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Meet Thiago Silva of Thiago’s Painting in Marlborough

Today we’d like to introduce you to Thiago Silva.

Thiago, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Welcome to my “American Dream.” It all started in Brazil, a little over 12 years ago when my wife, Zélia and I got married and decided to move to the United States two short months later. We embarked on this adventure for the endless possibilities and looking for more opportunities to better our lives, mainly financially so we could also help our families back home. We arrived with two suitcases, $2,000 dollars in our pockets, a lot of enthusiasm… but we were also full of fear… fear of the unknown, after all neither one of us had ever left Brazil before, didn’t know a word in English, plus we had left everyone and thing we knew 4,000 miles away!

We lived humbly in Brazil… I was in the military after working 6 years as a baker even though I was only 20. When we moved to the United States we were welcomed by Juliana, my wife’s cousin who was already living here for many years and was kind enough to help us out in the beginning. After searching for a few weeks I got a part time job at a local Brazilian bakery, this was in fact the only thing I knew I could do. It was only a part time job and I needed a real full time job. One day, while at a local Brazilian market Juliana saw a note that this person named Allan had left looking for someone that could help him paint his own house and since I spoke no English Juliana called and told him she knew just the guy… and that he had “some” experience… except I did not.

So, the next day there I was in front of this market waiting for Allan to pick me up and, a few minutes later he arrives driving this luxurious SUV that I had never seen before, tall guy, smoking a cigar and with a really nice sense of humor. I did not speak any English and of course he did not speak Portuguese (he thinks he knows Spanish), but we managed to communicate with each other pretty good! He took me to his massive house where he taught me how to paint even though he wasn’t really a professional painter. So, I then proceeded painting the entire house, inside/out, working 40 to 50 hours a week at his house while keeping my evening part time job as a baker. I must have made a good impression because after couple of months working in his mansion I was finally done and Allan started recommending my painting skills to his family and friends and, before I knew it, I was traveling house to house in a small car, carrying step ladders on the back seat and completing small jobs.

I continued with my evening part time job as a baker, painting during the day and somehow I managed to take English classes couple days a week. While attending an English course I met Edson, a friend who later became my business partner when we decided to start a painting company in 2007 called “Sky Painting.” The only problem was that we didn’t have enough work so, we started the business taking subcontract jobs from larger painting companies while doing side jobs for our own customers. After about a year, things weren’t really going as planned financially and Edson decided that it was time for him to move back to Brazil with his family, so I kept the business… then changing the name to “Thiago’s Painting.” and continuing to take subcontract work for another year until I was finally able to stay busy with my own jobs. This is exactly how Thiago’s Painting was born and how my “American Dream” was starting to become reality!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth road? No way!

Starting my own business was a learning curve. I advertised in the wrong places and spent plenty of money where I didn’t have to spend (my wife didn’t know this part), but I believe that the biggest challenge I encountered since I am an immigrant was the language barrier. I attended a few classes, but mostly learned from working with Americans, day in and day out. I pride myself because after only 6 months I already had the so called “broken English” and in two years I was doing pretty good!

Another big challenge I faced was my age… I was in my early 20s when I started the business and I always looked younger and most people wouldn’t take me seriously. When meeting with potential customers for quotes they would often ask, “Are you the owner of the company?”… I must have heard it more than a thousand times… and no one would really care what my response was… almost like they doubted me. I’m 33 now and every once in a while people still ask me the same question, however, thankfully I was able to build a strong reputation that trumps my young appearance.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Thiago’s Painting – what should we know?
Thiago’s Painting is now a well-established painting company that accepts interior and exterior painting projects to either, residential or commercial customers. We are located in the heart of Marlborough, MA servicing most of the Middlesex County plus parts of Norfolk and Worcester County. All of our services are backed with a two year warranty and our main focus is on customer satisfaction. We do everything we can to make sure that each and every customer is 100% satisfied at the end of each project.

As a company, I am definitely most proud of the teams that I have, I’m gratefully for been able to find employees that are trustworthy, loyal and deliver excellent work every single day.

I believe that the strong/solid reputation we have built during the last 10 years plus the quality of work we provide is what sets Thiago’s Painting apart from others… after all, my company took off by happy customers and word of mouth.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I am blessed with the most supportive wife a man could ask for. Zélia has been by my side through thick and thin, always trusting my business decisions and never once doubting me. Without her hard work and dedication, our American Dream would still be just a dream.

My friend Allan, he not only taught me how to paint, but also encouraged me to learn English and start my own business, he always held me to high standards. His guidance has been an integral part of my success, I’ll be forever grateful for all his help!

I can’t forget my sister, Larissa that always supported me and my brother-in law Landerson. They came to the United States a few years after we arrived. Landerson joined Thiago’s Painting and has helped me since the very beginning, he’s definitely one of the main reasons we got where we are today!

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