The Otten family, by its own description, is a “big, rowdy bunch.” How big? Well, 13 siblings big. All of them are now in design or construction, largely owing to the fact that their grandfather started them out early in his woodworking shop, having them assist on projects and letting them use the shop for art projects and school assignments. Plus their father started a kitchen and bath business, which provided them with a solid base of knowledge and experience in the remodeling industry.
“Our dad was born and raised in Brazil,” explains Marketing Director Tanya Otten. “He worked hard with the hope of achieving the American dream and told us if we worked hard, good things would follow. We often talk about him instilling that work ethic in us.”
A quarter of a century ago, her brother Jeremy launched Select Surfaces, a full-service custom quartz countertop company. Three of the siblings — Dan, Jerome and Tanya — joined in the venture. “We grew up working with our hands, surrounded by design and construction,” she notes, “so not only did it become second nature, but early on we developed a love for it.”
From there, they built the business on a reputation of providing quality products, installing them with incredible precision, and standing by their work for life. They have also recruited and retained employees they knew their clientele would trust and love as much as they do. Production Coordinator Mark Kroll, for example, started as an apprentice at age 17 and is now a partner in the company (not to mention an honorary family member). “We’re constantly crafting our team, services and offerings to ensure that we match demand and that we deliver what we’re promising,” she says. “If you put something out there, you have to know you can stand by it.”
But what matters most to them is that feeling of family and the ties to many Minnesota communities. Now their children help out around the office when they aren’t busy horseback riding, playing hockey or practicing with the swim team. “We love sharing our appreciation and getting clients involved, too,” Tanya explains, citing a recent event held at the newest Select Surfaces showroom that benefited a local dog rescue. “It’s not all about us and our business. It’s about supporting our local communities and being an integral member of the design and construction industry. We love what we do, and we love sharing our knowledge and success with those around us.”