For many people, losing a job unexpectedly is a traumatic experience, causing undue stress and financial strain. But Sky Valley resident Chris Schlegel looked at it as an opportunity.
Gifted with a background in construction, Schlegel worked for Cadman in Redmond for 15 years before deciding to shift gears and go to work for a different construction firm. Unfortunately, a month after he was hired, the company closed its doors. He knew that starting a septic services company would be a great way to be his own boss while taking care of his family, so he invested in a truck.
He founded A Sky Valley Pumper in 2015 and hasn’t looked back.
“I just always had septic pumping in the back of my head,” Schlegel said. “So, I saved up money, bought a truck and here I am.”
Based out of Schlegel’s Sky Valley home, A Sky Valley Pumper is 100 percent family-owned and operated, offering septic cleaning, pumping, filter repairs, drain cleaning, drain-field maintenance and drain-field preservation. Schlegel operates A Sky Valley Pumper himself, with the help of one part-time employee. Serving both Snohomish and King counties, A Sky Valley Pumper serves industrial, commercial and residential customers, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Schlegel is making a name for himself as reliable, expert in his field, honest and hard-working. Earlier this year he earned major accolades from Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce Director Debbie Copple, who called him for help during a crisis. The septic trouble was at Ole and Marlene Carlson’s house, cherished members of the Sultan community known for their great capacity to give. And the timing could not have been any worse, as they had a house full of guests at the time of the failure.
Ole’s health had deteriorated drastically, and their home was filled with visiting family members who had arrived to say their goodbyes.
Schlegel was able to respond to Ole and Marlene’s home right away. He not only fixed the issue they were having, but used his expertise in the field to proactively identify another clog, and fixed that one too. To Schlegel, he wasn’t doing anything special. It was all in a day’s work.
“I was being myself and trying to treat the customer right,” Schlegel said.
His level of customer care at the Carlson’s home is not unusual. A Sky Valley Pumper boasts an assortment of five-star online reviews.
A 1999 Monroe High School graduate, Schlegel lives near Sultan off Mann Road with his wife and three kids. He and his wife have been married for 11 years but have been together for far longer, as the two were high school sweethearts. They live near the river, and enjoy spending time outdoors.
When Schlegel isn’t busy spending time with his family or taking care of his customers, he loves both hunting and fishing.
Schlegel intends to keep his company local and accessible. His goal is to grow within the parameters of remaining a small business, as he loves the close-knit environment and more attentive level of employee care. Five years from now he sees himself continuing to serve the Sky Valley and beyond, perhaps with the added capacity of an additional truck.
“I don’t want to get too big,” Schlegel said. “I’ve been in small companies and I’ve been in big ones, and it seems like the big ones aren’t as fun.”
For more information about A Sky Valley Pumper, please visit Schlegel’s website at: http://www.askyvalleypumper.net/.