Michal Johnson: A Hands-On Career
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
ANTIOCH — After working in the petrochemical industry for nearly three decades, Michal Johnson decided to pursue a more hands-on career. “During my 28 years in the petrochemical industry, I traveled a lot and worked in oil refineries all over the nation,” he recounts. “After being transferred to Northern California in the early 2000s, I began thinking seriously about starting my own business. I love working with my hands and had accumulated a lot of home improvement experience from flipping investment properties. I particularly enjoyed working with tile, so that seemed like a good thing to specialize in. I started my own tiling business in 2011 and have been doing it ever since.”
Today, as owner of Grout Works Bay Area, Michal says his favorite part of his job is the artistry involved. “I get excited about doing a tile project and enjoy watching it go from the demolition stage to a beautiful finished product. I also love seeing the expression on the customer’s face when they see it for the first time—that brings me joy.”
Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Michal now resides in the East Bay Area. Outside of work, he engages in a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy traveling, listening to music, going to the movies and spending time with friends,” he details. “I have a lot of family and friends back in Baton Rouge, so I visit there fairly often to see them and get some of that good Cajun-Creole cooking.”
When asked about a professional philosophy, Michal espouses the importance of integrity. “My main philosophy is to be open, honest and true to my word,” he affirms. “With every job, I aim to give the customer 110 percent. By doing my best and doing right by my clients, I’m able to achieve a level of success that I can be proud of.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Q: What kinds of movies do you like?
A: Comedy, drama and action.
Q: If you could instantly pick up a new skill, what would you choose?
A: I’d like to be a stock market expert.
Q: What was your first job?
A: When I was 12, I got a job at the community supermarket cleaning floors and stocking shelves.
Q: What styles of music do you enjoy?
A: Mainly R&B, jazz and gospel.