About Us :: Building Moxie

Building Moxie is 1) a way of life. 2) the almost Agile blog about Do-It-Together Home & Improvement.


History :: Building Moxie

Building Moxie has been a lot of things since its inception.

  • 2006 – Freshly separated from a Big Builder, founder – JB Bartkowiak (me) started noodling a business idea. It was hard to articulate, but to distill it down – a DIY Home Improvement Consultancy. He wrote a Business Plan.


  • 2008 – JB returned to the workforce as a Software Quality Assurance Analyst. On the side, he began “testing” the Plan. He took a few consulting gigs, and a few business meetings. On a friend’s advice, he started agentsofmoxie.blogspot.com. There he journaled about said Plan. Feedback from that site mixed with ideas from the Harvard Business Journal (really) = “Do-It-Together Home Improvement”.  It had a brand name – Building Moxie.


  • 2010 – Twitter going off. JB moved the site to WordPress. Fully rebranded to BuildingMoxie.com, readership grew quickly. JB partnered with Barry, himself a Home Generalist out of Delaware. Posting and hosting essays, they did start peppering in “articles” – JB about his old house & Barry about his business. About that time too, Content Marketing was really starting to be a thing.


  • 2012 – Remember JB had a day job, and 2 young daughters. There were many early mornings and many, many late nights. Building Moxie was fully on the radar not only of very legit brands, but also on those on the underbelly of the somewhat seedy Freelance Content Marketing community. The volume of posts increased exponentially: new points of view, opportunities for sponsorship money, and, in the end, some very cool experiences.


  • 2014 – Fresh off a sponsored junket in Las Vegas and the International Builders’ Show, another fun trip, something unexpected happened – JB got a promotion. Manager of Quality Assurance. As much as he felt responsible for the fate of Building Moxie – he felt even more responsible for the 10 or so people reporting to him at that company, as it went through a merger.


  • 2016 – With the site fully in maintenance mode, it became absolutely critical for JB to get out of the Farmhouse and into a new school district. Photographing DIYs, hacking out videos – slowed him down. His wife, Jen’s real estate business was growing & his daughters were entering high school. Fastpitch softball travel & tutoring became the new side projects.


  • 2018 –  After a brief stint freelancing Home Improvement Guides, JB dropped some final DIYs from the old house, and reconfigured some of the site’s longer articles – adding TOCs and such. What’s left is, well, Building Moxie as it stands –  a collection of fun and sometimes very informative Home Improvement stories.


  • 2024 – It’s fair to say these are new times. TikTok & AI. Have you seen the Google Search Results Page recently? JB is again job hunting and has a portfolio site up at – https://webcontent-jb.com. His daughters are now in college and he has begun looking down the long road of reinvesting in the site.


We welcome any comments about what you might like to see. jbbartkowiak3 at gmail.


Do It Yourself != Do It Alone

Editor’s Note: The point being – I have always struggled with putting myself fully out there, but at the same time – we have always tried to keep it real on this site. Home Improvement is hard. To do it right it takes two things – Time and Money. And to live the life a gorgeous home affords you, you cannot do everything yourself. Hmm – 18 years later = Pro-Assisted DIY.

Anyway, many companies have risen to fill many of the spaces outlined in that original Business Plan. Angi/Home Advisor et al, Thumbtack et al & Family Handyman & the DIY University et al << Way To Be All! Some of the services I outlined are now offered by the Big Box stores (I mean – Orange & Blue) themselves. I guess validation.

I don’t know that I am ready to venture down that path again. The simple hope instead is to slowly bring back Building Moxie (and maybe some sister sites), using the principles of Agile grokked from my full time working life.

Thanks for Reading. ~jb