The dream team

2560 1707 In Good Company | Northern Rivers

Joel Jensen Constructions

113 Elliott Rd, South Lismore

The dream team

Despite the pressures of running an award-winning construction company, there’s one thing Joel Jensen strives to do every day.

“I love picking the kids up from school,” the father-of-four says. “My wife, Britt, drops them off each morning, and I’m there in the afternoons.”

That’s just one example of the teamwork happening behind the scenes to make Joel Jensen Constructions the successful business it is today.

However, it hasn’t been an easy journey.

The business started when Joel was a FIFO worker at the mines in Queensland and Britt was studying her teaching degree.

“After I’d finish work at the mine for the day, I’d do quotes for the business at night,” Joel recalls. “Then I’d do the jobs during my two weeks back home. We had a little house in East Lismore and our garage was full of my gear and supplies.”

Eight years later they have 20 employees, a string of building awards, and a stellar reputation on the Northern Rivers.

And while Joel’s name is on the branding, he says it’s Britt – a “positive, productive realist” – who holds everything together.

“No-one can truly understand what she does behind the scenes,” he says. “She manages the business and our finances, juggles the four kids and runs the house. It’s incredible. I had this dream and she not only backed me, she jumped right in and has been alongside me all the way.”

Britt was also there with her optimism and business nous in the dark days after the February and March floods.

Although they had personally lost so much – everything at their South Lismore depot was destroyed – Joel and Britt stepped up to support their staff and the broader community. 

“I wanted to keep paying my team, even though we couldn’t work. So, we got in our trucks, got our machinery out, and started helping people,” Joel says. 

“We went on a rampage for four or five weeks, going door-to-door in Lismore, helping mates. We went to Woodburn and Broadwater. We worked massive days and not a single person in our team complained. It was very special, now that I think about it.

“She manages the business and our finances, juggles the four kids and runs the house. It’s incredible”

“But for the business, it was an extremely difficult time. We couldn’t pay our bills; we couldn’t finish any of our jobs. We were in a pretty dire situation. 

“I said to Britt, ‘I can’t see a way out of this, we’re buggered’. And she said to me, ‘Joel, what else would you do in this life that would make you this happy?’. She was right.

“We got back into it and doubled our workload. In one month, we had 18 jobs on the go. We have been very busy.”

But the stress took a toll on Joel’s health. 

He ended up in hospital after suffering “thunderclap headaches” and is now actively working to manage his mental health.

Moving forward, Joel and Britt’s main goal is to get the business “humming” once again.

They’ll also pursue their pre-flood plan to build a new office and showroom on land they own in South Lismore – the development application was approved just days before the flood hit.

“To me, success is walking around my hometown of Lismore, wearing my JJC shirt and holding my head high,” Joel says. 

“We’re proud of the work we do – we support community events, we sponsor sports teams, we host work experience students, we train apprentices.

“Our biggest thing in this business is customer service. It means so much, and it costs us nothing. We have a reputation for high-end, quality work at honest prices. We’ve also built trust with our suppliers and trades. We use local suppliers in everything that we do. Our staff are our family.

“We’re not in this to make more and more money. Britt and I want to create a life we enjoy.”

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