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Michael Difazio Reclaim Artistry

Friday, October 30, 2015

By: Natasha Marar, Business Advisor

Michael Difazio

A Windsor woodworker is fashioning his own entrepreneurial path.

Michael Difazio, 24, started making window chalkboards and mirrors four years ago out of his mother’s garage. The small business idea became Michael Difazio Reclaim Artistry in 2013.

Difazio’s business has grown recently from a small shop to a 3,000-square-foot work and retail space in the Ford City neighbourhood to accommodate the increasing demand for his products.

Production has taken off, and so too have the orders. “My business will always be maturing and growing to fit the needs of the times. I now have orders booked up for the next three months and [they] keep coming in,” said Difazio.

The budding entrepreneur started the small business because of the flexibility it offered.

“I don't like having to be at a job for a set amount of time. I want to be my own boss. I feel I have much more to offer to the community then to be just a full-time factory worker,” he said, adding, “There are future plans to make the jump and run my company full swing.”

The motivation to start the business also bore out of Difazio’s early experience working with wood during a high school co-op placement at a local mill and later with reclaimed materials while attending St. Clair College.

“[Learning] how to build furniture and do other woodworking projects taught me how to break the rules. I have my own way of doing things. There's not really a rule book for tearing down a piece of bowling lane and reclaiming it into a dining room table.”

Difazio uses multiple North American suppliers to source reclaimed materials, which undergo a process to make them suitable for reuse. “A lot of my material and objects are also found while alley surfing. From there, the wood supplies make it to the kiln to make sure there are no bugs or bacteria still living in the wood. The kiln also brings the wood to the proper furniture building dryness,” Difazio explained.

Michael Difazio Reclaim Artistry projects are as varied as its clients. “I have customers from businesses coming in ordering bar tops and table tops to families ordering entire living room sets,” said Difazio. “I don't like to [turn down] projects. I like new crazy ideas and challenges. I like to tell people that I can build anything from anything.”

Michael Difazio is WindsorEssex Small Business Centre client. You too can receive support in launching or expanding your small business. Contact us for more information.