Name: Kris Reynolds

Age: 39

Title: President

Company: Reynolds Custom Woodworks, Winslow

About: Custom kitchen cabinet builder for homeowners and builders


What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Having to wear too many hats — more hats than a normal business owner would wear for this size company. Not only do I manage the day-to-day installs, (but also) site visits, customer relations, marketing, advertising and all the quoting and design work for the kitchens as well. I am pretty good at sorting that all out. I have a good staff here to pick up and step in when I would typically be working on the floor. I spend more time in my chair (in the office) and in the seat of my truck on the shop floor lately. I used to work 10 to 14 hours a day with my hands, and now it’s more like four to five.

What’s the best advice anyone has given you?

Two things. I used to be a teacher at Erskine Academy. At a parent-teacher conference there was a parent who was a cabinet maker and I said was struggling with the costing thing. He scribbled something down and gave it to his son, who brought it to me. He told me what I should be charging and it was almost double. You have to know your costs and charge accordingly.

I learned a while ago, from my father, that you can’t take every job. I have avoided some big-time problems knowing that.

Well, three things. Not to bite of more than you can chew, financially. I own my equipment and the building. I can keep my overhead costs low.

How do you foster creativity in yourself or your staff?

That’s a tough one. This isn’t rocket science. We’re building boxes that people put boxes in. From that standpoint it’s cut and dried. I can show guys how I would do something. As long as the end result is what I want, I am allowing them to use their own means to get to a common result.

I recently put on an addition to the shop. Basically, it’s a finish space, so I let my finish guy take the ball with that.

What’s your biggest fear?

Having to lay someone off. That’s true failure, right there. It’s the Type A personality thing. I owe these guys their jobs and it would crush me to tell someone I had to let them go. We’re all buddies. It’s an easy place to work. That’s what makes it work — we’re all family.

How do you navigate changing market conditions?

We work all over New England. It’s never 20 minutes to a job site. It’s being aware of what my competition is doing and what my customer wants. If they want painted gray cabinetry, it reflects what’s on HGTV, and I have to have a sample in my shop. I pay attention to what’s on social media, Instagram, Houzz (a website with home design, decorating and remodeling ideas). You have to have those things to keep up with the Joneses.

Five Questions is a new feature in Central Maine Sunday. If you are a local business and would like to be featured, contact reporter Jessica Lowell at [email protected]

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