SAN FRANCISCO – Following high school, Mostafa Sowadah knew he wanted to get into a trade—it was just a matter of deciding which one to pursue. “When I was enrolling in trade school, I had the choice of going into automotive, plumbing or HVAC,” he says. “Based on what I saw most people signing up for, it seemed that plumbing was the least popular option. However, I’d always heard good things about plumbing, so I decided to give it a shot.” After finishing his two-year program at WyoTech-Fremont, Mostafa did a four-year apprenticeship with a local plumbing company and then worked another three years as an employee before starting his own business in 2013.
Today, as owner of One Source Plumbing and Rooter, Inc., Mostafa says his favorite part of his job is building relationships of trust with his customers. “The first time you do a job for a customer, they aren’t totally sure if they can trust you. However, when they call you again a couple of years later, it shows there’s trust because the first job didn’t fail. That’s a great feeling.”
A lifetime resident of San Francisco, Mostafa expresses his appreciation for the character of life and work in the City by the Bay. “There are three things I like about San Francisco: the diversity, as there are people here from all over the world; the nice weather, which is good for plumbers because we do a lot of work outside; and the simple fact that I’ve lived here my whole life and it’s home.”
When asked about a professional philosophy, Mostafa offers a simple guideline for ensuring quality workmanship. “On every job, I have the mindset that I want my work to outlive me,” he explains. “When your main goal is to build something to last as long as possible, you’re going to do a better job than if you’re just looking to make money. The great thing is that when you build something to last, your customers are going to be happy and bring you more business, so the money will follow naturally.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Mostafa says he wouldn’t. “That’s a tough one, because I’ve sort of become programmed to stay busy. I think it started during my apprenticeship, where for four years I worked six days a week, with no holidays or vacations. As soon as I finished it, I took a week-long vacation; the first two days were nice, but by the third day I was kind of bored. That’s why I’m not sure I could retire—I like being busy and I enjoy my work, so the idea of retirement just doesn’t appeal much to me.”