Bobby Jovanović learned the value of skilled trades from his father and hopes to pass on their legacy of craftsmanship on to his son one day, too. As a Union Carpenter, business owner, and artist, Bobby understands the value of hard work and attention to detail. Read more about how this talented tradesman has pushed through struggle with the help of faith and family to continue pursuing his passions.
Name: Bobby Božidar Jovanović
Location: Normal, Illinois
Style of Boot
I prefer the American Heritage 8” Moc Toe. I got introduced to the Thorogood brand by an old-school Ironworker close to twenty years ago and have had them on my feet ever since.
What I do
I’m a Union Carpenter by trade, I am a Carpenter Foreman that works on the building and trades side, ensuring project costs and deadlines are met while leading other crew members. We tackle everything from commercial foundations and footings to large concrete formwork.
When I’m not on the union job site, I’m occupied in my workshop, running our small family business, and building and fabricating everything from custom furniture to concrete countertops and other custom provisions.
My eight-year-old son and family are my biggest driving force. I work hard every day to set the tone and example for my son. I’ve been an artist for thirty years; my mind never stops. I enjoy the pursuit of building, creating, and utilizing the talents that God has provided me.
Family, my family is the reason I lace up my boots every morning and the ability to wake up and chase the pursuit to create something from nothing every day. I recognize that the work that I get to perform in the trades is something that not everyone can do, there’s an underlying respect that I have for those that came before me, guys are retiring and there’s not a massive pool of younger kids coming in after them. I enjoy passing on what I know to the younger kids and mentoring the ones that are willing to listen. Lastly, my son is my driving force for my creativity and workshop, I want to be able to one day pass down to him something that I created, whether he chooses to follow in my footsteps or not, I want him to see that action overcomes fear and that with risk comes reward. We are capable of achieving whatever we want, as long as we are relentless with our actions and take pride in our work.
Whether I am working in my workshop or in the union field working in concrete construction during the day, everything takes a beating daily including what’s on my feet. Whether it be concrete, mud, dirt, rebar, or tie wire, Thorogood’s leather and sole last the long mile and keep my feet secure and comfortable from sunrise to sunset. Being an avid outdoorsman as well, I’ve put my Thorogoods to good use in the deer stand, fishing, and hiking. I’m also a huge advocate for made in America. As an American worker who produces American Made goods, I’m proud to wear boots that were made by hand five hours north of me.
How Did I Get Started
My Father, a Serbian - American immigrant is the reason I landed in the trades and work with my hands. He was a general contractor in Chicago. He was self-taught, and resilient and started from nothing with an entrepreneurial spirit, and learned everything that he could by himself. I have yet to meet a man which such a diverse skill set as his, he could run electricity one day and finish concrete the next. Guys like that are the last of a dying breed. He would take me to his job sites on the weekends or have me help him at the lumber yard at an early age. Everything that I am trade and artist-wise, I owe to my old man. He gave me the fundamentals that I have carried with me throughout the years.
No matter who we are, life is guaranteed to hold struggles and hardships. How we overcome those struggles is what makes us who we are. I’ve overcome struggles on this journey of life with the help of God, a solid family, and an unwavering resistance to never quit.
Consistency and discipline are key on and off the job site or running your own business. Taking care of your body and mind is vital to be successful in the trades and as a business owner and Father. Often, mental health gets overlooked in the trades. Never be embarrassed to ask for help, whether it’s with a personal struggle, brain pain, or a professional issue, someone is willing to listen and lend a hand. Be eager, be hungry and treat everyone with respect, especially those who came before you.
How I Joined the Carpenter's Union
I was born and raised in a blue-collar – working-class neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. I had union tradesmen that were friends of our family around me for as long as I can remember. My mom would walk me through downtown Chicago on the weekends to explore and shop, I was always more focused on watching the men work on the city skyline - the noise, the machinery, and the concrete trucks, always had my attention. I was provided the conversation of college or the trades by my high school shop teacher, he was a retired Union Carpenter that saw something in me. It was a simple decision to pursue working with my hands rather than a textbook.
*For more information on Bobby's company and work, click the links below.