Simon Druart and Thomas DuBoyce saw the wastefulness inherent in the construction industry and realized something had to give. With the volume of construction waste generated worldwide set to nearly double by 2025, the pair founded Horizon Eco Builders, a construction company that specializes in durable, beautiful and eco-friendly homes.
“We believe it’s possible to deliver an exceptional, affordable product while using responsible eco friendly building techniques. We created our company around a set of core values so we can do our part in taking steps towards a greener more sustainable future,” Thomas explains.
“The construction industry is facing a lot of issues right now. The one we keep coming back to is the amount of waste materials. There is so much waste everywhere we look, the use of non-sustainable products and materials is widespread”
Staying True to Their Values
When organizing to speak with Thomas and Simon for this profile, the duo requested the interview be carried out over the phone to cut down on unnecessary carbon emissions. This dedication to sustainable practices informs every aspect of their business.
“One of the main things for us when we founded this business was the ability to input our creativity but also our values into projects,” said Thomas.
“We wanted to be selling our true selves when we walked into a sales meeting. We didn’t want to be fake, nor be motivated just by money. What we are most proud of so far is we’ve been able to maintain our values while also carrying out the day-to-day running of the business and that has been massive for both of us.”
Leaning on Support
It’s one thing to work in an industry; owning a business in that industry is a whole different puzzle. There’s a knowledge gap to be bridged and how you fill those gaps is crucial to your future success. Thomas and Simon completed the picture in several ways.
“We were lucky in that we both worked in the industry before and it allowed us to build up a pretty substantial network of people we can turn to for advice,” Thomas said.
“We’ve also taken advantage of some of the supports available to entrepreneurs such as Small Business BC, and your wonderful French equivalent the SDE.
“One major thing we’ve learned so far is to be patient and to not give up when things get tough. Sometimes, you just have to push through and have faith in your vision.”
Dealing with Doubt
Despite the supports in place, doubt can, and will, creep in from time to time. Simon and Thomas push through these moments with communication and a reflection on their mission statement.
“Reminding ourselves of the goals we have for the company, how we want to create a healthier and more sustainable environment for us all to enjoy, it’s a really powerful motivator for us,” Thomas reveals.
“To be able to go back to that foundation during moments of self doubt is so useful.
“We also have quite good communication between the two of us. If one of us is having doubts, it’s always been really helpful to discuss it between ourselves and it often gives you the spark you need to try and find solutions.”
Discover Your Why
In business, it’s often not enough to understand how to do something. Instead, understanding why you’re doing it and being able to communicate that to clients is key. For people looking to follow Thomas and Simon and start their own business, the duo recommend thinking about the ‘why.’
“The biggest thing that helped us at the start was putting the work in to figure the why of our company and develop a strong foundation of values and processes that we could both buy into long term.
“The other piece of advice we have is to persevere and respect the process. Starting a business is immensely rewarding and liberating, but along with the fun creative aspect comes a bunch of thankless, tedious work that needs doing. If you can find a way to stay motivated while tackling that aspect of the adventure, then you are already ahead of the curve.”
Take the Next Step
Ready to follow Thomas and Simon’s example and start your own business? Small Business BC’s is here to help you at every stage of the process.