Topics

Arts & Entertainment

Bachelor & Bachelorette

Bridal

Fashion

Finance

Food & Drink

Health & Wellness

Home

Pets

Mayoral Thoughts

Travel

Videos

Women in Business

<   Swipe left or right   > 

Mar 7, 2022

Old School meets New School :A family tradition three generations strong, Oceanside Electric is wired for today’s wireless world.

Barry Kaufman

Photography By

M.KAT Photography
John Frey’s grandfather started Frey Electric in 1921 in Cincinnati. Back in those days, electrical work was fairly straightforward business. You had a power line, a breaker box, and an outlet. Pretty straightforward. Even by the time John entered the business, the electrical industry hadn’t changed in any truly revolutionary way. “I actually started in […]

Continue Reading

John Frey’s grandfather started Frey Electric in 1921 in Cincinnati. Back in those days, electrical work was fairly straightforward business. You had a power line, a breaker box, and an outlet. Pretty straightforward. Even by the time John entered the business, the electrical industry hadn’t changed in any truly revolutionary way.

“I actually started in high school and worked all through high school for the family business,” he said. “When I started, it was literally just switches and plugs in houses. Now, we get into houses, and everything is Wi-Fi controlled. They want USB plugs by their nightstands. They want drop stations for smart watches and iPads in their closets… It’s vastly different than when I was 19 years old doing electrical work.”

What hasn’t changed is a commitment to service that Frey inherited from his father and grandfather. It’s an old-school approach that has set Oceanside Electric, the company he started on Hilton Head Island, apart from a very crowded pack. “We return phone calls. We show up as promised. We actually send clients a calendar invitation, and we stay in touch with them,” Frey said.

It seems like a simple thing. But as anyone who has dealt with an electrician during this era of the overextended contractor will tell you, it makes a world of difference.

A new tradition

While the family business had been good to him, Frey had always felt something calling him to the South Carolina Lowcountry. “We had vacationed down here for years and had talked about it for a long time,” he said. “Finally, we made the leap.”

“Our kids were juniors and seniors when we moved down here, and they both wanted to go to college in South Carolina. That was a big part of our decision,” added wife Linda, who works side-by-side with Frey at Oceanside.

Making their way south from Cincinnati, where Frey’s brothers continue to run the family business, John and Linda landed on Hilton Head Island. “Obviously, it was hard to leave the family business,” he said. “But we did so knowing that we had this goal in mind down here. We’re still doing my grandpa’s work.”

With the launch of Oceanside Electric, John and Linda formed a team that include five field technicians and a dispatcher to canvas the Lowcountry and offer exceptional service. “The guys that work for us, we get so many comments from customers about how great their work is and how professional they are,” Linda said. “That’s what we really love. We love doing service work.”

And while the nature of that service work has changed quite a bit since Frey started, he’s proving that Oceanside Electric is ready to leap into the wired and wireless future.

Wired for growth

In addition to launching his own electrical business, Frey’s grandfather was a keen inventor. Among his innovations were a specialized outlet designed for hanging electric clocks and specialized cable clips that held wires on to studs in the days before staples. It’s clear that forward-thinking philosophy carried down through the generations.

“You either have to change with the times or let someone else do that work,” Frey said. “If you’re going to stick to basic electrical work, you’re going to miss an opportunity for growth.”

Instead, Oceanside Electric has embraced the new technological advancements in the home. Along with the aforementioned Wi-Fi controlled smart devices and USB-ready outlets, their technicians are walking along the leading edge of technology, installing specialized outlets for golf cart chargers, wiring homes for backup generators in case of disaster, and pushing the boundaries of what an electric company does.

“Focusing on service work as we do, you have to be able to stay on top of those kinds of changes. To do that, you need employees who are knowledgeable about that kind of technology, and we have that,” Frey said. “I’ve been doing this for 34 years now. Our oldest employee is only 30. This is a generation that grew up with that stuff.”

As such, Oceanside’s technicians can do far more than just adding an outlet. They can set up data to a TV, coordinate lighting with your smart home, and even set up your Nest or Ring camera on your home’s network. “These innovations are such a great opportunity for homeowners, and our guys are very comfortable with all the technology behind it,” Frey said.

And that’s in addition to your ceiling fans, smoke detectors and extra outlets that you’d expect. Whatever it takes to create satisfied customers, they’ll do it.

“We love going into homes and doing things—with minimal damage—that make homeowners happy,” Linda said, summing up the mission statement perfectly.

To find out what three generations of experience and an unwavering commitment to service can do for your home, visit oceanside-electric.com.

Related Articles

Top Dawg Tavern’s

If you’re not going to be the first to the party, you’d better make the biggest entrance.  Top Dawg Tavern proved that when it opened in Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina three years ago, becoming the latest addition to the growing family of restaurants.  The new...

read more

More Than a Store

A Bluffton institution, The Store hardly needs an introduction. But even after 46 years, it still yields surprises with every visit. Long before Babbie Guscio first came to Bluffton in 1971, the front porch of The Store she now owns had already been enshrined as a...

read more

Coligny Hardware: A Hilton Head Institution

While some might be bigger and flashier, there is likely no more iconic hardware store for miles around than Coligny Hardware, a true Hilton Head institution. There’s hardly a local or a vacationer who hasn’t visited the store at least once, and in most cases several...

read more