Millennial Entrepreneurs – Chris Barry
Against The Grain Construction Ltd was founded in October 2015 by Chris Barry.
As a Journeyman Carpenter and a graduate of NBCC’s Business Administration program, Chris Barry saw an opportunity to open his own company in Saint John, New Brunswick. “I was meant to do more with my life than swing the ol’ hammer every day”, Barry states, and notes that this mindset is what led him to combine his woodworking passion with his business background to start his own company. Being an entrepreneur was not the original plan, but with a nudge from a friend Barry decided to take the plunge.
ATG Construction Ltd is still in its very early days, and according to Barry he is continually finding new inspirations and ideas for his company. He primarily focuses on residential construction, but what sets ATG Construction apart is Barry’s passion for woodworking and his ability to design and create custom pieces of furniture to accent the newly renovated space. His eye for detail and the pride he takes in showcasing true craftsmanship makes his work truly unique.
Barry originally approached the Business Development Bank of Canada about opening ATG Construction, soon being introduced to Joanna Killen, an Economic Development Officer at Enterprise Saint John. Since working with Joanna, Barry has had the opportunity to take part in the Kickstart program and receive an ACOA Seed Loan. He says that Kickstart provided him with the opportunity to join a network of people who support each other’s businesses. He was also able to connect with Donna Mazerole, who, according to Barry, has been invaluable when it comes to providing insight on the financial aspects of running a business.
ATG Construction has been fortunate to have received strong support along the way, even before Kickstart. Barry says that Peter Stoddard from the Saint John Ale House and Chris Long from Service Master have been highly influential and supportive of his company, and points out that having a network of helpful friends doesn’t hurt, especially when it comes to spreading the word about your company.
Barry loves playing rugby and has coached the Harbour View High School men’s team. For him, community involvement is something that is very important, and he believes that social responsibility and giving back to your community is just as important as running a successful business.
(written by Chelsea Floyd)