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From Frustration To Opportunity In North Vancouver Island

From Frustration To Opportunity In North Vancouver Island

It all started with a series of frustrating phone calls. Chris Strong, owner of Men In Kilts’ newest location on North Vancouver Island, decided to start a franchise after he moved to Campbell River in February. He realized there were no property maintenance services available there… let alone a service experience that brings the perfect balance of professionalism, superior quality and head-turning hilarity that Chris had gotten used to as a previous Men In Kilts client in Calgary.

“First I tried to find lawn services. Then gutter cleaning, and later I looked for window washing services,” recalls Chris. “In all three occasions, nobody returned my calls or came by.”

After speaking to his new neighbours, he discovered that he and his wife Janice weren’t the only people experiencing this frustration. Chris had already been an admirer of the Men In Kilts brand so he contacted CEO Chris and his wife Robyn to begin a conversation about potentially starting a franchise. The rest was history.

Chris Strong

“My wife and I are not afraid of hard work,” said Chris, whose franchise will serve Campbell River, Nanaimo, Parksville and surrounding areas on the north part of Vancouver Island. Not only did the business minded couple recognize a gap in service availability there, but they saw a demographic opportunity as well.

“Baby boomers are coming here in droves to retire and experience the sites, the mountains, the ocean, lakes, fishing, hunting, hiking… you name it,” says Chris. “Many of them don’t want to be doing the hard-physical labour required in property maintenance.”

Chris is confident in the long-term success of his new business due to a combination of important factors: the niche retirement market in his location; the unique Men In Kilts brand and franchise supports and; his and his wife’s previous business and leadership experience. He believes running a franchised business brings the appeal of learning from other people’s mistakes and using proven systems 25+ years in the making.

“I love the Men In Kilts brand and the energy that Robyn and Chris bring to the business,” says Chris. “Leading people is a real skill,” he adds, looking back at his own experience. Chris recalls one of the single biggest influencers in his career, the previous Principle at Derrick Dodge Edmonton where Chris served as a salesman in the late 90s. “George Thompson showed me that people have good qualities and more challenging qualities. Strong leadership is about accepting both sides of people to capitalize on their strengths. He spoke straight and he gave you praise when needed.”

Chris took George’s wisdom with him as he went on to build a breadth of management experience in both mid and large sized businesses.

Together with his wife Janice, Chris believes their varied work experience running large service companies with sales components will be an asset to the Men In Kilts business. “My previous accomplishments as a General Manager and VP Operations will allow me to build a highly organized and committed team while maintaining the high standard of customer satisfaction that comes with the Men In Kilts brand,” says Chris who can’t wait to don his kilt in the community while Janice focuses on back-end organization and setting up the team for success.

Chris Strong in Action

When asked about his accomplishments, Chris is most proud of rebuilding his team at the last position he held. “In less than two years, we went from the most underperforming out of nine Canadian branches, to the top performing team with an annual revenue of $15 million.”

One of the couple’s other proudest accomplishments is their family including a son and daughter who are also doing great things. “My son will soon be a teacher and my daughter is a Doctor of Psychology who leads the Wetaskiwin School District’s student counsellors and support staff.”

Chris is also looking forward to becoming a grandpa in October this year.

“At the end of the day, happiness is all about finding love and balance… with people and with nature,” says Chris. “And it’s also about having fun. Starting a business with Men In Kilts allows us to have fun while also making some money…. one kilt and one customer at a time!”

About Men In Kilts

Nicholas Brand started Men In Kilts in 2002 with a squeegee and a hand-sewn kilt made by his wife. The first franchise was opened in 2010 in Vancouver and has grown to 17 locations across Canada and the U.S. Committed to service, people often give them a try because of the kilts, but they keep coming back because of the outstanding service. There’s a lot more behind Men In Kilts service than just kilts! The company continues its successful expansion, with plans to be in every major market across North America.

For more information on Men In Kilts, or to see them in action, please Contact Us, or visit your nearest Men In Kilts Location page here. For franchise information, visit

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What our amazing customers are saying!

  • gutter cleaning

    Reliable and quick....competitive price. Very nice friendly the more
    | Mission

  • Men in Kilts, Red Deer, AB

    We are very happy with the job done by Arvin at our Red Deer home, which is a two storey with 40 year old siding and windows (both very difficult to clean). He took great care to do a good and detailed job. Would more
    | Red Deer, Alberta

  • Mark was professional efficient

    We had our carpets cleaned by Mark, who arrived on time and quickly got to work . I would recommend Men in Kilts more
    | Calgary

  • Mrs.

    I was extremely impressed by the job completed by Men in Kilts. My windows have never looked so clean! more
    | Innisfail, Alberta

  • Ronnie

    I was extremely pleased with the cleaning of my windows inside and out.He was very pleasant and more
    | calgary, ab

  • Exterior Window Cleaning

    The men that came from Men in Kilts to clean my exterior windows today were very professional. They were polite, well spoken, clean and finely dressed (in kilts of course). It was a cool day today, however, they still managed to do an amazing more
    | Cranston Community, Calgary

  • Was very happy with the quality of Ian's and his helper's work. Very thorough and yet quick. Will have then back in the spring and will refer to my friends.Great Job guys!!! more
    | Kamloops

  • Excellent blind cleaning

    We asked the company to pick up and clean and return four sets of fabric blinds while we were having paining done, and they delivered perfectly cleaned blinds installed right on time over the long weekend. I was very impressed. Braeden came to pick more
    | Calgary

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