by Christy Heitger-Ewing | photos by Dave Pluimer

We have all heard the saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For ACo, the journey culminating in twenty years in business began with a kid and a bulldozer.

Owner and founder of ACo, David Decker, dreamed of being a bulldozer driver as a young child. He jokingly reminisces on the smell of diesel, the heavy earth-moving equipment, and his excitement when they allowed him to ride with the bulldozer operator for a few moments which ignited his dream.

Although that dream became a distant memory, Decker’s love for construction, architecture, and real estate grew. He also loved tackling home maintenance and rehab projects. Combining these passions, Decker began creating luxurious kitchen and bath designs. In 2004 he founded ACo, which essentially started with just Decker and a truck.

Then in 2008, amid a recession, ACo became a cabinet dealer. Through Decker’s commitment to accountability and candor with clients, ACo continued to grow while the economy shrank. Two years later, they transitioned from a small remodeling company into their first showroom selling cabinets and flooring as a dealer in addition to remodeling services.

These days, ACo goes the extra mile to help you love where you live. They offer full-scale design services to guide you through selecting the perfect cabinets and flooring as well as orchestrating flawless kitchen and bath remodels. ACo also partners with local custom home builders and interior designers providing everything from design to installation for flooring and cabinetry.

While Decker credits much of his success to persistence, he also knows that it takes a village to maintain a successful company. His high-quality team is united by those same values of accountability and candor. At the heart of ACo’s company culture has always been teamwork, humility, and building valuable relationships with clients, colleagues, and industry partners.

Amanda Wagoner, Director of CAD, says she feels lucky to be part of a company whose culture values a strong work ethic while also embracing fun.

“ACo isn’t your typical work environment. You are family when you work here,” says Wagoner. “I’ve learned so much about design and remodeling, as well as professionalism in a workplace from working at ACo.”

Carlie Suski started at ACo in July 2011. Over the past 13 years, she has watched the company endure many cycles of change.

Suski, who continues to set new sales records for the company every year, says that ACo has given her the freedom to express her creativity, grow in a host of directions in the design community, and be in control of her own career and financial growth.

“ACo has curated a fun yet nurturing environment that is a rarity in today’s work climate,” says Suski.

ACo isn’t just a great place to work, they also strive to be a great company to work with. The ACo tagline, Love Where You Live, is ACo’s ultimate goal for every client. According to Decker, the tagline is meant to speak to a space that creates happy connections for the homeowner.

“It could be a master bath retreat that’s a place of refuge after a long, stressful day,” says Decker. “Or a place to destress and disconnect from the outside world.”

From custom home builder partners and vendors to industry groups, neighbors, and even city leaders, the community has also played a big role in ACo’s success.

In 2020, ACo managed to pull off a record sales year during a global pandemic, a move from Carmel to Fishers, and a flood at their new showroom. “I’ve come to learn that with the help of others and lots of perseverance, you can overcome any obstacle,” says Decker.

Hub & Spoke, where ACo’s showroom was relocated in 2020, was born out of the success of ACo. As a design center that provides educational experiences for local schools and citizens, Hub & Spoke brings Decker’s story full circle, inspiring a new generation to explore the design and construction industry. As a sponsor for many of Hub & Spoke’s workforce development initiatives, ACo gives back to the local community.

“We hope to continue building on this endeavor to impact as many people as possible,” says Decker.

Throughout 2024, ACo plans to expand their showroom to make more space for showcasing products, including a lighting line. They will also continue to build upon the client experience they have been known for.

“As we grow and adapt, we’ll always focus on our people, processes, culture, and innovation,” says Decker.

Mia Farrell, Design and Sales, thinks it’s remarkable how much ACo has grown over 20 years, enduring both an economic recession and a global pandemic. And yet she’s not surprised.

“With the vision, values, and leadership David brings to the table, it really isn’t surprising,” says Farrell.

A journey that started with a bulldozer has become so much more. For 20 years, ACo has been driven by a passion for helping homeowners love where they live and easing the cabinetry and flooring process for builders. As they celebrate this milestone anniversary, they look ahead to an even brighter future.