Steve Labourdette: A Labor of Love
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SEBASTOPOL – When Steve Labourdette took his first remodeling job as a young man, it was simply a means to earn extra money for an upcoming trip. However, the passion he developed for his work would later blossom into a full-fledged career. “When I was 20 years old, I decided I wanted to do some traveling,” he remembers. “I’d already had some construction experience, so I was able to get a second job doing home remodels to save up some money. I found that I really had a knack for it, so when I returned after six months of traveling, I decided to get back into it. Later, I got my license and started my own company, and that’s how I got where I am today.” Since 1999, Sonoma County residents have been benefitting from Steve’s expertise as owner of Labourdette Construction.
Steve is a lifetime resident of the Bay Area—after living everywhere from the Presidio in San Francisco to Novato, he eventually settled in Sonoma County, where he resides with his wife, Maya, and daughters, June and Eva. “Since I’m the only guy in the house, we have a joke that when we got cats, I made sure they were males,” he laughs. “The truth is I love being surrounded by all this girl power.” When asked his favorite part about living and working in the Bay Area, Steve cites its versatile population. “There are so many different types of people here. I’ve worked for CEOs and winemakers, and I’ve worked for people who punch a clock, so it’s been a neat opportunity to build relationships with folks from all different walks of life.”
Outside of work, Steve enjoys a variety of pastimes, from playing acoustic guitar to outdoor activities such as hiking. “I love to go on hikes to the beach, in Annadel or on any West County trail,” he affirms. “I also read a lot, and I’m a fairly avid gardener.”
In his life and work, Steve espouses the importance of personal authenticity. “I went through a difficult time as a teenager, and when I opened up to my dad about it, he gave me a quote I hadn’t heard before: ‘Be true to yourself and no one can deceive you.’ It was just what I needed to hear at that time. I think it really helped me become who I am today, and it’s something I continue to live by.”
When asked what he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Steve says he’d devote more time to a couple of his favorite hobbies. “I would probably double the size of the workshop I have now and focus more on building cabinets and furniture, which is an aspect of carpentry that I enjoy but currently don’t do much of. I’d also build a recording studio on top of the shop where I could play and record my music.”
Q: What’s your favorite movie genre?
A: I like all kinds of movies, but documentaries are probably my favorite. The first year we had Netflix, my wife and I watched documentaries almost exclusively, and we still watch them often.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: I could be either. Sometimes I stay up late, other times I’m up early—never back to back, though.
Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Fall. I love the nice, mild weather.
Q: Ever have a conversation with a famous person?
A: One time at a Giants game, I found myself in an elevator with Willie Mays and ended up chatting with him for a few moments.
Q: If you had a warning label, what would it say?
A: “Grumpy When Hungry.”