CHI Partners Nominated for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award!

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Did you know that the idea for Custom Home Interiors came from a Carleton University business plan competition just over 4 years ago?

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From left to right (Andrew Emmans, Tyler Dren and Dylan MacNamara)

Passion, perseverance and the drive to succeed.  Three very important characteristics that were instrumental in getting Andrew Emmans, Tyler Dren and Dylan MacNamara where they are today.  These are also traits that Ernst & Young recognizes in the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds in Canadian business and, for the past 2 years, the directors of Custom Home Interiors have been on their radar.

Entrepreneurs are the engineers of Canada’s economy. Their hard work and commitment, despite the natural pitfalls on the road to success, are not only admirable, they’re somewhat rare. These are the men and women who have the energy and enthusiasm to change our economy for the better. They are the trailblazers who lead the way in challenging times.” – Ernst & Young

THEN & NOW

The Beginning – 2006

  • 1 Builder
  • 2 Model Homes
  • 3 Catalogues (Suppliers)
  • 3 Staff (Andrew, Tyler & Dylan)
  • E-commerce website

Present Day – 2010

  • Servicing a number of builders in Ottawa
  • Model homes all over the city
  • 350 Suppliers
  • 150 Services
  • 8000 sq. ft. Showroom & Design Resource Centre
  • Small fleet of delivery and service vehicles
  • 10 Staff (Andrew, Tyler, Dylan, Dawn, Tim, Michaela, Peter, Amy, Kiersten &  Suzy)

Director of Sales and Marketing Andrew Emmans says the key to CHI’s success so far has been commitment to always taking something away from every business experience, whether positive or negative.  “When faced with adversity, it is important to maintain a positive frame of mind.  Failure is not a word often used in my vocabulary.  I feel a better alternative to failure is LEARN,” he says.  Emmans expresses this opinion to all of the CHI team members and strives to motivate them on a daily basis.

Full Speed Ahead

CHI currently owns 7 other businesses under the Custom Home Interiors and Obvious Advantage Inc. umbrella; Custom Commercial, Bar, Restaurant, Office, Condo and Cottage Interiors.  All are separate businesses and have their individual URLs.  The company plans on developing the other brands over the next few years starting with Custom Commercial Interiors which will be launching in the Fall.

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Good Luck Gentlemen!

– Suzy Kendrick

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Calling all Design Professionals!!!!!

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Everyone has dreams, goals and ambitions. Certain dreams and ambitions might involve starting up a business or finally doing the thing that you love most. BUT! You are inexperienced, scared and unsure where to turn to?

Well now there is an answer………

When Kimberley Seldon held her Business of Design seminar at Custom Home Interiors in Ottawa, a common issue that arose among designers was that there was no actual place to go for help when it came to dealing with business issues and practices related to the design industry. Especially if you are just starting out and do not have the budget to hire a business coach.

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As a result, Ottawa based designer, Donna Hargrove of DH Designs, decided to start the Ottawa Design Network Group (ODNG) and mold it into a community of designers, decorators and students. The sole purpose of this group is simple. Share information and support each other in developing their design business and create an open forum where design professionals can express their concerns and find common solutions to the issues that they face on a daily basis.

The motto of the Ottawa Design Network Group is 80% Business / 20% Design

The ODNG held it’s first session at the Custom Home Interiors showroom and the attendance exceeded our expectations. Over 25 designers from all over Ottawa and its surrounding areas showed up with the right attitude and zeal to share and collaborate with their peers on design and business issues!

If you were unable to make it for the first session, the ODNG group has decided to meet once every 6 weeks at the Custom Home Interiors showroom.

Next meeting has been scheduled for:

Thursday June 24th 2010
6:30pm
CHI Boardroom 1

If you are a design professional and reside in the Ottawa region, and are looking for a place to connect and collaborate with other designers, please click on the link below to register for the next session!

http://bit.ly/cbyYTx

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Learning About Quality: Dutch Quality Stone @ CHI

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As the newest member of the CHI team, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to learn about all the fantastic products CHI features in the showroom.  One really great thing I love about the items we carry are the interesting back stories or company histories that accompany many of them.  Dutch Quality Stone is one of those products.
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Started as a family company in Ohio 20 years ago, Dutch Quality Stone prides itself on the fact that 85% of the people they employ to manufacture the product are Amish.  (Interesting Fact:  The world’s largest Amish Community lives in Wayne County, Ohio.)  Company Representative Bill Archibald says this is because the Amish are extremely fussy about their work; quality and consistency being their primary concerns.

“In our corner of the world, people believe in doing things right.”  www.dutchqualitystone.com

Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know about the Amish way of life.  I discovered that Amish children start learning trades as early as Grade 8.  No wonder they have a reputation for hard work and fine craftsmanship!  For your own education, check this video out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ALGtEpbfU

Wondering how these manufactured stone veneers are made?  Basically, it goes a little something like this.  The stones come from a quarry where, I like to think, they are selected based on their individuality and “specialness”.  They’re brought in and a latex mould is made.  Then, the veneer is made using a combination of concrete and fired shale.  (Shale means broken down pieces of stone.)  From there, they are painted and have many different colour combinations depending on the layout you select.

“Dutch Quality Stone has been at the forefront of advanced stone replication for over a decade, perfecting the process of recreating incredibly vivid stone products.”  www.dutchqualitystone.com

At CHI, we specifically showcase “The Trillium Collection” which represents the best of what the company has to offer.  These stone styles and colours have been specifically selected for the discerning Canadian Homeowner.  Sample boards are available for designers to use as well.  These are my two favourite styles:

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Prestige Weather Ledge

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Natural Blend Ledgestone

Whether for the exterior or interior of your home, stone feature walls or store fronts, this products adds such beautiful character.  At significantly less than the cost of natural stone, accompanied by its 50 year warranty, it’s a great product to consider for your home or commercial space.  Come visit us in the showroom and check it out for yourself!  And make sure you say hi to me as well when you’re here, I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

-Suzy Kendrick

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