Marin County Sidewall Company founder Peter Sutton loved the shingled home he grew up in, but he never imagined himself working in the trades -- he wanted to be an artist.
After graduating with a degree in ceramics, Peter's brother asked if he'd like to join him on a summer job shingling houses. Peter agreed, and was amazed to discover that working and shaping the wood was both challenging and artistically satisfying.
He stayed on long past summer learning the shingling art. A little more than a decade later, Peter realized that he was the artist he wanted to be -- except that he was working in wood instead of clay. He founded Marin County Sidewall Company in 1985, and with his crew, has grown it to be regarded as the premier sidewall shingling company in the Bay Area.
Peter Sutton, Founder
He would never say it, but others do: Peter Sutton, founder of Marin County Sidewall is a cut above. There are his years of experience — now 34 — since he took a summer job that grew into his life-long career. His values: Caring. Communication. Quality. And certainly not least: his artistic vision. Beyond his extraordinary craftsmanship, Peter brings an appreciation and understanding of color, line and texture to his work. It shows.
When Peter is not at a client site, he's probably at a campsite, involved in the fine art of fly-fishing for trout. Pete lives in Petaluma and has three grown kids, all who think their dad is the bomb.
Ryan Millerick, Foreman
Ask him what appeals to him about his job most, and Ryan Millerick, "foreman", will say he enjoys keeping the shingle style alive. His interest goes beyond the aesthetics to a deep personal connection. As the fourth generation of his family to live in Sonoma and work in the trades, he had a chance to see just how long something well-built can last.
I’m motivated by trying to be the best at what I do, Ryan says. “And what I appreciate about Marin County Sidewall is that everyone else here feels the same way.
Juan Garcia, Journeyman
"Journeyman" is the perfect designation for Juan Garcia; because he is all about the journey. He's the one who is carefully watching every step of the way to make sure each cut, and every placement is just right. The other guys may razz him a bit for his extraordinary attention to detail; he says he just wants to make sure things are done right. (They are, of course.) Juan takes similar pride and joy in spending time with his wife, Mischelle, and their three children.
Nick Sutton, Master Craftsman
Nick Sutton was shingling houses the summer when his brother, Peter, graduated college. Nick asked if Peter would like to join him on the site, and the rest is history. When Peter ventured out to start Marin County Sidewall in 1985, Nick joined his crew. "Watching Nick do shingles is like watching ballet," Peter says. "There's such ease and flow in what he does. Not a move wasted.” Nick is also an accomplished pianist, potter and yogi; however, he holds his loving family, now including a grandchild, as being his greatest accomplishment.