Sunday, November 18th, 2018

S Shopper Stories


Excellence in customer service and quality

by Angela Slevin

Owners and cousins Guy and Chris Arney

Owners and cousins Guy and Chris Arney

Cousins Chris and Guy Arney, Virginia Beach natives, recently threw their lots in life together and formed their own painting business. This venture has been 20 years in the making, with both men taking their own personal journeys, but always sharing in each others’ lives along the way.

Guy graduated from Bayside High School, and went on to attend TCC. There, he studied Programming and Social Science but ultimately decided to go in a different direction. He went to West Virginia to attend the Charleston Job Corp Center’s  building and apartment maintenance program.

It was there that he found that painting was his niche. While he learned all aspects of building and apartment maintenance, he liked painting the most. So, when he returned to Virginia Beach, he started his own painting business. He took a break to serve two years in the Army and was stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia. There his job was HVAC, but when his painting skills were discovered, the Army put them to use. Huge buildings in need of a fresh coat of paint, such as the motor pool, were his responsibility. When Guy’s time in the Army was over, he returned  home, and immediately got a job as a painter for a very large apartment complex of about 700 units, painting a few apartments a day, five days a week.

“When meeting
at a prospective client’s home
or business, we like to
hand them an estimate before leaving.
We don’t send an impersonal email
days later.”

—Chris Arney

“After that, I went to work for a contractor who mentored me,” Guy says. “He was very skilled in all aspects of apartment and building maintenance, and in carpentry in particular, but was also knowledgeable about all that goes into maintaining apartments, such as electrical wiring and plumbing.” Guy continues, “I learned these jobs at the center, but observing a skilled professional firsthand and working along side him was invaluable.”

Guy’s depth of experience started to grow. He worked on restorations, million dollar mansions, and high end properties in Ghent and at the oceanfront. Over time, in addition to being a painter for his mentor, he became his right-hand man.

Chris attended Green Run High School. One day a firefighter named John Coston spoke to the students about firefighting. “I remember talking with John, and something just clicked for me. I started volunteering as a firefighter, and realized that was what I wanted to do,” Chris explains. That was confirmed even further one day when, driving down a road in Virginia Beach near the Meyera Oberndorf Library (then the Central Library), he saw that a portrait studio was ablaze. He pulled over to see what was going on. All of a sudden a huge man came bursting through a fence, knocking it down. By way of explanation, he said, “I’m Kurt Southall with the Virginia Beach Fire Department.” Young Chris was very impressed by this man’s courage and strength. “I’ll never forget that day,” Chris  remarks.

Knowing the importance of education, Chris attended TCC before beginning his official career as a firefighter, and has served Virginia Beach for 21 years. He currently holds the rank of Captain at Virginia Beach Fire Station #9. A few years ago, he decided to continue his education and graduated from Arizona State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

The idea of the cousins becoming business partners took shape slowly. Over the years, they talked fairly often about doing something together. Guy did work at Chris’ home, remodeling the kitchen, painting and more. They both kept going back and forth, but the time was never right for both of them. One day, Guy called Chris about working together again, and this time Chris was ready, too. They both had felt the desire to be entrepreneurs for a long time, and dove in head first.

Chris handles the sales, marketing, and administrative tasks and Guy takes care of production. His almost 25 years of experience in painting, restoring and leading crews  has given him an instinct about choosing the appropriate paint for each surface, maintaining quality and choosing the best people to work with.

Chris and Guy complement each other well in terms of skills, but also in personality. One will speak up for the other, making sure modesty doesn’t prevent them from letting their true selves shine through. They share a dry, deadpan sense of humor that makes laughter erupt spontaneously. Yet, their work ethic is strong and they strive to provide excellent customer service, keeping their work area clean while doing a thorough, high quality job.

“When meeting at a prospective client’s home or business, we like to hand them an estimate before leaving. We don’t send an impersonal email days later,” Chris points out. Chris and Guy will discuss the various aspects of a given job, set the client’s expectations right away and, in most cases, print out a free estimate on the spot from their vehicle.

“And we make sure we arrive on time. It’s important to our clients and it’s important to us,” Guy affirms.

“And we make sure we arrive on time.
It’s important to our clients
and it’s important to us.”

—Guy Arney

Guy and Chris are ready and fully qualified to complete any interior or exterior job, whether refreshing a guest bedroom or powder room for the holidays, or transforming an entire home. And why not kick off the coming new year with a snappy new paint color in a home office, or a soothing hue for a physician’s waiting room?

Family is important to the cousins. Chris shares his home with his 19-year-old daughter, Reyna, who is a student at TCC, and two lovable dogs, an Italian mastiff and a toy poodle. Guy and his wife of 20 years, Gina, are the parents of Alyssa, 22, Olivia, 14, and Oliver, 10, and the grandparents of 1-year-old Aurora. Guy enjoys outdoor sports such as mountain biking, skateboarding, running and surfing. He plans to run his first half marathon next year.

Growing up, Guy and Chris always spent the holidays with each others’ families, and they continue the tradition with their own families. But working together has brought about an even better outcome than they expected. “As kids, we didn’t have the opportunity to spend time together a lot; our families could only get all of us together a few times a year. Now, we see each other every other day; it’s as if we’re making up for lost time,” Guy smiles. The great relationship between the cousins will surely translate into a strong business venture and many happy clients.

Please note that the phone number for Perfection Painting Pro printed incorrectly in the December 2017 issue of The Shopper. The phone number listed on is correct: 757-243-1200

Perfection Painting Pro