Young entrepreneurs named to Ottawa’s 2015 Forty Under 40
On June 18, Custom Home Interiors (CHI) President Andrew Emmans was part of a distinguished group recognized by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce as an accomplished business leader under the age of 40 who also gives back to the Ottawa community. The group was celebrated at a gala at the Hilton Lac-Leamy that also raised funds for the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health through a charitable draw.
The executive for one Canada’s leading providers of innovative furniture, appliances, home automation and fittings solution for commercial and residential projects ‒ pictured here (left) with Ottawa Forty Under 40 sponsor Darren Fleming from Cresa Corporation (left) ‒ also heads up Corporate Housing Interiors Limited (CHIL), the country’s most trusted and recognized name in outfitting and design for the corporate housing and hospitality industry. It is his role with CHIL specifically that garnered the award.
“It is a tremendous honour for me to be recognized among this incredibly talented and successful group of Ottawa business leaders and community builders,” says president of Custom Home Interiors and Corporate Housing Interiors Limited Andrew Emmans, who started both companies with colleagues Tyler Dren and Dylan MacNamara. “This distinction represents a total team effort and what we have been able to achieve as an organization over the past decade.”
While the challenge of running two companies keeps the team on their toes, they are grounded in the belief that giving back to the community is the greater measure of achievement. CHIL sets up houses and donates furniture and services to youth transitioning out of care as part of a Children’s Aid Foundation initiative called For the Love of Youth (FLY). CHI donates re-stores of gently used products to Habitat for Humanity. Both companies are also involved in various charitable fundraising initiatives and local sponsorships.
As Ottawa strives to be the centre of talent attraction and innovation, the Forty Under 40 awards are a way of recognizing economic trailblazers helping the city to meet this objective. Other honourees include Steve Beauchesne of Beau’s All Natural Brewing, Brian W. Boucher of Lee Valley Tools, Ian Capstick of MediaStyle, Ian M. Charlebois of RE/MAX Citywide Realty, Brittany Forsyth of Shopify, and Steve Schmalz of PCL Constructors Canada.
The Forty Under 40 awards are co-hosted by Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. The 2015 awards recipients were chosen by a panel of judges from more than 240 applications and 80 finalists.
Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.
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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?
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.
Good Luck Gentlemen!
– Suzy Kendrick