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Meet the Estate Partners Shaping the Orange County Community | ICONIC LIFE

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Meet the Estate Partners Shaping the Orange County Community

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Greg Sims

Estate Partners prove that collaboration and connection are the keys to success.

"Ifeel like I’ve found my tribe,” says Moya O’Neill, founder of Moya Living.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road, often accompanied by the challenges and overwhelm of running a business. Estate Partners is an Orange County-based peer group of business owners that are like-minded artisans, craftsmen and subcontractors who have found a way to be better together. 

By bringing together ten non-competitive trades to the most discerning architects, designers and builders, the collaborative group has been able to meet new clients, scale their businesses and have fun at the same time.

“Our goal is to help each other as people as much as business owners,” says Natasha Hogan, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Dugally Oberfeld, who chairs the group. 

Estate Partners meet twice monthly and host beautiful events like client appreciation dinners on the beach, local outings and annual retreats with guests to celebrate the best design execution. They gathered on Catalina Island in 2023 which included touring the private, historic El Rancho Escondido working ranch since the 1930s and private tours of the casino. 

Photo courtesy of Catalina Island Conservancy

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This year, Estate Partners took in the natural wonder of Joshua Tree and treated invited guests to a rare tour of the private Kellogg Doolittle High Desert House, a residence that few gain access to.

“Being in Catalina and seeing a lot of important builders, architects and designers allocate their valuable time to be there reinforced the power of this group collectively,” says Josiah Lilly, Creative Energy Officer for EPIC Ceramic & Stone.

Estate Partners home by EPIC Stone

Project Credit: Epic Stone Photo by: Larry Falke

In addition to the ten core members, guests included the most impressive architects, builders and designers in Orange County, all aiming to get to know each other better to elevate the local design industry. And have fun.

“We fill our cups when we come together,” says Sam Hirsch, CEO of Richard Marshall Fine Flooring, who says the group has provided so much more than business for him.

“We bring together this whole group of people and no one feels like they have to compete with each other; we’re all pulling for the same team,” adds Dave Penton, President of Fluid Dynamics Pool & Spa, who also shared that his business has grown because of his involvement with Estate Partners. 

Estate Partners Pool

Project: Fluid Dynamics Pool & Spa Photo by: Douglas Hill Photography

Estate Partners Founder and CEO of CANTARA Jason Voorhees, shared the origin story with me. 

As a young business owner in 2009, he was knocking on construction trailers in high-end communities to develop his business. Quickly, he noticed he was not alone and asked himself, ‘What if we could cooperate and not have to invent our own wheels? What if the best in every category came together because birds of a feather flock together?’ And at that moment, Estate Partners was born. 

“Today, we collaborate at a high level because we trust each other. We share our experiences on projects, problem-solving with each other. Over the last five years, the group has solidified extraordinarily with a deeper connection that has become powerful personal relationships that function as your best business friends ever, even more, best friends ever,” says Voorhees.

Estate Partners gathering

Photo courtesy of Estate Partners

“I love meeting someone and finding out I want to be friends with that person. And then when you look at how we can support each other, it’s truly magical,” he adds. 

“I have made some strong relationships with Estate Partners. I’ve known most of the people in our group on jobs for years, but I didn’t interact with them more than passing by. Estate Partners has allowed me to get to know them at a much deeper level and spend more time together to get to know them and their story. It’s really powerful,” says Lilly.

“We are friends, and we talk about the dynamics of being a business owner,” says Hogan, who brings in a business coach for the group multiple times a year. 

“We’re not a networking group—we’re more like a Vistage or EO—but we have our structure that holds our group of ten Estate Partners together,” Hogan adds.

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“The structured part of it is critical. It creates cohesiveness in the group. We hold each other accountable for being at each meeting. If you’re not making the meetings, you’ll get a call. Overall, it’s been super beneficial to me from a business perspective, marketing and all around,” says Penton. 

“We all approach our businesses with different strengths and weaknesses, so when we talk about issues, we can bring that unique perspective, expertise and point of view to each other. I leave these meetings thinking, ‘I can do that better.’ Learning from each other makes my business better,” says Hirsch.

“As business owners, when challenges arise, you can feel like you are on an island. It’s reassuring to talk to the others who could be having some of the same challenges,” says Lilly. “We share resources and leads and help each other find the right partners. We all try to support each other; I work with most of the members on their projects; it’s like a fraternity; we’re all looking out for each other.”

“The value of the group isn’t one big thing; it’s a whole bunch of smaller, incremental things that add up to a lot. When enough of them come about, those kinds of improvements can transform your business,” says Hirsch.

Photo Courtesy of Estate Partners

“The group invites builders, architects and designers to its bigger events and it’s all about shared values and being the best,” says Voorhees. “We are very intentional about our guest list, so our events have an awesome vibe. We invite people who are naturally collaborative and open to learning, who are still inspired to do their very best work.”

O’Neill agrees that the thread of being the best ties the group together. “We are all artists and enjoy the satisfaction of making the best you can to the best of your ability. That’s one thing we all have in common.” 

What’s next for Estate Partners? Voorhees wants to bring more education opportunities to the group and continue to grow true friendships. 

Penton’s hope for the next chapter includes more team leverage. “We are all on a lot of the same jobs, but as business owners, we aren’t there anywhere near as many hours as our teams. I’d like to see a way to connect our teams who are on these jobs for hundreds of hours together. The broad vision as we grow together as a group is to be providing the best service all around to the contractors in Southern California,” says Penton. 

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