You may have heard of Vima Design, as it is the most recommended kitchen design and renovation company in the West Island. They are well known and respected for their commitment to quality and their track record of over 1900 completed kitchen projects. In fact, over 75% of the company’s new customers were referred from previous satisfied customers, so you know they deliver on their promises!
Vima Design has a rich history and a passion for the craft. They started as a husband and wife but have expanded their team to more than 23 members. You know the group values love and family, because the name “Vima” comes from the first two letters of their sons’ names: Vincent and Marc-Antoine. Their objective is to build strong relationships with families and friends to help them with their kitchen renovations. One happy customer said, “We truly got the feeling that the entire Vima Design team cared about us and our investment, and how it would turn out”, and that’s because they do.
We talked with the owner of Vima Design about how his business came to be, and why it is so important to him. Read what he has to say here:
How did Vima Design come to be?
I am a graduate of Bishops University (1983) in Business administration and Marketing. Since 1983, I worked for many different companies, first in sales, then as a sales trainer, followed by sales management(Xerox), general sales management(at one of Quebec’s largest building and materials wholesalers), and finally many years as V.P. sales and marketing for a national telecommunications company. All this time my wife and I had 2 sons, my wife (Roxane Scheler) took a kitchen design course when the kids were older. Roxane worked as a senior kitchen designer for as many as 5 different kitchen design stores in the Montreal region. Mostly always working the West Island territory. During this period, from 1987 and 2002, we moved and renovated and flipped 9 homes. We loved doing this. We lived in and flipped as many as 6 homes in Baie D’Urfé and 3 in Beaconsfield.
In 2001 we started dreaming about starting up a company that would better address the needs of the West Island market for the design and renovation of kitchens. After 8 months of thinking it over and planning, I quit my job, and we put all our eggs into the same basket and opened our dream company Cuisines Vima Design in Nov. 2002 with a full showroom with demonstration kitchens. Most people thought we were crazy. We knew that if we offered great service, we could make it successful. We knew we would make it happen.
Initially we were only 4, my wife, one technical designer we hired and one installer we had recruited and myself. Within a few months we had already sold projects and the story began. We have grown the business quickly but always making sure we were not growing faster than we could deliver top service and support. Our business has now been very stable for the last 15 years. We have a unique and special set up to make sure the customers experience is best in the industry. We have enough volume of projects that we can attract the best team in the industry.
Who Comprises Your Team?
We have 4 senior designers (average 15 years’ experience with Vima Design) that meet customers and develop the perfect design for every budget. We have 3 technical designers that make sure the presentation drawings, the pricing and all the accessories and appliances are all panned perfectly. We have 2 Production designers (average 15 years with Vima) that make sure the kitchens are ordered precisely the way they were presented and the way we need them for installations with the fewest mistakes. There are 2 Coordination designers that coordinate with the general contractors the timelines for the renovation, delivery, installation and all service calls. We have 4 installation teams that install our kitchens with precision. We have 8 renovation contractors that work with Vima Design’s customer and that do great renovation work. Most of our team have been with us for more than 10 years. And lastly, we have one of Quebec’s best manufacturers manufacturing our kitchens. MIRALIS has been producing our kitchens for the last 6 years. They offer the best product we can find here in Quebec. They offer great, consistent quality throughout all types of materials; they are innovative, they are progressive, and they work with us as a team to solve problems, come up with new products and lead the market. Vima Design is MIRALIS’S best and biggest dealers for the last 6 years running in North America.
In our Beaconsfield showroom, we can show customers all our products, door styles, finishes, options, counter tops, plumbing accessories, our quality and everything we can do and how well we are set up to do it. With this complete team, Vima Design is the most organized, structured, the most knowledgeable you can find to help homeowners complete a successful kitchen renovation project.
If you’re able to disclose, what is the hiring process for your contractors?
Renovation contractors we work with initially had been recommended to us by customers, after having checked out referrals and after many projects with us, they become regulars. We have 8 renovation teams that work with us and our customers. Most have been with us for more than 8 years.
Was it always your goal to own a kitchen renovation company?
It was always my goal to run and manage my own successful company. Over the years I had worked with many different bosses, some good, some bad. I learned from them all. I wanted to run a business exactly the way I liked to be managed and how I was most motivated to deliver great results. I was motivated by great teamwork and a positive atmosphere. Coupled with my designer savvy wife, we had the perfect recipe to do well. My wife, Roxane, had the design expertise and a great understanding of the West Island Market and I knew how to recruit the best people, keep them motivated and run a successful business.
Did you go through any setbacks and how did you overcome them?
Initially we did not think that we needed to offer turnkey solutions. Therefore, within the first years we needed to recruit and secure the services of very qualified renovation experts to introduce to our customers for great renovation work. It took time but we found the best in the area.
Your website states that along with kitchen renovations, you provide bathroom projects and custom cabinets- do you plan on offering more services in the future?
We prefer doing kitchen projects, but we also do custom furniture and bathroom projects. We introduce new materials but always related to kitchens.
What is at the core of your company’s mission? What is your vision when it comes to where the company will go?
We want to give our customers a unique and special experience. One they will not find elsewhere….We are passionate and have pleasure working in the industry. We want to remain the most recommended custom kitchen design and renovation company in the West Island for years to come…
By Ella Corkum