Presenting RERA member Ryan Miller of Luck Dog Painting
Ryan Miller, owner of Lucky Dog Painters in Sonoma County, is a man with a storied past and an eye on the future. Since the early age of seven Ryan was good with a brush. His mom would clean houses and do wall papering and tiling; and Ryan helped her make extra money by painting the interiors.
Though born in Colorado, growing up Ryan lived all over the country. His storied past includes a fascination with the world of magic, which prompted him to become a performer. Ultimately, he moved to South Lake Tahoe where in 1996 he launched Wise Guy Productions. Doing standup comedy and magic at such revered venues as Harrah’s, Harvey’s and Caesars, he became known throughout the area as “Magic Ryan”. Magic then brought him to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he studied and collaborated with some of the top magicians in the world.
And there’s more – multitasker extraordinaire, Ryan managed to earn two AA degrees from Lake Tahoe Community College. Subsequently he earned his degree in speech communication from Cal Poly while teaching snowboarding and achieving journeyman status as a painter running paint crews for several San Luis Obispo companies.
Ryan always considered Colorado his home. So, in 2004 he moved back to Colorado to be closer to his grandparents and to help with his brother’s landscaping business. Painting had always been Ryan’s go to job for making money. When his brother got him a big painting job requiring him to get a business license and to have insurance, Ryan founded Miller Painting. Having settled in Boulder, over the next seven years his company found success in the suburbs surrounding Boulder and Denver.
On the move again, Ryan headed to the Bay Area. As a journeyman painter working for multiple Bay area companies, he earned his California contractor’s license in 2015 when he launched Lucky Dog Painters named in honor of his loyal dog Yanna. He has always considered himself an artist, and he brings that artistic eye to his work as a painting contractor. Ryan and his team have been painting houses leaving a trail of artistically stunning paint jobs and delighted customers.
Although attention to detail and an artistic eye are what he brings to his work as a painting contractor, it’s Ryan’s commitment to honesty and integrity that drive his team development and client relations. He carefully vets his employees so his clients can be sure that the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy honest and polite. Says Ryan, “Yes, I’m looking for a high skill level when I hire, but I’m also looking for integrity, a good personality, and upbeat attitude”.
Ryan and his team can do commercial work, but homeowners are really his niche. “We can do the whole house inside and out. I’m a two-coat-plus painter.” He laughs and adds, “And primer is not a coat.” When he speaks of his work as a painter, his excitement and enthusiasm come through loud and clear. It’s easy to see that this is a man who loves what he does and is very good at. Knowing he’s exceeded his customers’ expectations, Ryan says, “The best part is when I see the joy on their faces. That’s when I know I’ve done the job right. I’m building a relationship here. When they’re happy I’m happy.”
When questioned regarding what he finds most frustrating about the industry, Ryan says candidly, “I don’t feel the consumer values the quality of what we provide. And it’s reflected in the what we can charge for our work relative to the other trades – plumber, electrician, or carpenter.”
When asked what attracted him to RERA, Ryan answered, “I want to be around other entrepreneurs and contractors who understand what I’m going through. It’s nice to have dinner with contractors and other people who are building a business in the trades. I enjoy the challenge. You never know where the next trades relationship will come from.