Step into the world of Loraine and Oscar Sanchez, where their passion for exceptional service meets the vibrant canvas of LIME Painting. Explore how this dynamic couple, with diverse backgrounds in AT&T leadership and international academia, has woven the values of love, integrity, mission, and excellence into their San Antonio home. Join us as she unveils the art of transforming houses into homes, sharing stories of community service, family adventures, and the delectable touch of Oscar’s cooking. Loraine Sanchez will show you what a world-class service looks like. Tune in to this episode so you won’t miss Loraine’s powerful touch of transforming houses into homes.
This is another special episode and our guest has an inspiring story of entrepreneurship. She comes from the world of marketing and is a multi-unit franchise owner. She is the owner of LIME Painting of San Antonio, Loraine Sanchez. Welcome to the show.
Thank you. I’m excited to be here.
It’s most certainly a pleasure and thank you for your time. We are creating the time to help the world level up and share knowledge. Loraine, I have certainly been inspired watching you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, so let’s get into it. Loraine, how did you find LIME Painting?
I have a corporate background. I was in the corporate world for many years. I worked for USAA, AT&T, and McAfee. I was laid off after many years of working with AT&T and decided that I wanted to have my own business. I started to look for a business opportunity and looking into franchising. I got a little scared with COVID because that turned a lot of our worlds upside down.
I got scared and went back to the corporate world then I was introduced to LIME by my franchise consultant who said to me, “I think this would be a good fit for you if you’d like to try it or look into it.” She said, “It’s called LIME Painting. LIME stands for Love, Integrity, Mission, and Excellence,” and I said, “I love that.” I loved the values. I said, “Let me look into it and see,” so I did and I loved the model. I loved the values. I love the people that are behind it, all of you guys that support us. It was good so I decided the leap of faith and just go and do it. I’m excited that I’ve done so.
Many folks think about entrepreneurship and they know it’s right for them. Either it’s not the right timing or they just don’t have it in them to take the leap. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do and it’s not something that you do every day. Loraine, I commend you for pursuing your dreams. Clearly, you are very talented. You are working for tremendous organizations like AT&T, McAfee, and marketing departments.
You had mentioned as you were pursuing franchise ownership, you had a franchise consultant. I heard the term shark realtor where the consultant is like a real estate agent. Instead of showing you homes, they’re showing you businesses. That real estate agent had conversations with you about, “What are you looking for lifestyle-wise? What are your skills and interests? Therefore, what’s going to be the right home and in this case, the right business?” If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank, you are in the tank analyzing these different business opportunities and, ultimately, choosing the one that’s right for you. Why do you think that your franchise consultant knew that a values-based company like LIME would be right for you?
She knew owning a business for me meant making an impact. I think she felt that LIME Painting would help me accomplish that in making an impact in the community and my community. I didn’t want just a business. I didn’t want just to make money. I wanted something that I could make a difference and I love that everything we do has a mission behind it and to serve. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to serve my community and my family by showing them that a female could do this in a non-female-driven industry that I could do it.
Not only in this industry. I have teenage girls that I wanted to show that it could be done and defy the odds. It could be an entrepreneur. Going back to your question, it was about serving and that’s what I love about LIME. What we do is serve our customers, our community, and those who work for us, our artisans, and painters. We serve all of those who are around.
Heart-led leadership and world-class service, clearly, LIME is a luxury paint company and that’s much more than just, “We show up on time. We do a good job. We use high-grade products.” There’s the LIME experience that goes into what we do and so much of that experience is the way that we lead through our values. That is a differentiator in the market. Think about it. How many paint companies do you know that have highly vetted products, work with artisans, and show up demonstrating love, integrity, mission, and excellence?
That’s a pretty dynamic set of values. On one end, you have love and integrity. You have a mission, this give-back component using the business as a way to impact the community. There is this high-performance culture, this standard of excellence that you can’t be a luxury company if you don’t have extreme quality and service. I’ve been able to see that ring through within your business there in San Antonio.
The clearest indicator of that is the reviews that you’re able to obtain from clients. If you look at the reviews, it’s clear that it’s more than just words. You’re living it out and, to your point, defying the odds as an entrepreneur and learning again. I commend you. You’re setting an example for your daughters and your family and making an impact in your community, providing a tremendous service one client at a time. Loraine, how many different business opportunities did you evaluate when you were working with your franchise consultant?
I went through about 4 to 5 different business opportunities and different businesses from completely different industries. It was different. In all of them, I looked at the service component, “How could I use this to serve others?” I always found a service component, but I liked with LIME Painting how there’s a much greater service component all around. It’s not only serving our customers but also serving those who work with us and our families and making it a part of this culture altogether.
Building on that, Loraine, what would you say motivates you?
I know this is hard, making people happy. I love to bring joy to people’s faces and people’s lives. You can’t make everyone happy and I know that, but I do love serving and being of service to others. That motivates me. Challenges also are very motivating to me. I see a challenge as something to step up to and I don’t back down very easily. I don’t see those some may call failures. I see them as opportunities for growth and I love to grow so. Anything I can do to take on a challenge helps make me better and helps it make me better to serve others and bring happiness and joy to those around me. That’s all good for me.
Business ownership brings blind spots, uncertainty, and question marks just because so much rests on your shoulders, especially when you’re in the service industry. Many folks are relying on you. As a new business owner, you have to grow that muscle and develop the ability to ebb and flow within the company. A big part of that is serving people. You have a God-given knack for doing that. Loraine, what does world-class service look like to you?
The adage or the golden rule, treat others as you wish to be treated. That’s the foundation. If I have someone serving me, how would I like to be served? That’s foundational. A little step up is to treat others as they want to be treated. That’s what I think is just a little bit extra because I may want something one way. I’m going to serve the customer as I would like to be served yet understanding who the customer is and how they would like to be served. Listening to them is very important so that I can serve them in the way that they want to be served because it might not be the same as the way I would like to be served. That’s what I feel is exceptional.
Many times, business is treated differently than how you would act in your ordinary life. That’s always been a question mark for me. I’ve never understood how people are able to serve their family and friends one way, yet in business, it is so transactional and bottom-line driven, profits over people. It’s always been at least, for me, a question mark and I can’t relate to it. You said it beautifully there, the golden rule, treat others how you would like to be treated.
Going back to construction and specifically the paint space, there are so little barriers to entry in painting. If you have a truck and a paintbrush, you’re a painter. Clients are exposed to many different varying degrees of what it means to receive a paint job. The golden rule is overlooked in most situations and I can relate to what you experience because we’re in the same business.
Clients constantly say things like, “Nick, thanks for showing up. Thanks for doing a good job. Thanks for answering your phone.” Those things are encouraging and I always get a chuckle. That’s the standard of painting. When you’re talking about things like servant leadership, exceptional customer service, raising the bar, going above and beyond, delivering happiness, and applying the golden rule of serving each person using your ears and knowing what’s important for this. Every client is different.
That’s such a special touch that truly is the LIME way. Loraine, you’re doing something special in San Antonio. I know that with your daughters and family, you’re setting a great example. You’re doing that by providing tremendous value in the market. I’m curious, Loraine. When you think about your business and serving customers, if you’re providing customers exceptional value, what does that look like?
The value is an exceptional job, a very high-quality job that can be seen when they see the job. High-quality vetted products as well are also what I think is a high-quality service. Communication is important, the communication and education in what the job is that’s being performed, the products that are being used, and what we’re doing to complete the job at a high level.
For the folks that don’t quite understand and know, when you’re talking about quality products, could you give some examples? Let’s say that you’re doing a standard paint job. You’re going to paint the body and the trim. It’s wood and paint. It’s peeling. It’s probably been 4 or 5 years past needing to be done and that was at the six-year mark. Now, we’re at year eleven years or so since the last paint job. There’s deterioration going on. We need to do a restoration project. If you’re thinking about what’s average and what my level of value is, how do you perceive a paint project and doing it with quality?
If it’s a standard job like that, the paint peeling, we remove all the peeling and any paint that’s been chipping and move all of that. We check all of the substrates of the wood. We make sure that the wood is in good condition and it’s not soft. If it is in poor condition, then we will change it, fix it, and repair it, ensuring that the surface is good and proper, then we apply Sherwin-Williams pure bond primer. That’s what we do to prime the surface after we’ve repaired it.
We’ll power wash everything to make sure we’ve got all the dirt and prime off. After that stride, we’ll prime it. We’ll seal all of the cracks to ensure a maximum water seal all around the home. We like to use an elastomeric caulking from Sherwin-Williams as well for that. The peel bond primer will seal then we paint with duration paint from Sherwin-Williams as well. It is also a very durable paint that lasts. It gives the customers a good lasting look and protection on their home as well.
You eat, breathe, and sleep that solution. I don’t want anyone to miss out on the fact that the peel bond primer is a very high-grade primer. It’s like Elmer’s glue. When you’re talking about a project that is at the eleven-year mark, we need to come in and superglue those profiles together, those that have been peeled and exposed to the elements, so that when we apply that top coat, it gets a good adhesion.
Something that you mentioned that I love is a maximum water seal. How often do you hear a paint company talk about installing a maximum water seal? Many times, you’re thinking that the paint peeling is the issue. Those joints between the boards and where the windows hit the siding, anywhere where you have surfaces coming together, there needs to be an appropriate water seal there. We need to have a sealant installed in those joints and seams to prevent water from deteriorating those surfaces.
You mentioned elastomeric sealant. That’s a very high-grade sealant, much like the high-grade primer. The duration is no joke, the top coat. That’s a lifetime warranty product. You talk about delivering exceptional value. Those solutions have been highly vetted and there is exceptional value there. If you can think about a project that stands out, I’m sure you have plenty, but would you mind speaking to one of your favorite projects that you’ve been able to complete?
I do have lots of favorites. There was one and it was one of our customers. It was the removal of the popcorn ceiling. It opened my eyes because I didn’t know the power of the popcorn ceiling height. We removed the popcorn ceiling. Right above the dining room table, a support beam from the house had fallen. It had fallen at an angle where the corner was peaking through the drywall.
The support beam was being held by a couple of screws that were very loose. The support beam had bowed the ceiling, which was hard to see with the popcorn. You didn’t even see that support beam. Imagine what could have happened had that popcorn ceiling not been removed. It was an elderly lady that lived there. She lived alone.
If that beam had fallen through, it would have been damaging. We fixed that, supported the beam, fixed the drywall, and made it all look beautiful. We retextured the walls, the ceiling, and all of the common areas. It was beautiful. The customer was thrilled, happy, and felt grateful that we were there to have been able to provide the solution for her because it could have been bad.
I liked that we were able to go in there. It’s something that we thought was going to make it look nice and make them feel good because it was going to look nice. It turned into something that could have saved someone from getting hurt. It made me feel good that we were able to help the customer in that way. That was one of my favorites because I felt like I was able to serve at a different level for my customer and she was thrilled. I liked that.
That is certainly a feel-good story. We serve people. That’s what we do. It’s stories like that not only make a difference in people’s lives, but it inspires us to keep doing it more. Hearing you say that, I can’t help but chuckle because I relate. We have a saying at LIME, “We work in beautiful places for beautiful people and with beautiful people.” I think you see that being played out here.
I thought you would have said, “One of my favorite jobs was a faux project that I did, or doing some LIME wash or a custom stain,” and so many different things, but it comes down to impact. That was a great story and one that I was not expecting. I’m still smiling from it. Thank you. I want to change gears a little bit, Loraine. I mentioned at the beginning that you’re an inspiring individual. You’ve mastered this business and you’re getting in stride in your community and doing something special delivering value and tremendous service. What does the word determination mean to you?
It’s not giving up. It is continuing to find a way. It’s pushing forward against all odds. It’s getting knocked down seven times and getting up eight. It’s about getting up and having a mindset of persistence and knowing that your dreams can come true and you can do and accomplish what you want to. You just need to find a way. That’s what determination is.
I’m always growing. I don’t feel like a master yet. I feel like I’m constantly learning something new and different. I learned from everyone around me. I learned from my artisans, painters, sales team, my managers, and my family. I learned from my customers all the time. I’m always learning something new. I feel like it’s about continuing to learn, grow, push forward, and find a way.
Well said. I’m constantly talking about one of the superpowers of great entrepreneurs is humility. I did not expect you to go in that direction, but perseverance is something that stood out from what you just shared. You combined perseverance with humility. It’s this process of failing forward that creates experience and expertise. That is why you are qualified to do what you’re doing. Loraine, keep doing it. Keep chipping away. You’re certainly an inspiration. When you think back on your life, would you mind sharing a little bit about what you mean by coming from a disadvantaged background?
I grew up in a small town. My father was a Vietnam veteran. He was affected by Agent Orange, so he was ill all of my life. We lived on very little. We were a family of four children. Six of us are in a small 1,000 square foot and two bedroom home, but I never felt poor. I felt full of love. My father was a very loving man. My mother was a very loving woman and a servant’s heart from both of them. It was tough, but it also taught me a lot.
My father taught me how to use a hammer and change my tires, oils, and transmission. I had to learn all of that because we didn’t have the resources to pay someone else to do it. That taught me to find a way. Those challenges in life are opportunities and that’s how I was able to see it as an opportunity for growth and to learn something new.
I was very financially disadvantaged. In our small town, there was a lot of racism, so that was unfortunate to have witnessed and seen that happen, but I was rich in love. It may sound cheesy, but my parents are super incredibly loving. Four children who grew up in a very disadvantaged home and financially all grew up to get college degrees. A couple of us were masters, too, and all were very successful.
It was because we were given lots of love and support. That’s what it’s about. It’s supporting and believing in us. My parents believed there was something bigger for us or something better and we were going to get out of where we were at and make something bigger of ourselves. I’m excited that I’m here doing this. As I said, I’m still growing and learning. I’m doing something every day to try and be a better person and serve better. If my parents were here, they would be proud that I was able to make it happen.
It is this fierce river. You look at it over a bridge, but it is deep and the current is strong. That is what your story makes me think about. So much of what we talked about in the first part of this conversation, you can see the genuine individual that Loraine is. Frankly, I didn’t know this about you. It gives me so much more appreciation for your genuine approach, how you show up, and why.
I love that you said that challenges are opportunities and that is the way that you’ve lived your life. Thank goodness for your parents and for instilling these soft skills into you and your siblings. We’re so grateful to have you here at LIME. Loraine, I would like to ask you. You spoke to some pieces there, but what does it mean to be a minority-owned business and a woman-owned business? Can you give some perspective from your world?
To me, it’s presented some challenges being woman-owned. I’ve had conversations sometimes where I might have someone with me that had nothing to do with a male with me, but instead of a conversation directed at me, it was directed at someone else, at him because, for a female, what do they know? I’ve seen this happen to me. It’s interesting. Again, it’s just a challenge. That person was a client. It was a client who was doing that. I had taken my Sherwin-Williams rep with me. In the end, he recognized what I knew because he ended up contracting us for the job. He recognized what I knew and that I was representing the service and the product well. I had mastered that service for him.
Anyway, I was able to meet that challenge. It presents its challenges, but it’s just a challenge to help us grow. That’s all it is. I see it as one of the few women-owned LIME franchise owners who are women. I feel like I’m challenged to make this a very successful women minority-owned business. Not only for me but for those young girls and minorities who see me and who I can be a role model for and can help inspire and motivate them to follow their dreams or to do whatever they wish to do. I’ve even seen small changes in my girls that look at me. They feel, “My mother can do this.” They see the hard work and it is hard work, but it’s mine. I get to serve and do what I want to do for others with this business. Being able to be that role model for them and other girls is priceless.
Who you are qualifies you to do all of those things. Your perspective, how you’re wired, how you show up, and how you serve are breaking paradigms. You keep doing you and, in time, that will compound breaking those paradigms in all sorts of ways right from the customer who expects, “I’m going to receive a paint project,” and they’re wowed by service to the individual who may overlook you and look past you.
All of a sudden, by the end, they’re wowed by who you are. Again, you’re qualified to break these ceilings and be a leader. Thank you for being a leader at LIME, but more importantly, being a leader to minority, business owners, for women-owned business owners, your family, specifically your daughters, and your community. The more you show up and serve, the more you’ll inspire your peers at LIME. Thank you for your leadership, Loraine. I can’t thank you enough. I told you all this was going to be inspiring. I am learning so much myself. I want to ask you, Loraine. What is your personal best accomplishment?
This is just in the realm. I have a lot of good ones. My family is a big one. Having pulled together a solid loving family is beautiful, but there was something that came to mind that goes back to my father. He was in critical condition in the ICU for his cancer and our little bathroom was falling apart. The mold was growing and I took a jackhammer.
I mowed that bathroom because I said, “He’s not coming back to this bathroom. There’s no way.” He had skin cancer. He had exposed the lesions all over his body and I thought, “There is no way he’s coming back and he’s not going to come back to this ugly bathroom.” I completely remodeled the bathroom and the kitchen by myself in the evenings. I was 23. He was able to get out of the hospital and come home for a short time. When he saw that, he cried.
He said, “Did I teach you all of this?” It was beautiful to see how proud he was of what I had done. I loved that. Another reason why I’m here is I love to renovate. I love to make your house your home and make it feel beautiful and make you happy when you’re in it. He was happy when he walked into that house and my mom was too. They were dumbfounded by the change. That was one of those that relates to what we do here that I think is a big accomplishment that I like to talk about.
Thanks for taking us down the memory lane. What a special moment. It’s servant-led. It’s you, Loraine Sanchez. No surprise being heart-led and surprising folks with your ability to lead with your heart. Who knew, even back then you had this love for renovation? Here you are in a home service business. That is a very heartfelt memory.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been holding back tears, Loraine. You had me move throughout the whole combo, but it does not surprise me. I have one last question for you. We’re a values-based company with love, integrity, mission, and excellence. We kicked off the show talking about it. There’s no better way to end than for you to share what your favorite value is and why.
Love. Love your customers and love what you do. I love my family. I love those that I work with, those that serve the customers, and my artisans. I love my team. I love the people I’ve met through this. If you treat others with love and you love what you do, then you’re going to serve them from your heart and the way they need to be want to be served. It’s just love.
What a tremendous franchise consultant. That’s where my mind goes. Clearly, that individual was able to provide you with an avenue to express who you are through entrepreneurship. You’re living it out and you’re doing it. That’s incredible. There’s no single emotion that is more powerful than love. That comes all the way back to your childhood and your parents instilling that in you and making you rich in love. Your customers, your community the fools that you lead, and who you impact get to benefit from that.
Thank you, Loraine, for taking us through this journey. I am truly inspired. I’m ready to run through a brick wall. I’m certainly going to finish the week strong. I’m having this conversation with you. I mean that genuinely and I hope that you are also inspired by reading this. Thank you for reading. If you would subscribe, that would be awesome. That’s how we’re able to continue to grow and bring thought leaders like Loraine onto the show to help you level up. Loraine, thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate it.
Thank you for having me.
If anybody would like to get in touch with you, how can they do that?
You heard it from Loraine, give her a ping. Drop a comment and let us know your thoughts. As always, level up.
Loraine grew up in a small West Texas town. She earned her Master’s in Business Administration from Texas Tech University. While on an international study program on a Caribbean island she and Oscar met and married. As a graduate of AT&T’s Leadership Development Program she held several management positions from call centers, program and project management to marketing positions. Oscar was born and raised in Cuba. He earned his graduate degree from the University of Havana and became Unix System Admin for the Faculty of Medicine.
San Antonio has been their home for over 20 years. Here they have raised three 3 children, Dr. Oscar Alejandro who lives in Miami, Florida, Miranda, a freshman at San Antonio College and Gianna, a junior at International School of the Americas in San Antonio. The Sanchez family loves traveling, scuba diving, spending time together, serving the community and enjoying Oscar’s extraordinary cooking. Oscar and Loraine are excited to offer exceptional service and help homeowners fall in love with their homes again by carrying out the LIME Painting values of love, integrity, mission and excellence.