It all started when...
I graduated from the Industrial Design program at Carleton University in 2014. Eager to start a career, I applied to every design company I could think of. To not much a surprise, I fell shorthanded of a new job. Frustrated at the system, I switched gears and started following one of my passions; taking garbage and giving it a new life. As a hobby and a side gig to earn extra cash, I up-cycled waste I would find from the retail job I was working and sold the finished products on Etsy. It was good because the materials were free and finishing hardware were minor costs, my profits were great!
Before I knew it I found myself keeping my eyes peeled on waste bins and I had an apartment full of wonderful items. I was certain I was becoming an obsessed “pack rat” but to my surprise, my finished products were selling quicker than I could find the items!
Companies started approaching me, “Heather, can you use this sink we couldn’t use?” “Do you want to take our scrap wood?” “Do you have a need for old vinyl records”... It was great! I didn't have to search for the materials as much anymore. I was using a small cellar space under our apartment for storage of the items and a small work bench. The space, nicknamed “The dungeon”, was becoming an issue. There was little space and after a rainfall it smelled like wet dog. It was time for an upgrade. May 2015, I purchased my first ever workshop from my neighbour, an old 20' shipping container (or sea can), it was like a dream compared to the dungeon. At this time, I acquired my first employee, Kenneth Blouin. We worked hard on making our first ever studio workshop our own. Outfitted with 20' of pegboard, shelving, a couch and a handmade workbench we were set.
Re4m is now starting to lead the way of re-thinking commercial and retail waste. By converting reclaimed materials into storefronts, interior design and products, we can offer companies an affordable option to refresh their space while keeping a sustainable mindset. Now we are working on growing our list of reclaimed material suppliers. We currently are working with coffee roasteries, music stores, bike shops, cafés, construction companies, sign shops, a trade show booth company, plastic suppliers and various retail stores. Re4m now offers complimentary consultations on how commercial and industrial businesses can re-think how they handle their waste and we are continually seeking out businesses to support not only us, but our city.
We would love to have the opportunity to work with you and your business, contact us to talk about what you can do for our city!