How the heck did BuildWitt get started, and who is the man behind the brand? Aaron Witt didn’t come from your typical blue collar background, and that’s part of what makes his story so interesting.
Aaron’s connection to the blue collar world started with a passion for saltwater aquariums, which is how everyone gets started in the construction industry, right? “When I was a sophomore in high school, I needed money for my saltwater aquarium, but I was a broke kid,” he says. “A friend’s dad told me that he would loan me $300 if I spent the summer paying him back with interest doing manual labor at his ranch in Montana. That’s where I learned how to work.”
A couple of years later, Aaron’s love for getting his hands dirty led him to take a job with a storm drain construction crew in his own upper-class Phoenix neighborhood, which is definitely not a typical summer job for most kids who grow up in affluent families. While he enjoyed the work itself ― “it’s hard to feel bad after working your ass off all day” ― he found that he appreciated the people even more. “Construction workers don’t complain,” Aaron says. “They just get it done, and they have a ton of fun doing it.” As he spent the summer crawling around ditches in the scorching Arizona heat, grinning from ear to ear most of the time, Aaron realized that he wanted to spend his life making a difference in the construction industry.
Aaron always knew that he wanted to start his own company, and now he knew which industry he wanted to work in. During college, he took a different construction job each summer, to give himself the experience he would need to eventually start BuildWitt. “I was a laborer my first summer, then I worked as a pipe layer and equipment operator,” he says. “After that, I went to work on the railroad in California, and my last summer I spent blasting and quarrying up in Washington.”
By the time he finished college, he realized that social media could be his meal ticket. “I had all these pictures and videos from my time in the industry, and there wasn’t really anyone on Instagram sharing their experiences in construction.” Aaron started his @buildwitt Instagram account to share the photos he had taken at job sites throughout college, along with some new images by flying his drone over sites.
It’s hard to feel bad after working your ass off all day.
Instead of starting a construction company as he had planned, Aaron realized that his social media status could be the basis for a marketing business. Today, he uses his self taught photography skills to capture compelling images of construction and mining sites, using those pictures to help blue collar companies all around the world attract new employees.
“BuildWitt gives me a lot to talk about,” he says. People are curious. They want to know what I’m doing, and why I’m in a different place every week.”
Hard work is the quickest way to earn everyone’s respect.
While he’s trying to improve hiring practices in every corner of the industry, Aaron recognizes that many companies are still stuck in the past. With that in mind, his main pieces of advice for getting started in the blue collar world are as old-school as they come. “Convince someone to give you a shot. I used to just walk onto job sites and introduce myself,” he recalls. “Get out and meet people. Once you get a job in the industry, work hard, listen, and then work harder. Hard work is the quickest way to earn everyone’s respect.”
If you want living proof that there’s no one set path into the blue collar world, look no further than Aaron Witt. He knows what he wants from his life, and won’t stop until he gets it. If you feel the same way, perhaps it’s time to give the world of construction and mining a shot! You don’t need experience or skill, you just need a willingness to get your hands dirty.