Quality FirstJun 15
Sean Bremner, Owner & Operator of Highland Custom Carpentry will not compromise his standards, and prefers not to become involved with projects where a quick, cheap fix is required. That is, unless this is going to be a temporary fix until proper and permanent repairs/construction can take place soon after.
Sean, hailing from the small town of Thurso in the far North Highlands of Scotland, not only learned his carpentry skills in his native land but even taught them at the local college in Thurso. Sean relocated to Sarnia in September of 2008, having achieved Permanent Resident status with a firm job offer in his hand. Unfortunately, due to the economic turmoil, three months later, in the dead of his first Canadian winter, he found himself laid off along with several other co-workers after the building market for new homes in Sarnia took a nosedive. As if this wasn’t discouraging enough, Sean was unable to instruct here either, as he needed what is known as a “Red Seal” designation to be recognized for his trade in Canada.
After working with a small company in Sarnia for almost 2 years and again being laid-off in June 2010 due to work shortages, Sean spent some time job searching. In the meantime, he volunteered to provide his time to the Sarnia Red Cross, delivering Meals on Wheels and shuttling clients to appointments in and out of town. As the job search did not seem to be providing any suitable long term opportunities, Sean touched base with The Workplace in Sarnia, where he was provided with free counselling to help him find an alternative route back to employment. Eventually, it became clear that self-employment was the route to go for Sean and The Workplace referred him to the Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation (SLBDC) which can provide assistance to individuals who have an interest in setting up their own business within Lambton County. After almost 4 months, the preparation and planning came to fruition in November 2010 and Sean is now proprietor of Highland Custom Carpentry. As the name implies, Sean seeks out work for customized, challenging projects that other similar tradesmen might not be able to complete.
No job is too small for Highland Custom Carpentry! It seems the residents of Sarnia-Lambton occasionally have a difficult time finding a tradesman to do small value jobs: however, Sean’s outlook on this is that small jobs can lead to bigger jobs and, if nothing else, maybe even a referral to a new customer.
While undertaking the SLBDC program, Sean did the requisite market research and learned “doing surveys door to door” that there was indeed a large potential for his skills in the Sarnia Lambton area. After he opened his door for business, Sean followed up with 100% of the respondents who indicated they wanted him to check back when he opened his business, and sure enough, he had work virtually instantly.
Currently, Sean continues to receive inquiries by word-of-mouth resulting from the quality of his work and examples of such that can be accessed at his blog site: www.highlandcustom.wordpress.com
Sean is not short on advice for novice entrepreneurs, indicating “be prepared for feast and famine, be prepared to accept jobs outside your immediate geographical area and get a good handle on the nature of your customers. In other words, will they pay a fair price for quality work that will endure, or are they looking for a cheap, quick fix? I, personally, am not going to compromise the integrity and quality of my work for those who choose to go down the route of a cheap repair. In some cases, when it is clear that a cheap fix will suffice for another year or until the next suitable season, then this can provide time to re-design and come up with a plan for a project which can then be built to last and this is, of course, the only acceptable alternative to the cheap fix.”