BEHIND THE BIZ // Joe Proud of Cadence & Co
Meet Joe Proud! We chatted with Joe about work, life and what he loves about creating amazing spaces and homes for clients of Bowral-based Cadence & Co.
1 // How did working in the construction industry start for you?
I was a late bloomer. Both my parents had quite successful corporate-based careers and I imagined myself following them and ending up in an office somewhere. I tried lots of different things, did a few technical jobs, worked in spare parts for an automotive company and dabbled in technology but nothing really stuck.
In my early twenties, I realised I needed a change. I opened up the Trading Post, saw a job for an apprentice carpenter and rang the number on the ad. There was no interview, I got one phone call saying be here on this date at this time and ended up working there for four years! We worked in the Eastern Suburbs so did mainly high-end residential work, mostly renovations.
I started my own building company in Sydney before I moved to the Highlands.
2 // So how did the Southern Highlands end up becoming your home?
Tracy and I got married here in 2011. We were living in Sydney and did multiple trips here looking at venues and eventually settled on Sylvan Glen at Penrose. The more we visited the Southern Highlands, the more we realised we wanted to start our married life and raise a family here. We moved to Bowral a year later.
3 // You now head up the Cadence & Co Southern Highlands team. How did that come about?
In 2017, I was contacted by Darren Mills, Director of Cadence & Co about a project in Burradoo he was looking at doing. We entered into a partnership arrangement where we built a house for a client of his. The project took about two years and, in that time, it was clear I worked well with Darren and Mark Campbell, the other Director of Cadence & Co. I liked the way they ran their business and we got on really well which is always important.
Darren and Mark were keen to do more work in the Southern Highlands, so in July last year we formalised things, went into business together and I now run the Cadence & Co team in Bowral. Darren and Mark split their time between the Sydney and Bowral offices and are very much involved in the business here.
4 // Cadence & Co work on some amazing projects. What do you like about those sorts of builds and renovations?
I enjoy doing large scale renovations. For me, it’s the challenge of marrying in the old with the new making it work architecturally and giving it a seamless finish. In recent years in the construction industry, there has been a trend towards fast and furious and one size fits all builds. Sometimes that means the quality of the build and the end result gets sacrificed. And the skills of the tradies are minimised. That sort of build doesn’t interest me.
I love creating beautiful spaces and building something that is meaningful for the people I am building it for. We build bespoke spaces specific to our client’s needs.
5 // What’s been your favourite project to work on and why?
It would be the Links Road project that I first worked on with Darren and Mark. It’s a timber frame home and being a carpenter it was pretty special seeing that go up. Of course, there’s a lot of steel in it too. We had the time and budget to create something of an extremely high quality with beautiful finishes.
Look, the building industry is not for the faint hearted. It’s stressful and can be particularly challenging when you’re dealing with different personalities, budgets, timelines, supplies and everything else that goes with building. But we came through this job with happy clients (who continue to work with us) and it was a pleasure to come to work every day.
6 // What do you enjoy about working in the Southern Highlands?
The commute to work! Being from Sydney I have battled with traffic since I was 17. It was nothing for me to be expected to commute from Lane Cove in the north west to Mascot in the south every day. You just lived with it. You didn’t even realise how stressed and angry you were when you were caught up in the rat race there!
When I moved here, my first job was at Wildes Meadow. I had to pinch myself on my morning commute that I was here and driving through amazing countryside was how I got to work.
It really impacts the way you turn up to work and how you come home from work. It’s made a huge difference to my mental attitude, that’s for sure.
7 // What do you love about living in the Southern Highlands?
I love the climate and the people and the affordability. Sydney was great if you could afford to live there and do all the awesome things it had to offer, but if you’re spending most of your time driving in traffic and trying to make a living it can be a bit of a slog.
Our kids – Ruby, 10 and Theo, 6 – go to the local primary school. My wife is a psychotherapist, although she’s not practising at the moment while she oversees the kids learning at home because of current circumstances.
We love the family vibe and community here. I often think, why didn’t I move here twenty years ago?
8 // So this is a bit of a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question, considering what’s happening in the world at the moment, but what does the future hold for Cadence & Co?
Interestingly, we’re getting a lot of enquiries at the moment. Maybe it’s people spending more time at home and thinking about the work they need to do!
We’re here for the long haul. We will make it through this and come out the other side even stronger. We’re reliable, our company is stable, our team will always turn up and they’re backed up by an amazing team of experts. Cadence & Co is here to stay.
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