Kevin Halliday, the man at the top of Calgary’s iconic Spindle, Stairs & Railings, is at the forefront of the stair industry. In the past two decades, he’s seen trends come and go – from wood and iron spindle to the glass, mesh and cable railings of today.
“People are looking for things that are cooler and faster these days,” says Kevin Halliday. “The trend is not your average cookie cutter anymore. When it comes to the wow factor, we are seeing a lot of 3D textured and glass walls. Basically, if you can imagine it, we can create it.”
Fun, functional walls are an easy way to update or enhance a plain bedroom, living space or basement. A 3D wood wall or glass of different shapes and depths adds a sculptural and dimensional element to plain vanilla walls, and can be designed and manufactured at Spindle, Stairs & Railings.
“We are vertically and horizontally integrated in manufacturing, supply and installation in the stair and railing industry,” says Kevin. “Because we also manufacture right here, we can accommodate any design and any budget, whether it’s one foot of rail or a lot more.”
The industry leader is innovative in more ways than one. In today’s marketplace, people don’t have to leave their home to buy the products and services they desire. So, Spindle, Stairs & Railings changed the game for homebuyers by providing quotes with a simple click of a button. It’s as simple as submitting a photo of a design through the website – no hassle and no measurements required. Within 24 hours, a quote is issued.
Kevin’s entrepreneurial prowess was shaped at a young age. His parents own and operate Spindle Factory, an Edmonton stair manufacturer that’s been around since 1983. It’s where he got his feet wet and segued into the industry.
“I was at home with a one-year-old when we started out,” says Kevin’s wife Kim, controller at Spindle, Stairs & Railings. “We understood that starting a new business required ingenuity and perseverance to build clientele. Family time with our one year old would include driving in our truck to New Construction areas to keep on top of the market. There was no Google or Google Maps- we physically had to be on site”.
The Hallidays were bound and determined. “Let’s say there are two horses in a race. The one that won the race did so by a nose, but he got 10 times the winnings,” says Kevin. “That doesn’t mean he’s worth 10 times more. It just means that he pushed a little harder. At the beginning, I pushed a little harder, even if that meant just making one extra phone call at the end of the night.
“We both agreed that there was no exit,” Kevin says. “We were going to succeed no matter what. Before we even started, we invested in a website and a landline. We still have that phone number 20 years later.”
The business was a success from the first month in. While Kevin had never installed a railing, he knew that understanding the market and having a skilled team (big or small) was the key to success.
The Hallidays believe that it’s harder to be a small business than a big one. It was a struggle to find qualified talent in the beginning, so they started an installation school. By doing this, Spindle, Stairs & Railings created the rules and guidelines for the stair industry.
“We saw that the institutions were teaching ‘old school’ installation techniques,” says Kevin. “We wanted to do it differently, so in 2004 we opened the school and started bringing in students who we’d train, set up with vehicles and tools, and help get established as contractors.”
“It’s easy to just continue doing what you’re doing when it works, but we are always thinking of ways to be the very best at what we do,” says Kim. “We are open to change and are constantly evolving to diversify our products and the people we hire. If an employee or a customer has a great idea, we’re all ears and ready to take on a new design.”
That philosophy has earned Spindle, Stairs & Railings many accolades and awards throughout its 20 years – Calgary’s Best Railing Company, Most Innovative Company, Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies and Small Business of the Year. Kevin himself was among the Top 40 Under 40 and an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. So, it’s no small wonder that real estate’s dynamic duo, Property Brothers, sought them out to be the exclusive supplier for the upcoming season of their reality TV series Buying and Selling.
When it comes to the “life” side of work-life balance, Kevin and Kim devote their out-of-office time to things such as minor football and HomeFront, an organization with a mission to eliminate domestic violence through direct client services, justice coordination and facilitated community action. Kevin is also a dedicated fitness buff and entrepreneur, committed to extreme obstacle course training and competition. He owns the COR.FIT (Canadas obstacle race) fitness facilities.
Since 1999, Spindle, Stairs & Railings has been committed to impeccable quality and providing the market with a vast range of styles and designs from traditional to contemporary and everything in between.
“We don’t go with the market, we try to be ahead of it,” adds Kim.