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Business Turns Around Custom Doors – Quickly

Daily Herald New

Interview With Daily Herald (July 2008).

When approaching a home, the front door often gives the first impression.
Entrepreneur Greg Wozniak, who founded a real estate development company five years ago, realized this and saw a void in the market.
Wozniak spotted what he saw as a shortage of companies that manufacture high quality, luxury wooden entryway doors. “I saw a need out there,” the Glenview resident said.

Wozniak found that homeowners grew frustrated when many suppliers require a three- to four-month wait for a custom door. One-of-a-kind doors are often pricey as well.

“Some can cost as much as a car,” Wozniak, 37, said. “We decided to automate the custom industry.”

About two years ago, he launched Doors For Builders in Bensenville. He mainly catered to builders and architects. Individual homeowners started hearing of the showroom at 300 Eastern Ave., though, and the business is now adding homeowners to its marketing plan.

The business has seen a 40 percent hike in sales over last year, and Wozniak points to professional service, quality and doors that are available the same day. “It’s a good recipe,” he said. One key ingredient in his formula, he said, is to offer custom doors with a price tag of about half of what consumers might find at large retailers.

To cut costs, instead of making one door at a time, Wozniak makes about a dozen at the same time. “We have close to 1,000 doors in our warehouse. There are about 40 different models,” he added.

Greg Wozniak has about 1,000 doors in his showroom and warehouse, which is open to the public.

The business owner said Doors For Builders delivers the next day and sells on the Internet. “Our Web site (www.doorsforbuilders.com) is a powerful instrument,” he said.

The prehung, factory finished doors are available in several woods including mahogany, cherry and knotty alder. Wozniak works with three companies in Central America, Asia and Eastern Europe to make the doors.

Wozniak, born and raised in Poland, immigrated here when he was 18. He worked in the corporate world in finance, sales and marketing at Kraft Foods when he earned his MBA from Northwestern University. He also worked on the marketing team at Barilla’s U.S. headquarters in Bannockburn.

“I understand what it takes to start a business. It’s easy to open a business. It’s difficult to be profitable,” he said.

The showroom is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

 

By Kim Mikus
Daily Herald Columnist
 

Published: 7/23/2008 12:04 AM

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