Bossier’s business community is thriving and features a wealth of different careers and jobs. One local entrepreneur has seen success by focusing on providing a service for homes.
DJ Sepeda is owner of Ark-La-Tex Garage Doors in Bossier City. The company installs and repairs garage doors, gutters, and performs concrete coating for both residential and commercial clients. In fact, the company recently finished a couple of projects at Barksdale Air Force Base and counter shutters for the concession stand at the new Airline High School baseball field.
“One of the things I love about the garage door business is the different curb appeal for your home and business. We like to do things that no one else has, or will do,” DJ said.
DJ started working for a local garage door company in 1995, eventually working his way up as head of the company. In 2009, he and his wife Teresa, started DJ’s Garage Doors Company.
That grew out of his love for the construction industry, which even surprised DJ because he originally studied to to be a physical therapist. But the freedom and simplicity of driving to his installation locations, meeting new people, doing his job and going home stuck with him.
“I didn’t have to worry about anyone standing over my back all day. I got to meet new people and see new things every day,” DJ said. “I can’t tell you why I decided to start my own business, but we took the leap of faith and have never looked back.”
In 2013, he partnered with Rowdy Prince to form Ark-La-Tex Garage Doors, and that lead to the pair buying out Bayou Overhead Doors in Monroe.
He said that he doesn’t really see himself as a business owner, instead he enjoys being there to support the people that work for him every day. He’s also able to manage two stores about 1.5 hours apart because of his stellar staff in Bossier and Monroe.
“We communicate well together, so I’m a couple of days here and a couple of days there. The biggest benefit to Bayou is that they are a mirrored image of us at Ark-La-Tex, so it wasn’t a huge challenge taking over,” DJ said.
DJ credits the success of Ark-La-Tex Garage Doors to their variety of services. Hey says the idea to expand their services came about from a conversation with a supplier.
“We had always looked at adding something to offset the slow time of the year,” he explained. “And the concrete coating is not just for garages. We do a lot of driveways, patios, and pool decks. We do a lot more outside of the garage than we do inside it.”
He added that their business is based on relationships, specifically, trying to understand the customer, show them value, and build trust.
“I’m loyal to my customers because they’re loyal to me. We do our best to make our customers happy,” DJ said.
But surely, working in close quarters with his spouse is a challenge, right? Not for them, DJ said. He explained that they’ve worked together for years, and do their best to leave work there.
“When we get home we do our best to not talk shop and just focus on family time. It’s never been an issue,” he said.
In fact, Teresa is what kept DJ in Bossier. Born and raised on Barksdale, they met right after he graduated from Airline High School and her family took him in, giving him roots. He said that made sense for him to stay in Bossier and raise his own family, which includes a son and daughter.
“Bossier has always been home,” DJ said. “The economic growth is strong. If you just do the right thing, you can make a living here.”
His favorite thing about working in Bossier is all the relationships he’s formed over the years. He says he has gotten to know many of the contractors in town, with their kids all playing sports together or attending school together.
“The best part is, even if there’s no business relationship, there’s still a friendship there. I enjoy seeing people around town, shaking their hands and saying hello,” DJ said, “which is part of keeping the home town feel of what we do.”