The art of manipulating metal runs in the Gutierrez family. They've been at it for four generations.
The tradition started with Anselmo Gutierrez, a blacksmith from Cuba who passed on the knowledge and legacy to his children.
Today, Gutierrez's grandsons, Juan and Luis, run G. Metal Industries in Northwest Miami-Dade with the help of their sister, Flor.
"In Cuba, my dad would take me and my brother, Luis, to work with him," Juan said. "When we came here in 1980, Luis and I started working from our aunt's yard. My father started doing projects for the neighbors, and that's how we got started."
Now Juan and Luis are passing the knowledge to their children, who help out in the company. Juan's 26-year-old son, also named Juan, oversees the company's website, marketing and public relations, goes on sales calls with his uncle and also works with the metals.
"Since I was 7-years-old, I'd go to installations and help carry stuff," said the younger Juan, who is the fourth generation in his family to work in the industry. "I actually started working on the floor when I was 16, helping to grind metal."
The women in the family are also involved in the business.
Flor oversees all the office work with the help of Juan's 19-year-old daughter, Florisis.
"I answer all the calls, handle the contracts, accounting and insurance and deal with the clients." said Flor, who has been with the company since it started. "My mom used to work with us also, doing estimates and getting measurements for projects."
The family credits their success to their many years in the business and an unwillingness to compromise on quality.
"We use a lot of old-school techniques; what we produce is art," said the elder Juan. "Due to demand, this industry has been commercialized. While some companies produce prefabricated parts that you can buy from a catalog and put together, we do everything from scratch."
Superb artistry, craftsmanship and dedication to quality have landed G. Metal Industries top jobs. It designed and installed a stainless steel gate for the home of Tommy Mottola, who has since moved, and also did work for Madonna's home when she lived in South Florida.