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Meet Davor Jokanovic of Renovators’ Outlet in Albany Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Davor Jokanovic.

Davor, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After starting Areté Renovators (our sister company that specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodeling), we were looking to open a construction office in Chicago. We were looking for space in a building we could buy or renovate. Once we found and purchased the building and started renovating it, we had a contact in Arizona that had his own showroom in the same line of business. I visited him and got the idea that if we were going to start putting construction offices in we should sell material and create a design showroom out of the space as well for our clients to also buy their materials through us. This was a major move for us as it allowed us to become a “one stop shop” and keep control all under our umbrella. We focused more on kitchen and bath which were the highest needs for a clients.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road as we navigated the market crash early on. After surviving that, I think our other struggles have been finding the right designers to fit within our system. It has also been a learning curve with suppliers, making sure your price point fits within the range of your ideal client’s budget, and that the materials we stock and display are a good fit for our clients. If it weren’t for our construction business (Areté Renovators) our showroom would suffer in finding new clients. People want the fastest route to reach their desired outcome. That means that they are not inclined to order materials from one company and have another do the install and a third design the space. They want everything in one spot with one point of contact.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a kitchen and bathroom design showroom where clients can come meet with our in-house designers, browse materials and design their dream home. We regularly update our displays and materials we carry as design trends change. Our showroom is not just open to our own clients. We also welcome outside homeowners, designers, architects, etc. to stop by, see what we have to offer and order through us. The design limits are endless! We want to be a resource to our community.

Just like our construction business (Areté Renovators), we built Renovators’ Outlet on honesty and quality. Those are our two main motives. We don’t sell material that isn’t good quality because it is a direct reflection on us and only creates a headache for the client down the road. There have been times where we have had to walk away from clients because we were asked to do a project that walked the fine line of quality. We don’t cut corners and will not deliver a product to our client that isn’t 100% and that we wouldn’t install in our own homes. Most people have a negative outlook on contractors. For us, our reputation is everything. We built our business on referrals and maintaining a good name in the industry.

As a company, I am most proud that we have been able to get through some really rough times and come out stronger and better than we were before.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes, Chicago is a great place for a business like ours because it is an older city that is always in need of renovation and remodeling.

No, I would not recommend Chicago for someone that is just starting out and wanting to open a design showroom. They would need to have experience in design or have a construction business that they can partner with their showroom or they will really struggle like we did. Having a construction business really helps the showroom operate. It is definitely a tough business.

Chicago is a great city full of opportunity, but Chicago’s sales taxes are one of the highest in the country. That is one thing the city can do to improve.

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Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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