Swampscott handyman runs a family business
Todd Flannery, the owner of Flannery’s Handymen, started the company when his daughter Rylee was born. 18-year-old Rylee Flannery is preparing for college. (Julia Hopkins)
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SWAMPSCOTT – Todd Flannery switched to Bertucci in 1999 because he was late because of a craftsman job he previously had. His boss told him on the phone that he would be fired if he wasn’t there on time.
Flannery immediately quit, went home, and told his wife, Kristyn, that he would be a full-time handyman.
“Of course she thought I was crazy, but she supported me,” Flannery said with a laugh. “Now, 21 years later, there are a dozen trucks on the road and there is a lot going on.”
Flannery, who lives in Swampscott, knew shortly after starting his company, Flannery’s Handymen, that he needed the money: he and Kristyn, his girlfriend at the time, had their first daughter, Rylee, on the way. He had originally worked odd jobs with a friend under the trade name Two Guys and a Dog, but decided to make it his business after leaving the restaurant.
Flannery’s Handymen, based in Lynn, provides moving, demolition, cleaning and garbage disposal services in addition to other handicrafts. Flannery, who runs the company with his brother Rory, said they often have jobs that range from tiny apartments to million dollar houses and that he goes out of his way to make sure customers feel comfortable.
“A lot of moving companies have bad rapeseed. The communication barrier is quite difficult and basically after the move is over there is no one to be reached if there is a problem, ”he said. “My cell phone is on every bill.”
This worry pays off. Flannery said most of his business comes from repeat customers or others recommended by friends who have been impressed with their work.
In addition to its daily work, Flannery’s also participates in charitable donations and environmentally friendly initiatives. Flannery is keen to find new uses for furniture that his company is removing from its customers’ homes and has historically organized large donations overseas.
Additionally, he’s known for some more unique ways to give back. In 2011, Flannery was walking his son in Swampscott when he saw a toddler crawl out of a window onto the roof of a nearby house. He immediately climbed the building to rescue the child and earned honors from the Celtics and the Massachusetts State Legislature and the Father of the Year title from esquire.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Flannery’s continued to operate offering contactless garbage disposal, wearing masks for other jobs, and getting frequent tests. Flannery said they managed to keep 12 employees through the pandemic and that they only missed three days over the past year.
“We’re trying to keep up with the times,” he said. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen so we’re trying to go along.”
Flannery is closely related to his family, which now includes three sons: Shayne (12), Ryder (9) and Broghan (5). His daughter, Rylee, who was born around the same time he started his company, will turn 19 in August and lead the company into college.
Flannery said he couldn’t believe how time had passed. He said that Rylee has not yet decided which school to go to or what to study. He will be fine with everything she does and is proud that his business presented his daughter with the opportunity.
“I just want her to do all of college because me and my wife never did,” Flannery said. “I want her to say at least I tried.”