Shane Rennie: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Rectangle Design’s Shane Rennie, whose company works with clients to design clever homes, and then takes care of the entire building process to deliver the highest level of quality…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Rectangle Design is a Calgary design/build firm. We love modern architecture, and make sure all of our projects have a sense of experiment and progression. We work with our clients to design clever homes, and then take care of the entire building process to deliver the highest level of quality. By controlling the details, we ensure that nothing is lost in translation.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I had always been fairly good with my hands, building and fixing things, but didn’t really have the opportunity to be creative. After my design education, Rectangle Design was the perfect opportunity to combine both aspects. I was greatly inspired by the godfather of modern architecture, Mies Van Der Rohe, and by my younger brother, a graphic designer, who really encouraged me to start the business.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is working with the design team, and with new clients, to create conceptual ideas for a new project. Although this isn’t every day, they are definitely our favourite days! Balancing my entrepreneurial ambitions and my creative quirkiness can be a challenge. I think this can be a struggle for anyone in a bespoke-style business.

Where do you see your business going in five years?
We have big plans to open offices in Vancouver and Toronto. I feel that our model makes a lot of sense, and is one of which we can roll out into other markets across the country. We have been growing at a rapid pace over the last few years, and I don’t see that letting up.

What does success look like to you?
Primarily, we want our projects to make an impact, to gain recognition and attention. We want to want to maintain our commitment to great design…and to be the largest residential design/build firm in Canada!

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
There have been a few, but we had one of our projects featured on the cover of a Canadian design magazine last year, which made us all pretty happy.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Get “fired up”! I think it’s important to be passionate. Raise your voice sometimes; show your colleagues how much you care. I am always surprised by younger professionals entering the workplace – they have spent a ton of money and years of their life on their education, but act indifferent with the decisions being made, and can’t wait for the day to end. You chose this career, now start working your ass off and have some fun!

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Rectangle has a few that we are involved with.

Personally, I have just recently become involved with HEROS Hockey, which provides mentoring to at-risk youth in some of Canada’s less fortunate communities through quality time on and off the ice. I grew up in a bit of a rough neighbourhood, and love hockey, so this is the perfect way for me to help some kids find the right path.

What is Notable to you?
To me, talented and clever people are Notable! There is nothing I like more than talking to someone who is super smart and intellectual in their field; I’m completely engrossed in everything they say. Talent speaks for itself.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
A good friend of mine owns Robots and Pencils, a top iPhone app producer; it would be friends-off if I said anything other than iPhone! Plus, Apple products are designed so beautifully.

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Gym, Hockey, Entrepreneurs, Organization, and three kids.