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Empowering Your Workforce: An Interview with Ron Lovett

Empowering Your Workforce: An Interview with Ron Lovett


This week, we got the opportunity to speak with Ron Lovett, the founder and Chief Alignment Officer of Connolly Owens. Ron is an entrepreneur, founder of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Atlantic Canada, five time winner of Atlantic Business magazine’s Top 50 CEO award, founder of VIDA Living, the author of Outrageous Empowerment: The Incredible Story of Giving Employees Their Brains Back, just to name a few. In our interview, we spoke to Ron about his unique and powerful approach to empowering employees and why this is crucial for companies to be truly successful.

Prior to being a business owner, you worked as a bouncer at night clubs. What lessons did you gain from your time working there that has helped you in your current ventures?

Dealing with tough conversations, no matter what the situation is. Dealing with customers here I dealt with some of the worst situations you could ever imagine, and it taught me that you have to totally approach these conversations from a place of understanding, empathy, and treating them like they’re your very best friend.

It also taught me how to read body language VERY well. in loud situations, loud music and noise, you really had to learn to read body language. It’s helped me in meetings, allowed me to listen to tone and body language and learn so much more than from just people’s words.

I had to learn how to separate business and friendships at a young age and make sure I didn’t mix both. Having friends working for me, I was able to hold them accountable and treat them well- work is work and off work if off work.

Back then it was so important to have things locked up in a proper contract vs a handshake deal, especially with night clubs being so notorious for not paying.

What sparked your passion for empowering your work force?

Unfortunately I was at rock bottom, and I had no choice but to do something very creative and innovative that hadn’t been done in our industry. Reading and constantly consuming content and being involved in Entrepreneurs Organization allowed me to get inspired and learn from other entrepreneurs. Companies like Starbucks and Southwest stories inspired me.

What changes did you noticed in your own companies’ once you shifted the focus to empowering your employees?

We threw out the rule book completely and everything changed. Not just from our retention and our customer service- my own time became more strategic and proactive vs reactive… everything changed. We threw out all policy and procedures, and shifted to simple, scaleable systems.  Employees were given a simple three-pronged decision-making process (In short: Is it the right thing for the customer? Is it the right thing for the business? Are you willing to be accountable?) and were able to make decisions on their own. 

This resulted in front line employees making their own decisions then telling us what they did and why they did it.  We now had minimum wage employees acting strategically. I can’t TELL you how much that impacted our company. We grew 60% in a 24-month period.

What are the unexpected changes your clients have reported from implementing your strategies?

No decision-making bottlenecks, less bureaucracy, and better relationships with their staff (to name a few). Really getting in front of their human resources problems that had them pulling their hair out. They are now finally taking back control, enjoying it, and turning it into their company’s competitive advantage.

What is the single most important change you recommend companies make to empower their employees?

Get out of their way! I want to sneak 2 in here…One of the #1 things that happens over and over again is people add complexity and bureaucracy as they scale instead of making things simpler. Those things suck the energy out of not just the company, but the founders too.

What’s next for you?

Staying on my path. I am really enjoying what I’m doing with VIDA and Connolly Owens, and I want to focus on growing and scaling these companies

And trying to remind myself to not be in such a rush 🙂

You can find Ron online on his website, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And you can learn more about VIDA Living, which aims to revolutionize affordable housing, here.

5 Coastal Light Fixtures We’re Loving Right Now

5 Coastal Light Fixtures We’re Loving Right Now

nash hinkley lighting
While we are always on board for new trends (hello, modern boho!), we also love a good timeless style. One of our favourites is the Coastal look, which is a natural fit for us here in Atlantic Canada.

There’s something so fresh and welcoming about Coastal decor, and it brings a piece of seaside living to any home, regardless of its proximity to the ocean.

In today’s post, we’re sharing five of our favourite light fixtures from Hinkley Lighting. Hinkley offers both an interior Coastal collection and an exterior Coastal Elements collection, designed to withstand harsh climates and elements, perfect for our Atlantic Canadian winters and salty ocean winds.

Head to our Where to Buy page and search “Hinkley Lighting” to find these fixtures in a showroom near you.

NASH
nash hinkley lighting close up halifax nova scotia

The perfect Coastal pendant, the Nash is somehow both unique and classic at the same time. With hand panted stripes and jute rope, the details of Nash bring organic warmth and texture to any space.

See the Nash family here.

REPUBLIC
Hinkley Lighting Republic

Available in Satin Nickle and Oil Rubbed Bronze, and a variety of styles including flush mounts, pendants, and posts, the Republic fixtures add the perfect coastal vibe to any space in (or outside of) your home. Their resilient finishes feature a 5-year warranty and are resistant to rust and corrosion.

See the Republic family here.

NANTUCKET
Nantucket Hinkley

A Hinkley classic, the Nantucket features a timeless New England design for the ultimate in vintage nautical chic. The fixture is available in flush mounts, pendants, and posts, in an Aged Brass finish, clear seedy glass panels and durable solid brass construction.

See the Nantucket family here.

CREW
hinkley lighting lightovation

The Crew pendant was one of our favourite new releases at this year’s Lightovation, and it’s easy to see why! Offered in crisp Polished Nickel, Black with Heritage Brass, or Robin’s Egg Blue finishes, the single or linear pendants enhance modern, rustic, industrial or coastal spaces alike. They suit so many spaces, but how cute would the Robin’s Egg Blue single pendant be in a cottage kitchen?? *swooon*

See the Crew family here.

FREEPORT

Freeport features a classic New England design constructed from a composite material for timeless, traditional style. The fixtures are available in a variety of styles and finishes, and the finish is resistant to rust and corrosion with a 5-year warranty.

For more stylish light fixtures and designs, make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook!

 

Extend Your Patio Season with Dimplex’s Outdoor Heaters

Extend Your Patio Season with Dimplex’s Outdoor Heaters

dimplex outdoor heater

We had one of those blink-and-you-miss-it summers here in Atlantic Canada, and we don’t know about you but we are clinging to every last bit of outdoor time we can get! If you didn’t get your fill of warm summer evenings on the deck, we have the solution for you!

Dimplex’s line of indoor/outdoor heaters are the perfect way to extend your outdoor season. Available in 1500W, 1800W, and 2200W, they work in a variety of spaces and go from cold to full power in 8 seconds. They’re ideal for balconies, decks, sunrooms, and any outdoor living space.

The heaters come in three settings and have a remote control, so you just need to sit back, relax, and enjoy. The heaters are water tight and are built to withstand temperatures up to -40 C, so they are the perfect match for our Atlantic Canadian climate!

Learn more about the Dimplex indoor/outdoor heaters in the video below, and to find a location near you that carries Dimplex, head to our Where to Buy page!

Summer may be over, but it doesn’t have to feel like it! Dimplex’s heaters will have you enjoying your outdoor living space well into the fall.

For more stylish light fixtures, heating solutions, and designs, make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook!

Introducing aaline Lighting and Acoustics

Introducing aaline Lighting and Acoustics

Sustainable, minimal, modern, innovative- these are just a few of the words that come to mind when we think of our newest lighting line, aaline. We love not only their beautiful, Canadian-made products but also everything this company stands for, and we’re so excited to be repping them to our Atlantic Canadian market.

This year, we made a commitment to focus our efforts on sustainability (including our expansion into solar energy), and aaline was a natural fit. Their beautiful line of minimal architectural lighting and acoustic systems are made from 100% FSC certified hardwood sourced from Canadian forests and high-grade stainless-steel hardware. The units are natural and recyclable, with ultra-low consumption and high performance replaceable LED tubes and are ideal for LEED certified buildings.

Aaline offers a wide range of lighting and acoustic fixtures, from pendants and floor lamps to acoustic modules and panels. Keep scrolling to learn more about their unique collection!

(As with all of our lines, you can head to our interactive map to find a showroom location near you! Unlike our other lines, aaline fixtures aren’t displayed in stores, but you can order through any of these locations.)

PENDANTS
pendants aaline halifax nova scotia

Aaline’s minimal, sustainable pendants bring a soothing feel to any home or space. From a single pendant in a residential room (we love it over a dining room table) to multiple pendants filling a larger commercial space (stunning in a high ceilinged lobby), the pendants make an impact where ever they go.

The pendants are available in a variety of sizes and lighting temperatures and can be customized as well.

See the pendant collection here.

LIGHT STANDS
light stand aaline halifax

A modern twist on your typical floor lamp, aaline’s light stands offer a sleek and natural lighting solution for your home.

See the light stands here.

LINEARS

Aaline carries a variety of linears in various materials, finishes, and lighting temperatures. Materials include walnut, ash, white oak, and maple and the fixtures are available in various lengths.

See the linear options here, here, and here.

WALL FIXTURES
aaline sustinable lighting halifax nova scotia

The wall sconces and mounts from aaline add a subtle but impactful addition to the room. As with the other fixtures, they’re available in a range of materials, finishes, and sizes.

See the wall sconces and mounts.

ACOUSTICS
aaline acoustics and lighting

Aaline acoustics are made from FSC certified Canadian Hardwood and 100% natural wool felt. With a possible 24 unique combinations, and edge-to-edge magnetism, aaline acoustics opens up an endless amount of personalized configurations with scalable adaptability.

See the acoustics collection here.

You can learn more about aaline’s commitment to sustainability here, and you can browse their entire collection here.

For more stylish light fixtures and designs, make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook!

Reveal: Our Collab with the QE2 Home Lottery

Reveal: Our Collab with the QE2 Home Lottery

QE2 Home Lottery the adorne collection legrand1

wall plates and outlets from the adorne collection

As you may have seen on Instagram, we got the opportunity to collab on this year’s QE2 Home Lottery! Wadden Electric approached us about outfitting the home with wall plates and outlet’s from Legrand’s adorne and radiant collections, we were so excited to be a part of the project!

Homes by Highgate built the gorgeous lake front home in Indigo Shores, and we worked with their designer, Nancy of Fine Interiors, to choose the perfect plates for the home.

QE2 Home Lottery the adorne collection legrand 4

wall plates and outlets from the adorne collection

We chose fixtures from Legrand’s adorne collection for the entire downstairs and the master bedroom and went with the radiant collection for the upstairs. The adorne collection is Legrand’s designer wall plate line, and the plates are available in a wide range of colours and metals. They are absolutely stunning and a true decor piece.

QE2 Home Lottery the adorne collection legrand

wall plates and outlets from the adorne collection

The radiant collection is Legrand’s screwless wall plate line, and they offer a sleek modern look at a lower price point than the adorne collection.

QE2 Home Lottery the radiant collection legrand 7

wall plates and outlet from the radiant collection

Both collections offer a variety of cool features including USB outlets, wifi lighting, and pop out outlets.

QE2 Home Lottery the adorne collection legrand 9

wall plate and outlet (with USB) from the adorne collection

QE2 Home Lottery the adorne collection

wall plate and outlet (with USB) from the adorne collection

To find a Legrand showroom near you, head to our Where to Buy page. Just search “Legrand” and our interactive map will show you every available location around Atlantic Canada!

If you haven’t already, be sure to stop by the Qe2 Home Lottery and pick up your tickets to be entered to win this gorgeous home! And check out Homes by Highgate, Fine Interiors, Legrand, and Wadden Electric to stay up to date on all their latest projects.

For more gorgeous fixtures, collabs and lighting inspo, make sure you’re following us on
Instagram and Facebook!

Enter to Win Our End of Summer Giveaway with R Studios (worth over $1000!!)

Enter to Win Our End of Summer Giveaway with R Studios (worth over $1000!!)

halifax nova scotia

Our final summer long weekend giveaway is here, and we’ve teamed up with some of our favourite local businesses to bring you our most epic giveaway yet. ✨


One lucky winner will receive:

1. 1 YEAR membership to R Studios
2. A private sip and sweat with you and 20 friends with R Studios owner, Connie McInnes
3. Some @dalslighting bulbs (those awesome colourful lightbulbs you’ve seen us share all over Instagram!)
4. A fancy hair dryer from from Dime Salon (value $250), AND
5. A custom illustration of one or two people, professionally printed by Elena Camille Creates.


All you have to do is:

1. Like our photo on Instagram
2. Follow @rstudiosns @theconniemae @catalystelectrics @dimesalonhfx @elanacamillecreates
3. Tag your friends in the comment section.

Winner will be announced August 29.

Thanks to everyone for participating and good luck!!

6 Designs from Our Local Influencers

6 Designs from Our Local Influencers

Indie Home + Hinkley Lighting

It’s been a hot minute since our first local influencer round up, and since then we’ve gotten the opportunity to work with so many more amazing NS based bloggers and decorators. There is so much talent here, and it’s been so much fun getting to collab with these amazing creators.

Today we’re recapping just a few of the influencers, projects, and products we’ve gotten to collab on over the last year. There were too many to fit into one post, so stay tuned for Part II!

Looking for any of the products we mention in today’s post? Check out our Where to Buy page for all the details.

THE WILD DECOELIS

Katie-Rose and her family recently reno-ed their kitchen, and they wanted the perfect wall plates to go with their new look.

We set them up with the white wall plates and outlets from Legrand’s adorne collection, and we think they look simply stunning against their new subway tile.

DIY MOM

We’ve had the chance to work with Rebekah, of DIY Mom, on a few different projects, and in our latest collab we helped to supply light fixtures and wall plates for her new Air Bnb in Halifax’s North End.

Among our favourites were the cute Angela pendants from Mitzi that she used over the kitchen island.

INDIE HOME

We’ve been able to work with Kimi, of Indie Home, on a few fun projects this year, most notably on her front door makeover giveaway!

Kimi chose the Sag Harbour fixtures from Hinkley Lighting for her front door, and we just love how it came together.

KATE JERRYY

We’ve been a fan of Katelyn’s art for a long time know, so we jumped at the opportunity to work with her! Kate and her husband Jerry have spent the last year completely renovating a new A-Frame, and set them up with two of the Asime pendants from Mitzi.

The reno is still underway, and you can follow along at @aframe.on.fletcher

PETE AND SELENA

We collabed with Selena on a number of different projects with light fixtures from both Hinkley Lighting and Hudson Valley Lighting. It wasn’t easy to choose from all of her amazing designs, but one of our favourites was the Fulton Pendant from Hinkley Lighting that she used in her gorgeous kitchen.

SWEET PEA BOUTIQUE

We had so much fun teaming up with Sweet Pea Boutique on a giveaway this spring. We outfitted all of the shops outlets and switches with plates from Legrand’s adorne collection, including the antique bronze plates by their entry way.

To shop any of these fixtures, head to our Where to Buy page!

And for more gorgeous fixtures and lighting inspo, make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook!

Win a Custom Side Table with Furniture Power from DC Woodworks (worth $425!)

Win a Custom Side Table with Furniture Power from DC Woodworks (worth $425!)

dc woodwords legrand radiant power furniture

Hey guys, hope everyone has been having a great summer and has been enjoying all of this amazing weather we’re getting!

This week, we’ve got our second long weekend giveaway of the summer, and it is a good one!

We’re are so excited to have the opportunity to collab with Denika of DC Woodworks for this giveaway! As we’re sure you know, Denika is an amazing woodworker based in HRM, and you can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing her creations popping up in decor photos around the city.

We asked Denika to create a side table that includes on of our our radiant furniture power centers. These power bars can actually be built into furniture- you may have seen them under restaurant bars or in hotel headboards- and Denika has built this one into the drawer of the side table so you can charge your phones and devices without any clutter.

We are obsessed!!

Giveaway prize

One lucky winner will receive a custom built side table from Denika of DC Woodworks, complete with our radiant power furniture bar, valued at $425!

radiant furniture power outletHow to enter

All you have to do to enter is..
  1. Follow @catalystelectrics and @dc_woodworks on Instagram
  2. Tag as many friends as you’d like (in separate comments) on the Instagram giveaway post- the more comments, the more entries you’ll get!

It’s that simple!

Content rules:

1. Contest runs from Wednesday, July 31 to Monday, August 5 at 9pm
2. Winner will be announced on August 6 at 10 am.
3. Participants must be 18 years old or older and located in HRM.

Thank you to all of our participants and good luck!!

To stay up to date on all of our latest giveaways, make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook!

Stay Cool This Summer with the Indoor and Outdoor Fans from Regency Ceiling Fans

Stay Cool This Summer with the Indoor and Outdoor Fans from Regency Ceiling Fans

regency fans hinkley lighting ourdoor

We have an exciting new product line that is the perfect fit for the summer heat! One of our lighting lines, Hinkley Lighting, recently acquired Regency Ceiling Fans, and we are very excited to now be repping this stylish indoor/outdoor fan line.

Regency offers a wide range of ceiling fan styles, available for both indoor and outdoor, so you can find the perfect fit for your home decor. Indoor fans are a staple in many homes, but outdoor fans are a little less common. How luxurious does it sound, though, to lie out on your back deck while you stay cool with an outdoor ceiling fan? Sounds like summer paradise to us!

Regency Ceiling Fans is available anywhere that Hinkley Lighting is carried. To find a showroom near you, simply search for Hinkley Lighting in our interactive map.

Regency Ceiling Fans offers a number of unique features, from uplighting to energy efficiency, and so much more. Let’s take a look at some of the features that sets this line apart.

OUTDOOR FANS

Regency’s outdoor fans are available in both damp and wet location options. Damp location fans are designed to be used in covered areas and can handle a lesser degree of moisture, while wet location fans can handle direct contact of rain or spray.

See the outdoor fans here.

 

MOOD GLOW UPLIGHT FANS

regency ceiling fans uplight

To create the perfect ambient lighting, Regency offers a line of uplight fans, which has a light aimed upwards at the ceiling, rather than down like a traditional fan. Some of the models have downlights as well as uplights, giving you complete lighting control.

See the Mood Glow Uplight fans here.

ENERGY EFFICIENT

regency fans energy efficient halifaxRegency offers a full line of Energy Star qualified ceiling fans, which use energy efficient motors and blade design to help you save up to 20% in energy expenditure.

See the Energy Star fans here.

 

BUILDER FANS

In addition to residential fans, Regency offers a line of commercial grade builder fans that have become a go-to in the industry for their quality and reliability.

See the Builder Fans here.

 

 

VARIETY OF STYLES

Regency Fans are available in a variety of styles so you can find the perfect match to your decor. Choose between a wide range of transitional/traditional, contemporary, and designer series fans.

Browse all styles here.

Not just for the summer!
Did you know that indoor ceiling fans can actually help to keep your home warm in the winter? During the summer, you want your fan going counterclockwise to create a cooling breeze. in the winter, you can operate your fan at a slow speed in the opposite direction to redistribute the trapped warm air into the room.

Buying made simple
Regency takes the guesswork out of choosing the right fan with their comprehensive buying guide. Of course, any of the showroom staff can help you in-store, but if you’d like online support, their guide will help you to find the best option for you.

To shop the Regency line, head to our Where to Buy page and search for Hinkley Lighting (Regency’s parent company)!

And for more gorgeous fixtures and lighting inspo, make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook!