KYJO Steel has been in business since the 1990s but has been run by husband-and-wife team, Heather and Kent for the past decade. In his younger years, Kent always wanted to own his own business. He had dealings with KYJO Steel’s previous owner and mentioned this goal in passing. About a year later, the owner called Kent asking if he was willing to purchase the company.
“We knew pretty quickly that KYJO was the perfect fit for us. It was an industry Kent knew well, was located in Woodstock (no moving necessary), and was just an overall solid business. We took the leap. We mortgaged everything we owned, borrowed from family, and were able to secure financing.” – Heather, Current Co-Owner of KYJO Steel
As you can imagine, running a company as a husband-and-wife team has been quite the journey. We sat down with Heather and Kent to find out the details about what the day-to-day looks like and how owning KYJO Steel has impacted their lives together.
When did you both start at the company?
Heather: I started working at KYJO in June of 2015, but Kent started with KYJO right when we took ownership, on November 1, 2010.
What personal sacrifices have you had to make for working together to be successful?
Kent: I can’t think of any personal sacrifices I have had to make.
Heather: I enjoy working with Kent and our team! The only sacrifice I would say I have made is giving up having “work friends” that I would see every day when I worked at a separate business.
What is the key to making a husband-and-wife business partnership work?
Kent: The key to making it work for us is having defined responsibilities for the day-to-day operations and letting each other do our job. We discuss issues/challenges/opportunities that come up as business partners and we make decisions based on what is the best for our company. We leave the fact that we are married at the door when those discussions are happening.
What is your favourite part about working with your loved one?
Heather: I know my business partner has my back! I know that we are working towards the same goal at the end of the day. I have complete confidence in his ability to lead KYJO and know that it will continue to be successful. There is no one else that I would want to be on this crazy adventure with!
Kent: I have full trust in Heather and her ability both in her role at KYJO and most importantly the role she plays in our family. Owning KYJO together gives us the flexibility to allow her to be successful in both!
What is your least favourite part about working with your loved one?
Heather: When we both worked at different places, I would look forward to talking about each of our days in the evening. Now when we work together – we know how each other’s day went.
Kent: Too often our work life spills over into our home life. It’s just how it is. Sometimes that is the best chance we have to discuss work-related stuff. It all works out in the end though.
KYJO Steel has seen significant growth over the past ten-plus years. When Heather and Kent took ownership of the business, it was running out of a 6400sq ft facility. In the first five years, it was clear they needed more capability and space to take on larger projects for their clients. They purchased land directly across the road and built a brand new 15,600 sq ft building – with more space, better lighting, air quality, and exponentially increased efficiency. KYJO Steel now has 24 feet below the cranes, meaning no project is too big to tackle.
Heather and Kent are dedicated to moving KYJO Steel forward with the right equipment, team, and facility. That’s their ‘not so secret’ secret to success in Creating Form for Function.
Have a project you are looking to get started on? Use the “get in touch” form on the contact page at the top of your screen. Heather, Kent, or another team member will get back to you promptly.
At KYJO Steel, we pride ourselves in not only providing the best results and service to our clients, but also in being a great place to grow a career. Don’t just take our word for it…take a look at what Sam Swartzentruber, a KYJO employee has to say.Read More