Building a Better Lifestyle with Jared Gossett
By Briana Loëb
When Jared Gossett was in the fifth grade, a career consultant came to his school and talked about all the different things that the members of the class could grow up to be. He told them they could become anything from firefighters, to doctors, to chefs, he even brought up the term “entrepreneur.” 11-year-old Jared had no idea what that meant, but he knew he wanted to be one.
From a young age he was finding odd jobs, like selling candy to the construction workers in the neighborhood or mowing lawns on his street.
Equipped with an industrious mindset, Jared grew up with business ownership in mind. He got his bachelor’s in Business Administration and even obtained a master’s degree in Accounting. He then made his mark in the financial industry, all while fostering a background in real estate development. After everything crashed in 2008, he moved to Austin, which was one of the better markets in the country during that time.
Deciding he was done working for anybody else, Jared got into home building. That’s when he fell in love. “I love being out on the job sites,” Jared says. “For me, it wasn’t like one of those stories where I always wanted to be a home builder. I fell into it and realized that this was perfect for me.”
Of course, like with most founders and business owners, he endured an emotional roller coaster ride. “My partner and I refer to it as blind optimism,” says Jared. “You take the jump and think ‘I’ve got this; it’ll be a cakewalk.’ But some time later it suddenly hits you. ‘There’s nobody other than me that can fix my situation or make the success happen.’ In my case, that’s the point when I went from blind optimism to some healthy panic.”
Since 2009, Jared has been an owner at Gossett Jones Home, Inc., and his urban custom homes have been turning heads and winning awards ever since. And unlike most of the players in this industry, they don’t focus on the bottom line in order to reconcile cutting corners. “We made the conscious decision to sacrifice a bit of our margins and our profitability in order to obtain higher quality,” says Jared. “If we can deliver craftsmanship with uncompromisingly high quality and maintain profit at the end of the day, I consider that the definition of success.”
The experience has been filled with ups and downs. “I’ve learned a lot about focus,” Jared says. “I have found that when we are intentional and focused, our results are outstanding. The times when we lose that intention or become scattered is when our results start getting scattered, as well.”
The home-builder hasn’t done it alone, either. “I’ve also come to know that you live or die by the quality of people you surround yourself with. I think I have one of the best teams in all of Austin. So you have to invest in top talent. If you cut corners in that area, you’re doomed.”
The business has shed the notion that bigger is better. “Better is better,” Jared says. But his take on “better” isn’t just what you’d expect. He’s envisioning the next level. He’s left the realm of cut-and-dry behind long ago. Jared spends his spare time studying biohacking so that he can incorporate health and wellness into every dimension of the spaces he creates.
The EPA has calculated that Americans spend an average of 90% of their lives inside. Between our homes and our offices, the time we spend in these spaces is critical to our health and performance. Jared treats the home as a system to be optimized at every level. It probably goes without saying that this is a remarkably unique take on the homebuilding industry.
“LED lighting is becoming more and more popular,” Jared says. “The issue with LEDs is that they emit an insane amount of blue light. Blue light can trash your sleep, since it suppresses your melatonin production, which is necessary for you to regulate your circadian rhythms. If we can simply optimize the light systems to promote health and energy efficiency, we can build someone’s home to be just that much better. We don't realize that things even things like the lights that we take for granted can be completely health-robbing.”
The thing is, we’re just scratching the surface. “Skin is our biggest organ. We have so many toxins and pollutants that we bathe in every day,” Jared passionately continues. “Putting in a rainwater collection system or a reverse osmosiswhole-house water filtration systemfeature or taking some additional steps with indoor air quality can make a huge difference. Unfortunately, a lot of new homes are brimming with VPOCs, polycyclic volatile organic compounds. It has become standard, and we can create homes with fewer VPOCs.”
That’s not even the half of it. Between infrared saunas, cold plunge pools, and far more features than the average consumer could even begin to imagine, Jared is dedicated to turning the household into a place where clients can thrive.
It hasn’t all been easy, either. “I’ve made more mistakes than I can count,” recalls Jared. “One valuable mistake was trying to expand into New Braunfels. In my heart and soul I’m an urban home builder, and what we’re doing is unique, which works well in Austin. We might have succeeded in a subdivision out there, but it wasn’t true to the soul of the company. We’d need to sacrifice quality in order to even compete with what’s already out there. I’d rather shut down and close our doors than build something that doesn’t align with my core values or that I’m not proud of. That’s one of the biggest learning lessons I’ve encountered.”
Not only is Jared passionate, he is well-researched. He has put time and care into learning about these components so that he can incorporate hyper-performing, health-conscious features into each new site.
Jared cares about the health and well-being of his clients, but his heart is even bigger than that. Obviously, he is searing with passion for his work, but ultimately, he wants to make a larger dent. A firm believer in the “teach a man to fish” method, Jared has embarked on a mission to impact impoverished communities across the globe. “I heard about the Toms Shoes model and thought ‘How can I incorporate that into my life?’ The one-for-one method is easy to quantify, so that’s what we’ve done,” says Jared. So about a year ago, he went to a little pueblo outside of Tijuana and built homes. “It was some of the best days of my entire life. These families have nothing, they are sleeping on dirt floors, or have five children to a bed while the parents sleep on the floor. The gratitude that they have for the small investment we’re making is amazing. It’s life-changing. For me, that was one of the highlights of my entire entrepreneurial journey. I got to use my skills and passion to do something truly fulfilling.”
Jared’s company has partnered with a non-profit called Club Dust out of California. The operation is already set up so that for every house they build here, they can also build a house for somebody in need.
This young Austin home builder has constructed a fulfilling existence, and he’s crafting his corner of the world to be better and better every day. His own life is better, too. “It’s a completely different mindset, a new mentality. Whenever I have a check to put in the bank, it’s so much more than a dollar value. It’s something that I fought for, that I created out of nothing. That’s the best feeling, and my favorite part of being an entrepreneur. That, and wearing jeans to work, of course.”
That 11-year-old boy had no idea what was in store for him when he decided to become an entrepreneur. He sure would be glad he did.