years old and I have been blessed to have done countless projects in various European countries and in most of the Eastern Coast in the US, since then.

My Dad was not only my Mentor but the Stair Master, everyone respected and called upon. I’m forever grateful for the impact he had in my life, not only as a father but also professionally and I’m deeply honored to be been able to continue his legacy.

 

3 – What about your role do you like? What do you get excited about?

I feel that my position in the company gives me a great sense of belonging furthermore offering me the opportunity to fully implement all my acquired knowledge not only on the field, but also while assisting my colleagues and our clients thought out the various project stages.

I am very passionate about my job and I still get very excited, when I start a new complex project like I did in the beginning of my career. I love how the unexpected obliges me to be open-minded, flexible and creative. How the challenges speak to my internal engineer making me have to come up with solutions to seemly impossible dilemmas, devise my own tools and find new ways of doing things.

It’s my belief that out of all the various facets of carpentry, stair installation is the most demanding and most rewarding of them all. And I can honestly say that despite having over 35 years of experience I’m still learning every day, and this everlasting discovery is what excites me the most about my job.

 

4 – What are your favorite types or jobs or projects?

I appreciate all styles of staircases ranging from Contemporary & Modern Designs to Old World Monumental & Victorian styled Staircases. And although I like working with all materials, I have a preference for Wood and Iron because I find them to be the perfect canvasses which allow us to showcase a complexity, craftsmanship and beauty not achievable with other materials, such as glass and cable, for example.

 

5 – What advice would you give to someone who is interested in this type of work?

I know it might sound like a cliché but it really makes a difference to do something that you love and are very passionate about. This line of work requires above all, a lot of: patience, hands-on-learning, hands-on-experience, persistence, be willing to take risks and not be afraid to fail. It’s indispensable to find a good mentor and if possible, gain an apprenticeship. And to always remember, as my father used to say that: “The tools don’t make the carpenter, it’s the other way around”.