Interview by Lisa Drake of the Mansfield Magazine
Q & A with Joan Campbell owner Eckel Enterprises
We are meeting at the Mira Vista Country Club October 2018 for an interview with Joan Campbell. It is a beautiful day with lots of sunshine, with a cool breeze, the temperature just perfect. We are drinking Southern Style Ice Tea sitting next to the blue pool on the patio near the club house.
Joan’s background is interesting having been a Flight Attendant for 35 years, flying to many foreign destinations, as well as many domestic cities. She currently serves her community by volunteering at Bass Performance Hall, downtown Fort Worth. She has escorted orphans to host families for summer visits and children from Africa needing medical procedures. And most recently she has been building houses for families with special needs.
Lisa, What made you decide to build homes after having such a fascinating career?
Joan, One of the flights that I had worked, several years ago, was from Germany to Dallas transporting Military troops home after Desert Storm. That trip was the beginning of a thought process to help the returning soldiers with injuries. I also had two family members that had contracted illness from their overseas assignments and gradually became unable to navigate their own homes. The doorways did not have enough clearance to allow a wheelchair to pass thru. Then the other area of concern was the bathroom not having a way to get in the shower or from the wheelchair to the toilet. This is what started the thought process. If I was to build homes, they needed to have these problems addressed.
Lisa, What makes your house construction different?
Joan, These homes are custom homes built with features I call easy living, or age in place. I just finished two new homes this year, they sold very quickly. What I have done is take a house plan, with open concept design to start. It is called open floor plan because the kitchen, dining and living are all one big area. Then I go in redesign the bathrooms with rollin shower, zero curb and give more space around the toilet area. The doorways are all three feet wide and they are without a threshold to step over at the entry doorways. The sidewalk to the exterior doors are also graded up to the entry with no steps. I love porches, so I make sure the porch is available to the person in a wheelchair. I have had excellent feedback on the homes that I have built using these few changes. One family was so happy, it allowed them to have their mother come visit. This type of home is for everyone not necessarily just for those with special needs.
Lisa, Any new projects coming up?
Joan, Yes. I am looking into tiny homes. My oldest Daughter has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, meaning she cannot live in a standard build with toxic materials. Building for her will be challenging, finding materials, and building small to keep the cost down. There is a greater need for this kind of home than I originally would have thought. This clean build would also help people who suffer from Mold illnesses. I am excited about digging in to find more information on constructing these tiny homes.
Lisa, If you go into other new homes what do you look for?
Joan, You can imagine that I love to look at new construction, gives me design ideas, keeps me stimulated to keep reaching for better newer features. Construction is an area that’s challenging as well as creative always changing.
Lisa, What are your other interests?
Joan, I enjoy sudoku puzzles, reading, and line dancing. My children and grandchildren are very supportive. They like to climb around the construction site and map out the rooms after the frame out. We spend time taking trips to Sugar Beach together, just relaxing on the beach, playing games. The ranch has been another gathering place, camping, cooking out inviting new friends and family to join in on the fun.
Lisa, Very interesting the projects that you have accomplished and what you see in the future.
Thank you Lisa, enjoyed chatting with you.