President and CEO, DFAF Inc. Painting & Decorating
As a woman-owned construction business, DFAF Inc. Painting & Decorating is a rarity. “I’d like to think that I bring a bit of grace, elegance, and creativity to the contracting world,” says President and CEO Kersteen Anderson. Her firm specializes in providing diverse painting services, ranging from residential repaints to custom finishes for hotels and country clubs.
“We do a lot of traditional interior and exterior painting and custom cabinet work, but because of my background as an artist and decorative painter, we offer many upscale artistic finishes.”
Anderson trained in fine art at Cal State Long Beach, and then worked as a scenic artist in the set construction industry for both television and theme parks. After work slowed during an actors’ strike, Anderson relocated to the Coachella Valley and worked for a builder for several years.
“I showed my portfolio to a friend one day and they said, ‘You should be working for yourself,’ and that’s all it took.” “So after a year or so of decorative painting, I got my contractor’s license, hired a crew, and the rest is history.”
Anderson now pays it forward, running an in-house mentorship program for women painters called Realizados Suenos (Realized Dreams). “Because half of my crew is female, [the program] teaches confidence on the job site, leadership skills, creative skills, and empowerment,” she says.
“The desert is a perfect place for my kind of business because it attracts a diverse, highly discerning population from all over the world,” she adds.
It’s also a perfect home. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.
VIDEO: Kersteen Anderson Speaks about her in-house mentorship program for women painters.