At J9 HOMES, we aim to not just build a home for our clients, but to build relationships. Whether it is the relationships we form with our trades, suppliers and vendors or with our clients, this is the key to our continued to success.

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Janine Starr

   Having grown up in a family ingrained in construction and real estate, my parents strongly encouraged me to pursue a less risky, “corporate focused” career. So after graduating from Baylor with an MBA and undergraduate degree in Psychology, I accepted an offer from one of the top global management and technology consulting firms. Consulting gave me the opportunity to work extensively with clients at all levels of the organization, while traveling domestically and internationally for projects. Eventually, I transitioned into the world of Human Resources for multiple, high-tech companies. My corporate path provided a dynamic and challenging career, allowing me to travel the globe, yet ultimately brought me back to Austin where I put down roots not too far from my hometown of San Antonio.

   Though I was thriving in the corporate world, I still spent the majority of my free time researching interior design, real estate, and residential construction. I was fascinated with architecture and development and could not get enough of the transformation process that occurs during large scale remodels. The pull was undeniable and in 2013, I finally took a giant risk and left the safety net of my Human Resources career to establish a custom home remodeling firm.

   I’ve never looked back! Now, after managing more than 80 projects, many with repeat clients, and the successful management of over $25M in budgets, I continue to blend my professional management skills, communication expertise, and love for home building to deliver not only an amazing product, but an experience that thrills our clients. I pour over our clients’ plans, budgets and selections as if each project is going to be my own home. Our construction process is highly collaborative and transparent, which minimizes the unexpected and delivers the dream home our clients envision. The results are nothing short of stunning!


Sara Kelly

Sara found her way to Austin 25 years ago (from the East Coast) to attend UT for a Masters in Social Work. This dramatic shift from her initial career as a CPA ultimately provided a diverse background that led her to J9 HOMES. Joining the J9 HOMES team in 2018, Sara has been an integral part of helping Janine develop and grow her business, providing key assistance in the areas of process management, efficiency enhancement, and staff development. Her commitment to learning what is necessary to advance the business, along with her attention to detail and organization is a great asset for the team. 

In her spare time, Sara stays busy with her teenage boys, playing pickleball, dancing, and e-biking around Austin.

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Kelli Moore

   Selecting a partner in residential construction is a critical step in renovating your home. Kelli’s role as the Client Experience and Marketing Manager enables her to be on the front end of your journey with J9 HOMES. She loves ensuring our clients have a smooth and professional experience as they partner with us to reimagine possibilities for their homes.

   Growing up in Houston, Kelli was heavily influenced by her parents’ entrepreneurial pursuits in the commercial construction and restaurant industries. Her summers were typically spent wearing a variety of hats working in their business office. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in Psychology, making her well-suited for a career in change management and human resources at one of the top global management consulting firms. Coincidentally, this is where she met Janine, and their decades-long friendship began. After twenty-five years of collaborating with clients and employees in the corporate world, Kelli decided to take a leap and get back to her construction roots by joining the J9 HOMES team. 

   Kelli and her family moved from Houston to Austin in 2005. She has been married to Erik for over 23 years and they have two sons attending college at Texas A&M University. As recent empty nesters, Kelli and her husband love to travel, support Texas A&M football and explore the Texas Hill Country.

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Rachel James

   Rachel, our dedicated Materials Manager, brings a wealth of expertise and a passion for helping people create homes that truly work for them. Being raised in a suburb of Detroit, Rachel blends her Midwestern sensibility with the eclectic energy of Austin.

   Always seeking new adventures, Rachel made her way down to The University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with a degree in Interior Design from the School of Architecture. With over a decade of experience in full-service interior design, her journey led her to her current role, where she combines her design acumen with her skills in sourcing and managing materials for our projects.

   Rachel’s favorite part of her role is the opportunity to collaborate with architects, designers, and clients, guiding them through the process of transforming their spaces into personalized havens. Her dedication to understanding clients’ needs and preferences ensures that every project reflects their unique vision and lifestyle.

   Outside of work, Rachel finds joy in pursuing her hobbies, whether it’s teeing off on the golf course, nurturing her garden, or embarking on new adventures through travel. These experiences not only fuel her creativity but also inspire her to continually seek innovative ways to enhance living spaces.

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Aaron Leifeste

   A born and raised Austinite, and despite being raised by UT parents, Aaron set his sights on Texas A&M University. After graduating with a Bachelors in Economics, he returned to Austin to start his career and family. In 2005, Aaron married his high school sweetheart, Gretchen, and they now have two amazing sons. 

   As Director of Construction at J9 HOMES, Aaron brings nearly two decades of construction experience in both new residential construction and renovation projects. Aaron got his start in the industry by managing construction projects in neighborhoods across the city of Austin. In 2013, he transitioned into high-end, custom home construction and remodeling, most recently as the owner of a custom home building company in the Texas Hill Country. His strong work ethic, organizational skills, and extensive experience from all stages of construction make him a huge asset to our clients and company. 

   When Aaron is not on a construction site, you will likely find him hanging out with his family. Much of their time is spent on baseball fields around Austin as their two sons biggest fans. When they get a free afternoon, or weekend, they love to take advantage of eating great Mexican food and traveling to Major League Baseball stadiums across the country.

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Stephanie Cooper

   With four generations of contractors in her family, Stephanie grew up immersed in the construction industry. She has a deep love for the home-building process and enjoys helping homeowners navigate the often challenging process of realizing their dream spaces. 

   Prior to joining Janine’s team in 2019, Stephanie ran her own faux finishing, mural, and wallpaper company for over 15 years covering Minneapolis, Boston, New York, and Naples, FL. She specialized in high-end residential projects often taking months to complete due to the complexity of the custom finishes and mural work in mostly occupied residences. Before starting her own company, Stephanie apprenticed with Master Finisher and industry legend, Bob Capelli. Stephanie attended Florida State University and the San Francisco Art Institute where she studied painting. Throughout her early years, she could be found working on residential job sites or in the office of her family’s residential construction firm.

   As a seasoned member of the J9 HOMES team, Stephanie combines strong interpersonal skills along with an attention to detail to ensure her clients’ happiness throughout construction. When not working, she loves hiking and going on foodie adventures with her family.

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Kristin Vetromile

   Kristin joined the J9 HOMES team in early 2023. A jack of all trades for sure, there truly is nothing Kristin cannot do! Kristin joined our team as a Project Manager after running her own remodel business for over 10 years where she was not only the owner, but completed all the labor herself! She also was a paramedic for 17 years and still maintains her EMT certification. She is excited about her transition into J9 HOMES, as she can continue doing the work that she loves, with the assistance of a great team of trades.

   Kristin was born in Richmond, VA, but has lived all over the US and Italy as the daughter of a Navy veteran. She and her husband have two sons and have lived in Austin for over 11 years. Kristin loves camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and leading her son’s boy scouts troop.

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Sara Stinsmuehlen

   Sara, born and raised in Austin, Texas, was immersed in the world of home construction from a young age. With a father who is a contractor and a mother who was a nurse, she frequently found herself involved in home remodels, helping her dad mix stucco and plaster walls. This early exposure sparked her interest in interior design. 

   After earning a Bachelor degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, Sara participated in a significant renovation for her firm’s office. This experience solidified her passion for interior design and remodeling, prompting her to transition into the field. For the past decade, Sara has worked at an interior design firm in Austin, where she discovered her love for the construction aspects of home renovations. She finds great satisfaction in collaborating with clients to bring their visions to life. 

   Outside of work, Sara enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, as well as exploring Austin’s hiking trails and water spots.