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“Don’t dismiss your success; enjoy the steps along the way while looking forward towards the future” With Tyler Gallagher & Barbara Kavovit

Pace yourself everyday while leaving enough energy for those days that get really demanding. Don’t dismiss your success, enjoy the steps along the way while looking forward towards the future. You don’t become a successful CEO overnight and the road to success includes lots of falling down and getting back up again. Success comes with […]

Pace yourself everyday while leaving enough energy for those days that get really demanding. Don’t dismiss your success, enjoy the steps along the way while looking forward towards the future.


You don’t become a successful CEO overnight and the road to success includes lots of falling down and getting back up again. Success comes with pain.

As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Barbara Kavovit.

Barbara CEO and founder of Evergreen Construction and Real Housewives of New York star, has been in the construction business for over 20 years and has always been a force in the industry.

Her company, Evergreen Construction, attracts high-profile and cutting-edge corporate, retail and infrastructure projects with clients including the Hyatt Corporation, Bandier, Bionic Solution, Exhale Spas and Goldman Sachs. Prior to Evergreen, Kavovit was the founder and CEO of Anchor Construction and grew the company into one of the largest female-owned general contracting companies in New York City.

Barbara continuously raises the bar with her tenacity and acute attention to detail. She’s passionate about helping people become more self-reliant when it comes to home renovation and design. She’s been named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Business” by Crain’s, and just released her first novel, Heels of Steel.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

MyDad put a hammer in my hand when I was 9 years old and we built bunk beds together for my sister and I to sleep in while growing up in a small apartment in the Bronx. That gave me my initial love for building and knowing what it felt like to accomplish a goal, transforming space and using my hands and brain- what a boost of self esteem!

Years later that feeling of accomplishment and empowerment has stuck with me and goes hand in hand with breaking barriers in the male dominated world of construction in New York City.

Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company? What lesson did you learn from that?

I was very young when I started my business so being naïve and vulnerable in general was a challenge. I attempted to learn everything I could about home improvement and building as I didn’t have the experience but always believed knowledge is power.

What are some of the factors that you believe led to your eventual success?

  1. Very early on in my career when I decided to contact IBM about my new construction company- After calling them for 6 months and hearing the word “no” countless times I finally got a meeting. That conditioned me to believe there is no such thing as the word “no” which is why I run a $40 million dollar construction company today.
  2. Challenge yourself to do the impossible- inventing tools for women called “Barbara K” when this market didn’t exist, getting on a plane to China and selling my products to every retailer in America.
  3. Success breeds success — the ability to believe in yourself. Tenacity, determination, resilience and confidence will lead you to do such things like write your first novel, which I did titled, “Heels of Steel”.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Save your money- because you never get it right the first time. I wish someone told me to save my money so when my first business collapsed, I would have had a cushion to fall back on.
  2. Life is short- take a vacation- it’s never the right time to take a vacation or have a baby but no matter what, take the time to appreciate your hard work.
  3. The buck stops with you- As CEO and at the end of the day I have to take responsibility for it all.
  4. Share your happiness- You can’t do it by yourself- all businesses require expertise in different areas. Learn to share and by that I mean share the wealth and happiness of your success in whatever what you can.
  5. They’re going to be bad days- not every day can be a good day. Learn from your mistakes, forget about what happened yesterday because tomorrow’s a new day.

What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Pace yourself everyday while leaving enough energy for those days that get really demanding. Don’t dismiss your success, enjoy the steps along the way while looking forward towards the future.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My father set the course for my success but more importantly gave me the confidence to believe in myself and never take “no” for an answer. He did something that most men and father’s might not have done at a time in a young girls’ life, which was helping me to build self-esteem that encouraged me to believe I could set my mind on anything I wanted to do.

What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish, both personally and professionally?

Professionally, to complete the sequel to Heels of Steel, build a skyscraper, have my own TV show and create the Heels of Steel TV series. Personally, finding a significant other and travel world.

What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy?

The tallest skyscraper with my name, and the name of my book “Heels of Steel” on the marquis of the building- along with a custom stiletto from Christian Louboutin of course.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!

I would start a woman’s movement in the Bronx! There’s just something about the people in the Bronx over any other borough that I find inspiring and have always been passionate about the underdog. I would start an organization that would focus on funding and incubating businesses from female inventors and entrepreneurs.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram- Msbarbarak

[email protected]

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