You know the saying: They don’t build them like they used to. When it comes to homes and buildings, that’s usually said like it’s a bad thing. But with a changing climate and changing marketplace, building things like we used to — brick by brick, nail by nail — just doesn’t cut it any more.
Enter modular construction.
The idea isn’t totally unheard of. Prefabricated buildings have been around for decades. But New Iberia’s Tiago Atwi and his brother have brought a new twist on the concept with their comany, Boxy Construction.
Boxy designs and delivers steel framed, modular structures for residential and commercial construction. Think of it like real-life legos. Boxy ships all the parts you need, pre-fabricated with the fastenings and holes you need to set up the building quickly.
Tiago is a mechanical engineer by trade and worked on wind turbines out of college, getting his start on modular construction for a company based in Atlanta. He decided to bring the concept home to New Iberia where he grew up. And Boxy was born.
It’s not just building standards that have changed. They don’t make soap like they used to either. Ebony Robert figured that out when her son had a stubborn case of eczema. On a trip back home to visit family in Orlando, her great grandmother encouraged her to make him some old fashioned lye soap.
It worked. And suddenly, Ebony had a good problem on her hands: she needed to make a lot more soap. That journey led her to founding Ebony’s Beauty Hair and Skin Care. By 2015, she was selling her products in stores and online. In 2018, she opened a storefront in Lafayette’s Northgate mall.
The brand has grown tremendously. Ebony’s products are sold by Amazon, Walmart and carried by Doordash. Her shop carries about 3,000 different beauty and wellness products. But her handmade soaps are still the star of the show — and Ebony still mixes, labels and ships them all herself.
In 2020, Ebony opened the Entrepreneurship Learning Academy to help others learn how to run businesses.
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