Every company has a story and a history, and with Virginia Installations, Inc., it’s founder Jim Barrett’s roots in the Shenandoah Valley are very deep, going back to his sixth great-grandfather and the very first settler, pioneer Adam Miller.
Adam Miller immigrated to America from Germany and settled in Lancaster County, PA in 1724. Upon hearing about a lush Valley in Virginia, he and his wife relocated and staked their claim on the south fork of the Shenandoah River north of what is now Elkton, VA. You may recognize it as the land surrounding the Bear Lithia Spring.
Jim Barrett didn’t know it at the time he moved to the Valley to attend James Madison University that he was a direct descendant of that first settler. But like Adam Miller, he fell in love with the beauty and culture of the Shenandoah Valley and settled here as well to raise a family and start a business.
Jim’s Beginnings in Construction and Management
Jim Barrett’s introduction to construction came at an early age, in helping his father build specialty products for use by the U.S. military in the family home’s basement. Together, they produced highly specified government items in volume, such as small speaker cabinets and battery tester cases. It was during that time that Jim learned the importance of attention to detail as well as staying on production schedules—the basis of his success to this day.
Moving to Virginia in 1984, Jim worked in a high-end cabinet shop in Barboursville, VA, where he further honed his construction skills.
Jim also learned a few things about how to run a small business. After graduating from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA in 1991 with a BS degree in Business Management, he was recruited by Walmart to be in store management. Performing this role for three years in several Virginia locations gave him experience that would prove invaluable in both business management and retail.
Leaving Walmart, Jim worked briefly for a construction-based company before launching his own contracting business in his garage, using $6,000 borrowed on a cash advance. It was a bootstrap operation at first!
Virginia Installations’ History Begins with Organized Living Products
Jim began by offering Organized Living’s wire shelving line to contractors and grew his company alongside Organized Living®, adding products as they became available and training installers. As contractors preferred full-service, one-stop shopping, the demand led Jim to include shower enclosures, mirrors, bath accessories, door hardware, and stall partitions in the product line.
In 2002, Jim purchased the 6,000 square foot building at 104 5th Street in Elkton, VA, a former feed mill dating back to the late 1800s, for design, production and inventory. Here the business flourished as contractors came to know and trust the company. An experienced team and a fleet of vehicles enable Virginia Installations to provide the exceptional quality and service they’re known for.
A Family Owned and Operated Business When growth demanded additional employees, Jim turned to his own family to create a true family owned and operated business.
In 2011, after returning from military service in Iraq, Jim’s son Joe Barrett rejoined Virginia Installations, where he had worked since his teenage years. Active in the U.S. National Guard, Joe was again deployed in 2016-2017 to serve his Country in Qatar. He now serves in the roles of General Manager and Sales for the company, coordinating scheduling, overseeing installations, and providing quality control.
Joe’s wife Savannah Barrett joined Virginia Installations in 2019 in the roles of Installer, Warehouse Manager and Customer Care Specialist.
Jim’s son-in-law Ron Moore joined Virginia Installations in 2016 to oversee production, installations and customer service, and now operates a subsidiary business, Moore’s Glass and More, Inc., providing glass for shower doors and partitions.
In addition to family members, Jim also hired trusted long-time employees.
The History of Virginia Installations Includes the Best Reputation for the Best Quality
Throughout its history, the team at Virginia Installations constantly strives to provide the best possible experience for each client, and builders and homeowners return again and again due to the fine products, good reputation, hard work and dedication the company provides.