Ani Bogovic took a road less travelled on her construction career journey. Before starting her own company, she worked in marketing – first for an advertising agency, and then for some of the bigger players in the construction industry, learning the ins and outs of home building and renovation. This role got Ani out of the office and onto job sites, where she loved the freedom and how much there was to learn from those around her.
She calls it “a leap of faith,” but from there Ani said it seemed like a natural progression to take the skills she had amassed and apply them to her own projects. Thus was born Dekla Developments – “Dekla” being Slovenia for “girl” and the Lithuanian goddess of fate and destiny.
And it seems as though building (or better building, more specifically), may just be Ani’s destiny. “Being a jack of all trades will serve you well, but you have to be master of some,” she points out. She integrates energy efficiency into her projects – building Energy Star-certified homes (or better) that are up to 25% more efficient than their traditional counterparts. “There is nothing more satisfying than integrating new products to provide a better house for the same amount of money. I’m open to doing things differently; and with that comes a better product for the homeowner.”
Construction, Ani points out, has given her the ability to make money and be self-satisfied. She credits her success to the fact that she loves understanding all facets of the business and never pretends to know everything. “I learn new things on each project and make challenges into opportunities. No two days are the same. No two properties are the same. The different challenges are what make it fun. But you have to be willing to learn.”
Ani also helped found Women in Construction (WINC), an organization of professional women in the industry, whose purpose is to use the experience, skills and networks of its members to help those in need in our communities.
For women who are thinking about getting into the trades, she notes that the stigma is getting better, and stresses to “Ask questions and surround yourself with positive and supportive people. It’s like anything – it boils down to the personalities. You have to earn the respect, just like any man does.”
Though Ani has proven she is a force to be reckoned with in the construction industry, she remains humble, observing modestly, “people are amazed by what I’ve done, but for me it’s just been my evolution.”