OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Linita E. Mathew

    Pay Attention To The Details

    Wake up. Get ready. Go to work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Every morning life seems to follow the same patterns: we follow the same routines, we see the same people and then we come home to a similar space and do it all over again the next day. The places we interact with, lack originality and begin to blend together. A degree of liveliness is dormant and a wakeup call is needed.

    When we need a break from reality, our mind wanders to the thought of booking a vacation or we remember previous experiences we have had in faraway places. Ah, something different! Traveling is such a rewarding hobby because it is a refreshing distraction from the mold. Often, we bring a piece of these places home with us to elongate our own memories of what it felt like to experience something diverse.

    But, wouldn’t it be nice to bring more than just souvenirs into our homes? Take a moment and imagine the possibility of designing your entire home with trending eclectic pieces that carry the signature mark of places from all over the world.

    Shaun Ford, a third generation Calgarian, had exactly this in mind when he envisioned, planned and brought to life his ideal business project. Having lived through rapid growth in the housing market in Calgary, Shaun became keenly aware that there was a “sameness” in the design and products incorporated into these homes. He decided a showroom was needed that brought diversity and a more stylish culture into the styling of Calgary residences. As the population of Calgary surged upwards, so did the demand for superior class products that are used to create vivid alluring spaces; products that are not easily accessible and hard to come across. The intention was set and Shaun Ford and Co. was created to assist the style-conscious consumer of Calgary to conceptualize original and design-forward spaces.

    Shaun explains that, “The company is less about the brands and more about our team’s skills as an asset to further revolutionary design.” His company brings high-end, top quality product from overseas markets and then utilizes these products to their full potential by merging it with his keen eye and the innovative skill set of the staff.

    Shaun Ford and Co. was established in 2008 and revolves around Shaun’s unique judgment for creating visual masterpieces in otherwise common spaces. His attention to fine detail began at a young age through the influence of his mother. She was an artist who taught him the grandeur of appreciating the grace and beauty in all things. His father, a successful businessman, instilled in him the discipline required to start a self-directed venture.

    By virtue, Shaun inherited and infused the best attributes of both parents into his vision by becoming a passionate entrepreneur. Early in his adult life, Shaun started a small construction company that grew into a commercially successful venture. It was here where he began experimenting with the integration of product quality, meticulous precision and organized visual beauty. He began to understand the significance of listening to the client and creating a unique vision according to the needs of each person he worked with. The overwhelming amount of positive feedback led him to realize that he has a strong fervour and flair for aesthetic design. Shaun felt a calling to take his abilities to the next level and pursue his own interests in helping others recreate their spaces to perfection. Working alongside him, Shaun’s team consists of: Robert Kiss who is in charge of the architectural systems, Julienne Felker who handles furniture sales and Christine Chateau who is the showroom administrator.

    The team works as a cohesive unit, who connect on both a professional and personal level. Shaun has carefully selected his team because he believes that, “Design is not something you simply apply for, it arises through a natural and inherent passion found within.”

    The showroom carries a general sense of ease because of the cooperation of its team members. To put it into perspective, the showroom itself feels like home. Upon entering, you will surely be greeted by Kobe, a Shibu Inu, deemed the company’s mascot. Often you will see Shaun’s four-year old daughter who has comfortably taken her own seat in the office. Shaun can already foresee the company turning into a family business, as his ambitious daughter is always eager to join in the conversation and initiating her own drawings and rather colourful designs.

    The showroom, located in Calgary, Alberta, holds flawless handmade product that have been personally curated by Shaun himself from different parts of the world. When he first set out on this journey, he realized that he needed to delve into outside markets in order to find the products that clients wanted. Thus far, his search for these contemporary pieces has taken him to Paris, Barcelona, Munich, Stuttgart, Prague, Florence and Milan to name a few. He regularly attends Salone del mobile Milano, the largest designer furniture exhibition of its kind in the world.

    Shaun’s travels across Europe have also had an impact on his own personal style choices. “I believe that it is important to travel and see how other cultures around the world present themselves. Without doing so, you may have a tendency to dress safely and conform to what the others around you are doing.” Elements of fashion tend to be chosen according to the impression they leave on him. For example, Italian style has served as a more slick and polished look and has taught Shaun the value of having clothes tailored to each individual person, much like his own designs. He likes to illustrate the uniqueness of adding a subtle pop of colour, such as a pocket square or scarf, or the addition of an interesting pattern to many of his compositions.

    Apart from Italian fashion, he turns to a bit of the Bohemian touch courtesy of a Parisian influence when wanting to dress more casually. But no matter where he is, Shaun always makes sure to add his own Canadian flair to his wardrobe. “For me, as it is with my designs, I prefer to focus on the details and the overall composition as opposed to one primary feature or a blast of bold “billboard” colour I reach to have the viewer discover a little something new every time they look.”

    Through consistent exposure, Shaun is able to keep current trends up-to-date in his showroom and facilitates a personal relationship with every line that he embraces. He emphasizes the importance of strong entrepreneurial relations between suppliers by expressing that “travelling to the source is essential to ensure that the quality of production genuinely matches the quality of the designs delivered.”

    Currently, the showroom holds top of the line products that furnish an array of space requirements. Contemporary living spaces are brought to life using stylish and luxurious furnishings crafted by Giorgetti, Minotti, Poliform, Zeitraum Moebel, and Walter Knoll. Flawlessly designed kitchen ensembles are delivered through Varenna, while Falper and Agape excel in fashioning elegant bathroom products.

    The showroom prides in carrying renowned Italian mosaic tile by Bisazza, and Parisian feature crystal chandeliers and glassware by Baccarat. Apart from these, Limited Edition area rugs and carpets out of Belgium, entry systems from Lualdi Porte, Rimadesio, and Oikos, as well as a multitude of wall systems, lighting, artwork and other accessories can also be found in the showroom. Shaun Ford and Co. is not restricted to home design; they furnish office space and high-end multiunit projects as well.

    The paramount feature of Shaun Ford and Co. is the commitment and dedication it has towards its clientele. “We wish to go beyond what people want; our goal is to exceed client expectations.” The company’s main focus is to work with clients who hold a fierce regard for the quality of production and a high reverence for the value of design.

    Although, there are many stereotypes of high-end furniture stores, Shaun wishes to breakdown these barriers by educating all clients to make more style-conscious decisions. He stresses that, “At the end of the day, it is important to take care of yourself. Whether it be the shoes you are wearing or the couch you are sitting on, it is important to take care in how you present yourself to the world.” His team works closely with clients to choose original products that hold integrity through production and engineering, without compromising the practical use for the consumer. “In essence, the company wishes to create a delicate balance of cutting edge design and style, while keeping comfort and functionality intact.”

    Shaun’s aspiration for his company is to establish growing relationships with his clientele that flourish over time. “Clients are not seen as a retail transaction, but rather each client becomes an extension of the Shaun Ford and Co. family; profits are a by-product of what we love doing.” Thus, a reciprocal relationship is formed as Shaun hopes to broaden his own knowledge of design by having new conversations with sophisticated consumers on a daily basis.

    Shaun Ford and Co. began through the recognition of a need for exceptionally crafted product. Shaun’s intuitive capability for design and the knowledge and experience of his team blend together to help build an exclusive, stylish direction for the City of Calgary. The company has been well-received by consumers as being a reliable retailer that carries some of the finest products the world has to offer. So, why sit around and daydream about leaving home to experience the finer things in life? Instead, have a conversation with Shaun and let him bring the finer things into your home. Knock, because the door will be opened and what you see inside will take your breath away.

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