Mr./Mrs. Fix It Handyman Services LLC

Owner Malik Brown completes program to start business


Malik Brown, right, owner of Mr./Mrs. Fix It Handyman Services LLC with his wife and business partner, Shafon Brown, left, and two of their three children.

CLEVELAND TINKER/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 1:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 1:44 p.m.

Malik Brown is taking advantage of the Job Training and Entrepreneurial Program sponsored by the Gainesville Housing Authority lending him a hand as he grows and expands his handyman business.

Brown, 28, is the owner of Mr./Mrs. Fix It Handyman Services LLC, which specializes in exterior and interior building demolition, janitorial, maintenance and painting services. The motto of the business is "If We Can't Fix It, It Shouldn't Be Broke."

Brown said the "Mrs." part of the name of the business recognizes the work that his wife, Shafon Brown, 25, does for the business.

"She handles most of the paperwork and the administrative part of the business," Brown said of his wife of two years.

The couple has three children: two boys and a girl ages 2 to 8.

Brown, a business administration major at Santa Fe College, said he is very grateful for the help the housing authority provided him to get his business off the ground. Established in 2012, the purpose of JTEP is to empower residents to build their own wealth and provide them with economic opportunities.

"They gave me the knowledge and led me in how to get everything started," said Brown, who lives with his family in a housing authority unit at Woodland Park apartments off Williston Road and 4th Street.

Brown said he would advise anyone interested in starting their own business to research what it will take to go through the process. He said it cost him more than $1,000 to complete the process of getting his occupational license, but adding it has been well worth it in the eight months he has been in business.

"Most of my work comes from local gas stations and the Gainesville Housing Authority," said Brown, who moved from the notorious Overtown neighborhood near downtown Miami with his wife and three children two and a half years ago because he thought Gainesville would be a better place to raise his family. "I started doing this kind of work when I was 17 years old and living in Miami, and working for different agencies and businesses down there taught me that doing a quality job is very important."

He said moving to Gainesville was a wise decision because he is "making so much progress in my own business than I would ever imagined I would be able to do in my life, and it makes me a proud father."

He said he realized his business could be successful after receiving his first contract from the housing authority to do work on one of its units.

"We are extremely proud of the work Malik's company is doing for the housing authority," said Regla Exavier, JTEP coordinator with GHA. "He has been a part of the JTEP program for a little over nine months and has already accomplished so much. We are confident that if he continues on this path he will be very successful."

Brown said his business is unique because of the effort he puts into making sure all of his work is of the highest quality.

"I don't get any complaints about my work, only positive and encouraging comments about everything I do on a job," Brown said.

Brown also said he works in an efficient manner. He said he recently had a demolition job to do on a 1,500-square-foot home. He said he demolished the bathroom, pulled up the floor tile, tore down cabinets and knocked down three walls.

"It took me two and a half days to complete that job, and I did it perfectly, because as I said before, I believe the quality of my work is the most important thing," Brown said.

Brown said he has four employees who he pays with business checks every two weeks and he said he pays payroll taxes and is above board with everything he does. He said he believes in doing things the right way.

"My guys are able to file their income taxes with the IRS, and if the IRS wants something from me, I can turn it in with no problem," he said. "It is very important to make sure everything is in order with your paperwork because if it's not, that's fraud, and you can go to jail for a lot of years."

Thaddeus Surrency, 38, said he enjoys working with Brown.

"I love working with him," Surrency said. "He pays me well, and we have two projects we are working on right now. I also like that we feel the same way about taking what we do seriously. We both want the customer to be more than satisfied with the work we do for them."

The phone number is 352-396-4007 or 352-301-1882.

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