Marnie Homes

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2013, Click to Enter The 2014 Steve Awards for Women in Business

Company:Marnie Homes, Bethany Beach, DE, USA
Company Description:Marnie Homes builds high-end, custom beach homes in Bethany Beach, Delaware. As a fifth generation builder, Founder Marnie Oursler combines a builder's knowledge with a designer's sensibility.
Nomination Category:Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category:Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services –10 or Less Employees

Nomination Title:Marnie Oursler, Founder and President

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Fifth generation builder Marnie Oursler is rapidly becoming a leader in the traditionally male-dominated homebuilding industry. Though she founded Marnie Homes in 2007, in the midst of the housing crisis, Marnie has successfully set herself apart from her competitors by developing a unique brand and the mindset of "building with design in mind." This past year has been especially busy, with the completion of the “American-Made House” and the creation of the national “We Build American” campaign, propelling her forward into the national spotlight.

This past year Marnie has been featured in various publications and radio shows, including The Wall Street Journal (“Building a ‘Made in America’ Home True to the Label,” January 2013), Professional Builder (“40 Under 40,” March 2013), Fine Homebuilding (“Builders Promote the All-American House,” May 2013), Delaware Today (“Bethany Beach’s Marnie Oursler Promotes Use of American Construction Products Through Marnie Homes,” February 2013) and Delaware Beach Life (“Providing Respite,” July 2013).

Marnie learned her characteristic work ethic, passion, and love of the industry from spending much of her childhood helping her father on building sites. Twenty-five years later, she is still working with contractors, though her responsibilities have increased far beyond sweeping up. Marnie Homes’ yearly revenue has grown from $850,000 in 2007 to $3,975,000 projected for 2013. Additionally, the company has acquired 33% of the Bethany Beach area market share for 2013.

Last summer, Marnie completed a house that used more than 90% domestic building products in a fiscally viable way: the American-made House, the first attempt in recent Delaware history. Marnie firmly believes that business owners have a responsibility to serve their communities and was inspired by the “Made in America” segment on “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” featuring the Lewendal American-made house in Montana.

With the house generating media buzz on both local and national levels, Marnie began collaborating with 84 Lumber, the nation’s leading privately held building materials supplier. By January 2013, they had launched the “We Build American” campaign with Marnie as a national spokesperson. Through vendor partnerships and a spokesperson who proved that building American can be cost-effective, the campaign is promoting awareness and aims to increase domestic jobs.

Marnie not only strives to be an industry leader but also a savvy business woman, informed of trending topics within emerging markets. Last summer she enrolled in the Cross Continent MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. The program focuses on the global, integrated economy, and Marnie has traveled to China, Russia, India and the United Arab Emirates, later applying her findings to her own business.

In May, Marnie was awarded with Girls Inc. of Delaware’s Strong, Smart, and Bold Award, which honored women role models across the state. Earlier in the year, she collaborated with Little Pink Houses of Hope, a North Carolina-based non-profit that provides respite vacations for families affected by breast cancer.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 125 words):

Marnie Oursler is the founder and president of Marnie Homes, a custom home building company in Bethany Beach, Delaware. A fifth generation builder, she quickly set herself apart by combining a builder’s technical knowledge with a designer’s sensibility, utilizing unique designs and pragmatic innovation.

In 2012, after building the "All American House" using more than 90% domestic building materials, Marnie approached 84 Lumber and helped create the national "We Build American" campaign for which she is a spokesperson. She is now helping builders throughout the country build upon her idea of increasing domestic jobs by using more American-made products. She also built Delaware's first LEED-certified home in 2009.

She is currently enrolled in the Cross Continent MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.