Quality lasts a long time—which is why Charles David's Sons, Inc. has been in business since 1895. For over a century generations of local families have depended on this mainstay business in the heart of downtown Watertown, Wisconsin.
“The store was originally established as a paint store and painting contractor by my grandfather, Charles David,” says owner John David. “Today we also provide window treatments, a sign shop, and picture framing.”
Born in Watertown, John worked in his father’s store as a teenager before leaving to attend Indiana University. He taught U.S. history at Watertown High School for several years before joining the family business in 1972. He also served as mayor of Watertown from 2001-2007.
“I learned from my father the number-one key to business success is customer service,” says John. ”We bend over backwards to do whatever we can to meet our customers’ needs. For example, if a customer’s in the middle of a job and comes in for more paint and we happen to be out, we’ll drive to Madison or Milwaukee to get it that same day so the customer won’t be inconvenienced. Almost all of our suppliers are local, which allows us to get to know them really well.”
John and his staff learn about the products they carry by using them on their own home projects. “Over the years have used almost everything we carry,” says John. “That’s the best way to determine quality. We also take into account recommendations from other dealers, commercial painters who tell us what works best for them, and of course customer feedback as well.”
The store strives to keep its prices low. “We are pretty darned competitive, even with the big box stores,” comments John. “For example, our paint ranges in price from $15 to $42 per gallon, suitable for any budget. We carry Pratt & Lambert Paint because of its long history, complete line of products, and the fact it flows nicely, covers well, and is easy to use.”
If there’s a problem with a product, the return policy is hassle-free. “We always help the customer troubleshoot the problem first,” says John. “Maybe it’s not the product—maybe it’s a problem with the application or possibly the prep work. We try to figure it out, but of course if the product is defective we replace it at no cost.”