Working with a small business is something Trevor Schick knows firsthand.
His late father Rob Schick owned Cariboo Rewind on Mackenzie Avenue where Williams Lake Railings Ltd. is today.
Born in Williams Lake, he grew up with his father, mother Jill Schick and younger brothers Matt and Brian, and attended Polar Glade, Anne Stevenson and Columneetza schools.
“Early out of high school my wife Jenn and I got together and started a family and then I went to BCIT where I got my electrical apparatus repair technician certificate,” he said.
Trevor worked with his dad until Rob passed away in 2000 and ran the shop for a couple more years, but eventually sold it to a company out of Prince George.
Rewinding was a ‘great’ business up until the softwood lumber agreement fell apart in the early 2000s and all the sawmills and mines tightened up their purse strings and rewind shops went broke all over B.C., Trevor recalled.
After the rewind shop he went to work for Cariboo GM for three years and while working there in 2005 he joined the Williams Lake Fire Department.
One evening after practice, Trevor was chatting with another member Rick Jelley, who owns New Waves Pool and Spa.
Jelley was saying he needed employees, and Schick went to work for him in 2008. He remained there up until a year and a half ago when he purchased Schickworks Signs and Stitches from his cousin Dale Schick.
Dale and his wife opened it originally in the 90s at Trimline Designs which was a franchise company across Canada. When the company downsized, Dale created Schickworks.
“I love it,” Trevor said of owning the business. “I’m absolutely enjoying myself. I was ready for a change after 15 years of installing hot tubs. I’m not getting any younger and the hot tubs were not getting any lighter.”
The timing was right and with the business being named Schickworks, he told Jenn there was no reason they should not buy it because their name was on the front of the building.
Jenn had been working there already for close to 10 years as the bookkeeper and their eldest daughter Kallie, 27, had been the graphic designer there for several years.
“It’s really a family businesses with lots of Schicks in the building,” Trevor mused.
When Jenn’s father Bruce Mattson died on Christmas Eve 2020, she also stepped in to take over Sta Well Health Food Store which he had owned and operated in Williams Lake for 43 years.
The Schicks are running it now as well with assistance from their daughter Teneal, 25. Teneal’s twin sister Bailey works at the city of Williams Lake.
Running a small business in Williams Lake always has its challenges for everyone, however, Trevor said they were fortunate they bought into a business that had been established for 25 years.
“It was a matter of taking the reins, steering the ship in the same direction and adding some of our own ideas to it. The first year and half has been spectacular and we are busier than we’ve ever been.”
The difficulty is finding enough staff and finding enough material to get jobs done with supply issues.
There is a crew of 12 people working there now and all of them are fantastic, he added.
“Half the battle of running a business is having a good staff.”
Since joining the fire department Trevor has attended close to 4,000 calls.
“Typically over the years I have held an 80 to 85 per cent attendance record with fire calls, then there’s practice and training over and above. It’s a lot of leaving your wife at the grocery store to find her own way home.”
Without family support he would not be able to volunteer, he added.
“You spend a lot of time away from home. I’ve always been involved with training and maintenance, but it’s a passion.”
Trevor is the assistant fire chief at the department and has been on the hiring committee for the new fire chief to replace Erick Peterson who left for a job in Delta in August.
“Hopefully soon we will be letting everyone know who the new chief is,” he said.
When not working or volunteering, Trevor and Jenn love to travel.
They have embarked on a mission to see all of the U.S. and this fall will take a break from running their two businesses to check off some of the northwestern states on their list.