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Welcome to the BrassTacks Blog

Thanks for being here!

If you don't know us, we are Jon and Carolyn Turner and we operate BrassTacks Design Source.

We are based in Calgary but we cover a huge territory in Western Canada from Manitoba to Vancouver Island and even up to the North West Territories! We work hard to bring the very best curated solutions for your commercial, institutional, hospitality (and even residential) projects.

A little bit of a back story:

I started my career as an account manager at a local contract furniture dealership in Calgary way back in 2006. Back then I didn't even really know what that meant! Contract Furniture? Huh? To be honest, I didn't even consider where companies would go to buy a file cabinet let alone a panel system! I was always interested in interior design but never thought about interior design for the office.

Since that first day on the job those years ago, I have worked for a couple other dealers including a local Teknion (where I became familiar with Alain Roy - who now owns Rouillard) and the local Knoll and DIRTT dealers. I loved my work and found it extremely rewarding. Made some wonderful friendships and met some fabulous mentors along the way.

Then, one day I received a call from Nienkamper asking if I would consider working on the other side of the fence - as a representative of the manufacturers. I would be responsible for marketing to dealer reps (like me) as well as architects and designers to grow the business portfolio for the manufacturer. Nienkamper flew me to Toronto and there I met with the living icon Mr. Klaus Nienkamper, himself. I was absolutely blown away! This man was a living legend and was part of the Founding Fathers of Canadian made furniture. I was in awe. What was more though, despite Klaus' long list of accomplishments and accolades and famous stories and famous friends, was the fact that he was interested in having ME represent them in Western Canada. (below was the photo of myself after committing to being the Nienkamper representative for Alberta).

That meeting actually changed my life. I decided I would jump feet first into this new role and new opportunity. I would create my own agency and make it the type of organization I wished I had access to when I was a dealer representative looking for unique solutions for my clients. I knew that if I could just focus 100% on servicing my dealer reps and design firms in my territory I would be successful. BrassTacks Design Source Inc was incorporated on Sept 29th and Sept 30th was my first day in business!

Of course, being an independent agent, you do need more than one line to create a few different revenue streams, so then I began to seek out lines that I loved to work with. I called Rouillard and spoke directly to Alain Roy and told him what I was doing. Would he be interested in having me represent them in Western Canada? He immediately said yes.

Through Nienkamper's affiliation with the ICF Group in the US at the time, I had access to be the rep for Unika Vaev and ICF. I was quickly building an impressive line of collections. I focused my collections to have an incredibly strong Canadian story and as such attracted Green Furniture Concepts and OFGO Studio both to round out our offering. At around the same time, Jon, seeing how much the business was growing (not to mention my travelling schedule and still having little kids at home) decided to shift gears and leave his career to join the family business!

Shortly after Jon joined me full time, Nook and Nevins found us and we felt it was a great fit, so we added them to the mix. In the last year we have completed our portfolio with Scandinavian Spaces and Tonik and we believe we have the most compelling, interesting, diverse

and exciting selection of curated manufacturers of any other agency in Canada!

We work in a way that is different that anyone else. My perspective has always been from the eyes of a dealer representative and designer which allows our company to pivot and respond, to create and anticipate what is needed, what will be interesting and what matters to you!

And that, is it. That is the BTDS story and it is only just beginning....


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