COOL PEOPLE DOING COOL THINGS
by Amy Lovat
Sophie & Damo from Macfox
‘We both have very defined roles in the business but we also don’t see it as work vs home. We just see it as life. We’re in it together and we wouldn’t have it any other way.’
Macfox call themselves the ‘building nerds’, so naturally, they’re already my cup of tea. Also, they have a cute doggo named Fox, so there’s another couple of cool points. Meet Sophie and Damo McIntosh, the legendary married couple who are turning the building industry on its head and working their way to world domination. And by world domination, I mean creating an awesome, hard-working team to bring your home-sweet-home dreams to life.
At the beginning, it was just Damo heading off to building sites, with Fox in the back of the ute. Now they’ve got a solid little team and are in the midst of some exciting projects here in Newcastle. Their speciality (other than building sweet houses and renovations)? Getting as excited as you are about your project. These two absolutely ooze enthusiasm, to the point where I was freaking ecstatic about the plans for my new house… Which doesn’t even exist… Nor does the deposit… #writerlife.
Tell me how Macfox came to be in existence…
Damo was working as a site supervisor for another building business. I (Sophie) was working in marketing and was miserable. My mum asked me what I’d do if money wasn’t an issue and I told her I’d team up with Damo and renovate houses. So we both quit our jobs, she gave us some cash, and we did just that. We renovated our first home, sold it, paid Mum back and used the rest to launch Macfox.
What inspires you every day?
Damo: I love seeing our team learn and achieve each day. When I was looking to get a start in carpentry, a builder took a chance on me. Now it’s my turn to return the favour to our young guys and teach them everything I’ve learned.
Sophie: I think handover is my favourite day; handing over the keys to a completed build and seeing our clients’ excitement. I always cry. It’s that moment that makes all the stress and long hours worth it.
How do you survive living and working as a married couple?
We both laughed when we saw this question. My first response would be that we don’t! Just kidding. Wine helps. We think every close professional partnership is like a marriage, really! It’s like any skill – it takes practice. We get better at it the longer we’re in it, but yeah, we have our days!
What’s the main message behind what you do?
The building industry has a bad rep; we know that, but we’re trying to change it. Building doesn’t have to be intimidating and stressful. We’re not like every other builder. You can actually enjoy the process! It’s a big deal, building or renovating your home, so we try to make it an experience that you can look back on fondly.
What would you like people to know about the faces behind Macfox?
That it’s not just Soph and Damo! It’s Jacko and Dan, Max and Sam, Nick, Kyle and Emma. Our days don’t start without coffee. Communication, quality and our reputation mean more to us than our bank balance. We bring our dogs to work and we sing onsite. Terribly.
What does the future hold for Macfox?
We’ve grown from Damo and the dog to a team of 10 in under two years, so for now we are focusing on upskilling the team we have and setting our sights on more challenging builds. Maybe one day we’ll take a holiday?!
Tell me about your dream for an ideal society/country/planet…
We just wish for more kindness and compassion, patience and understanding. Life is hard enough to endure, why make it harder by being a jerk?
Who is the coolest person you know?
Damo: My little sister Amy – because she doesn’t care to conform. She’s so unapologetically her.
Sophie: My mum. She’s far from ‘cool’ in every sense of the word but she’s so content with who she is and what she has. And we’re doing this really cool Macfox thing thanks to her.
What does cool mean to you?
We really don’t think we’re cool at all. But I guess we’re genuine, we’re taking a risk and having a crack. And we care about people. We try not to sweat the small stuff and see the bigger picture. We think that’s a cool attitude to have.
Get in touch with Macfox at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out their website macfox.com.au and follow them on Instagram @macfoxbuilding!
Read the full interview at www.coolpeoplecoolthings.com