Some businesses have a strong family feeling embedded within their company culture. For Garibaldi Glass, that family feeling hits much closer to home. President and CEO, Carey Mobius, has been with the company since 1982 (starting two weeks after he graduated high school), and ever since has focused on staying close to his roots as he works together with his brothers Chris and Craig in running the company.
“When I started, my main intention was to maintain the legacy of what my father left behind,” says Carey. He explains that he was only 16 when his father passed away, and the business his father started was in a challenging circumstance as a result. “I understood that the company was essentially heading towards bankruptcy. And the family had to make a decision as to whether we let the business go or we do something about it.”
After 37 years, Carey has made sure the business never lost its family feel. Keeping that close-knit relationship with the staff and even some of the business partners has been key to the company’s success. It’s also helped Carey stay invested and interested in seeing the business continue to flourish.
Loving every moment at work
If you ask Carey about work-life balance, he’ll ask you what that is (in jest). For most, being unable to separate work from personal life is the sign of a problem. In Carey’s case, it’s a sign of how passionate he remains about the business. He points out that he’s always able to make time for his wife and children, but he doesn’t take time off for the sake of taking time off. Instead, he keeps his eye on how the business is setting him up for the future.
“I have such a passion for the business that if I invest now it should give me freedom down the road,” says Carey. He explains that people often ask him when he’ll retire from the business, and his answer is simply when he stops enjoying it.
“As long as I’m fully enjoying myself, it doesn’t feel like work.”
Taking care of his own
In addition to always making time for his family, Carey makes sure he takes the time to connect with his staff. He explains that the approach to open communications that Garibaldi Glass has taken with its staff has been a game changer for the business. He even worked to expand the business through the west coast of the United States and Hawaii to make sure he wouldn’t have to lay off staff during the slower periods his business had experienced in the Vancouver area.
“It can be so disruptive in our industry to hire and train people, so it’s very challenging when you end up having to lay people off,” says Carey. “Having staff turnover like this affects our consistency and quality. This expansion has been a big gain for us in both our cash flow and the retention of our staff.”
Partners that treat you like family
During much of the company’s expansion, Carey switched his business bank to Canadian Western Bank (CWB). He was quickly introduced to the team who would be looking after his business finances and felt connected right away. As Carey explains, he’s never really felt like a client of CWB. Instead, CWB has always felt like a business partner.
“They listened to our strategy and the explanations we had for going in that direction, and they allowed us to grow at our own pace that we wanted,” says Carey.
He explains that because CWB is based in western Canada, he feels like they have a better grasp of what makes running a business in BC unique. “A lot of banks operate out of the east, and they don’t really understand what’s going on in our backyard. CWB understands western economics. I know a lot of people who work with CWB and have locally-owned businesses, and they’re able to grow at a comfortable pace.”
Finding a bank that understands the family dynamic of how Carey runs Garibaldi Glass has been important for how the company has developed. Having a close relationship with his bank means the people who are helping Carey finance his business — and his family’s legacy — actually listen to what’s important to him. When a business owner has a partner like that in a bank, it’s easy to maintain the passion while staying balanced.