Green Country Grown-Ups: Cari Aberle
Cari Aberle has developed her own special formula for success and personal happiness. It includes balancing a combination of roles including wife, mother, educator, designer and custom homebuilder. Admittedly, she stays very busy, but wouldn’t have it any other way. On a personal side, she is married and homeschools her three children, ages 12, 11 and 9. On a professional side, she is the co-owner of Tocara Home Builders, specializing in designing and building high-end custom homes for people in-and-around the Tulsa area.
Getting to know Cari
TK: As a woman in a male-dominated industry, how did you decide to pursue homebuilding?
Cari: My father and grandfather were both homebuilders, so it’s in my blood. When I was younger, I remember being on job sites with them. My mother was also involved as a decorator and helped with home sales. Growing up, my family lived on a farm and shared the work responsibilities. At the time, I didn’t like it because it was a lot of work. However, looking back, I realize it helped me develop a great work ethic and high level of commitment. My life has truly come full-circle. I followed in my father and grandfather’s footsteps with my career choice and, ironically, my family recently purchased and moved back to the farm where I was raised. I want to instill the same level of work ethic in my kids that I learned growing up.
TK: How did you decide to start Tocara Homes?
Cari: Before we were partners, Tom Soden helped me build a home. I enjoyed the entire process because of him. Three days after moving into my home, I called him and said, “I’m not finished yet.” I missed the building process and knew I wanted to continue the process of designing and building homes. I knew my home was just the beginning. It took me several months to convince him to partner with me to start our own company, Tocara Homes. Going through building my own home helped me understand how the homeowner feels. So many people build a home and find the process stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. We want people to enjoy the process.
TK: What is your secret for successfully balancing career and personal life?
Cari: Prioritizing. I get so much fulfilment from my job as well as homeschooling my kids. In order to be successful at both, I give up other things, like TV.
TK: What brings you happiness?
Cari: Spending time with my kids. I love to cook and enjoy feeding my family and friends. We also enjoy going on vacation where we like creating memories and experiences so we can think back to the various events that we enjoyed.
TK: What does your family do for fun around Tulsa?
Cari: We run 5K races together, although I usually stay close to the finish line so I can see everyone when they finish and take pictures. We also enjoy going to the movies.
TK: Favorite places to eat in Tulsa?
Cari: Friday nights at Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Tuesday nights at The Brook on Brookside for half-price appetizers.
TK: What do you enjoy about homeschooling your kids?
Cari: Teaching my kids helps me guide, direct and watch my kids learn. Now, there are occasional challenges with that. But, I am passionate about instilling creativity and success in my children by helping them understand that there are many paths to becoming successful.
Tocara Home Builders
TK: What makes you so passionate about the homebuilding process?
Cari: It’s in my blood and I love what I do. I enjoy getting to know new families and working with them. It’s exciting to help a family from start to finish – from helping them hand-pick the lot to handing them the keys when their home is ready.
TK: How do you provide such individualized service to your clients?
Cari: My partner, Tom Soden, and I meet with each family we work with and get to know them. I work on the design of their home, so it’s important for me to get to know them and understand their lifestyle, budget and goals. I design a floor plan around their needs, desires, functionality and lifestyle. Tom is the engineer and helps with picking out the lot and oversees the work crew and construction. We strive to give families the best we can for the amount of money that they want to spend.
TK: What makes Tocara Homes unique?
Cari: Tocara Homes offers an unmatched level of quality and value in every home we build. To date, 100 percent of the people who we have built for had their homes appraise for more than what they purchased them for. That’s instant equity for every client! Also, we know that building a home is a huge financial investment and a big project. Tom and I want to make it an awesome experience for everyone. We take extra time to make sure every family we work with really gets what they want by offering exceptional service to them.