“I moved here because it’s a great community,” says Nic. “It’s neighbourly. Everyone treats each other extremely well. It is the perfect place to raise children.”
That’s good news for Nic’s family, including Stacey, his wife of 15 years, and two kids who love sports and can usually be found at the local field or rink. “It’s a good change for my family so I want to work hard and make sure it’s good news for the residents of Fraser Valley,” he says, adding how the fun-loving franchise brings a level of professionalism not usually found in the window-washing industry. “The people here love to support local businesses and we want to contribute to that spirit through service excellence as a part of Fraser Valley’s vibrant local business community.”
Nic has a crystal-clear window-washing vision for Fraser Valley, adding that he wants every customer to become part of the Men in Kilts clan. “This isn’t about making a quick buck for me,” says Nic, pointing out that his customers are also his neighbours. “We do what’s right for them, not necessarily what increases profit.”
That means answering calls six days a week. It means making things right if things go wrong. It means providing our Clean Guarantee. “Ultimately it means customers will see mountain peaks, not window streaks,” says Nic.
Reflecting on his humble beginnings, Nic recalls his own journey as the franchise founder.
It all started 15 years ago, with a cheeky idea, a squeegee, a rusty old Honda Accord and a simple kilt hand-sewn by Nicholas’ wife.
He always knew he wanted to be his own boss. Born and raised in Vancouver’s Richmond area, he watched his parents get laid off after 20 years of service, through no fault of their own. He watched other business owners retire relatively young. He had also worked for seven years in kitchens, including a Boston Pizza franchise, where he learned about “systems” and creating superior results that could be repeated again and again.
Nicholas later realized, that with window washing he could start his own business, and on a shoe string budget. But how to make it stand out against the widespread window-washing competition?
Kilts? The idea “flashed” through his mind while having drinks on the patio one evening in in 2002. The inspiration was from Men in Black and the sequel was a big summer blockbuster that year.
“Men in Kilts became the theme because it made us different,” says Nicholas recalling an earlier vision of a Men in Black blazer, white shirt, black tie and sunglasses…but with a kilt from the waist down. “We have never actually done that shot, but the concept of the kilt itself just took off.”
Memorable and amusing, the kilt continues to bring smiles to customers and onlookers…especially on windy days. Kilted technicians on ladders can’t be missed and create a memorable visual for an otherwise faceless service industry.
The rest was history. By 2009, Men In Kilts had grown to over one million in annual revenue.
“Who would have known there would be entrepreneurs like me, wearing kilts across North America because of one quirky idea?” asks Nic.
And, he believes, it wasn’t just because of the kilts. “It’s the customer service and excellent results,” he adds, noting the misperception that window cleaning is simple and anyone can do it. “Window cleaning is an art and to be good and fast takes a lot of practice.”
“Just give someone a squeegee and ask them to clean a window,” challenges Nic. “They will see how hard it is.”
Meanwhile in Fraser Valley, Nic and his team prepares to wow his neighbours with their squeegee skills and perfect window washing form. “Just like in Vancouver and across North America, I want to be able to put my name next to everything we do in Fraser Valley, and to be proud of it.”
With a kilt and a smile, Nic’s Men In Kilts business will provide home owners a variety of Residential Services, including: Window Cleaning, Gutter Cleaning, House Washing and Pressure Washing — all while wearing a kilt, fully insured and backed by their Clean Guarantee. Men In Kilts Fraser Valley will also provide professional Commercial Services for business owners, including Professional Low Rise Window Cleaning, Commercial Gutter Cleaning, Exterior Building Washing, Commercial Pressure Washing and Auto-Pilot Program | Customer Built for Business Owners & Property Managers,