Who's Who Women in Business


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who's who women in business 15 t here's one thing for certain about domestic life. Families grow. But you can't always pick up and move to a larger space. Sometimes, you just have to grow where you're planted. Doreen Gauthier, founder of Winnipeg design and renovation company Make It Home Ltd., learned that early, while she was growing up in St. Claude. "I was raised on a farm where you can't simply change houses when your needs change, so my parents' home has seen many transformations," she says. "My mom was always at the helm of these changes, so I started renovating spaces very early." Since the age of 21, Gauthier has always had a project on the go, and she's even renovated three of her own homes. "I started a renovation company because I love to renovate! I knew I could do it forever and it just grew and grew from there." On any given day, Gauthier, 47, is doing design, general contracting, and acting as an employer and entrepreneur. Her experience, combined with a certificate in architectural drafting, has helped her to assemble a team of permanent and contracted professionals, including carpenters, plumbers, painters and more. "You have to quarterback the effort, all while listening and guiding your clients through the process," she says. "You have to imagine your end result and work towards it. Everything you do has to lead you in that direction." While the work is complex and challenging, it's also fun, with new styles and materials constantly arriving in Winnipeg. "You can browse magazines and websites and next thing you know those materials are available at our local suppliers." There is growing interest in designer kitchens, open-concept spaces and spa-like bathrooms. And Gauthier says even more homeowners would renovate instead of moving if they understood how smooth the process can be. Some of the most rewarding comments she hears are from clients who say they'd do it again in a flash. One couple had lived in the same home for 20 years without making any changes — until they hired Make It Home Ltd. to deliver a total home renovation. Afterward, they were already planning the next reno. "They said that when they were ready to downsize they would buy a fixer-upper and do it all over again because they knew they could get through it so easily!" Gauthier has big plans for her company this year, with work that hits close to home. She's moving from her beautiful home office into a commercial space at 678 Taché Ave. "Creating the work environment for my team is my next major undertaking. I'm excited about our new location. I feel being in historic St. Boniface — which is going through such a transformation — and being French-speaking myself, is incredibly fun," she says. "We're all looking forward to it — it's going to be great!" • Changing Places { a sPecialist in transforMations } By Wendy King Gauthier says more people would choose to renovate if they knew how pleasant the process can be. PHOTO By DARCy FINLEy Doreen Gauthier, founder of Make It Home Ltd.

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