Whistler Fireplace Company owner Richard McRae credits his entrepreneurial success to two family members: his grandfather for the inspiration and his wife for her partnership.
McRae’s grandfather owned a company in Vancouver called McRae Electrical, which at one point had around 80 employees.
While his grandfather’s three sons didn’t follow in his footsteps, McRae was inspired by his entrepreneurial spirit.
“I always knew I wanted to work for myself,” McRae says.
“I wanted to be out on my own, pushing the limits of what I can learn and accomplish.”
McRae started his training at a local fireplace store right out of high school, giving him the fundamentals and training he uses to succeed today.
He apprenticed with a journeyman and, by 2005, received his Gas B Ticket. In 2006, he started his own company, a small gas-fitting company out of North Vancouver.
McRae didn’t stop his education there. He went on to receive his Gas A ticket, Forced Air Guidelines certification, Ventilation Guidelines certification, and even completed several smaller courses to further his knowledge and professionalism.
While he grew up in North Vancouver, McRae decided to move to Squamish 14 years ago.
“I wanted to be closer to the ocean and tap into the wonderful outdoor community that exists in Squamish,” McRae says.
In 2017, McRae and his wife Emma opened the Whistler Fireplace Company in Squamish.
“We dove in head first,” McRae says.
Whistler Fireplace is the place to go for homeowners, builders and designers looking to install a new fireplace or remodel an existing fireplace in their home or business. The company will oversee the entire process, from creation and installation to service and repair. They work closely with clients to bring them the fireplace of their dreams.
The company has gone from just McRae and an apprentice to a staff of four in addition to Emma as the office manager. They will be hiring more staff soon, as they plan to open a Whistler satellite office.
McRae says his success would not be possible without the support of his wife, along with his mother and father.
“My wife has been a supporter of anything that I’ve put on us,” McRae says, “We work together to reach every goal.
And, we’re both thankful to my parents, Michael and Timotha McRae, for the constant love and support they have provided with our three children.”
For fireplace ideas and inspiration, visit www.thewhistlerfireplacecompany.com.