Feature Client: Alteriors – Part 2: Interview

Feature Client: Alteriors – Part 2: Interview

We just had the pleasure of completing our interview with Monika Durczak and Jacob Visutskie, owners of Alteriors Contemporary Furniture Inc. This may be our most up-close and in-depth interview to date, as Monika and Jacob provided an in-depth perspective on the contemporary furniture industry and truly shared their passion for authentic design. Do not miss this one!

Could you please tell us the name of your business and briefly explain what you do?

Monika: Our business name is Alteriors Contemporary Furniture Inc., but we go by Alteriors. What we do is provide authentic, high quality, carefully selected furniture brands in Ottawa. We try to cater to the mid to high end residential and commercial markets.

Jacob: We provide a positive shopping experience for the consumer. We compete with a lot of online companies so for us it’s all about the experience. If you’re buying an $8000 sofa we want to ensure you’re spending your money the right way, It’s about the right size, the right fit, the right piece. It’s very interactive with the customer.

Monika: We offer in house consultations that are free of charge for about an hour to better understand the client’s needs and the space that they’re working with so we can better suit the furniture for the space. We do furniture layouts and we do drawings, 3D drawings that help customers visualize the space better. Also, the main thing for us is authenticity in our products. We do not carry any knock off brands, Jacob and myself both have design backgrounds. I have an architectural degree and Jacob has an interior design diploma. It’s important for us to carry brands that are authentic to the designer and respect the designer’s research and development processes.

Jacob: We call our product semi-custom, there’s many options for everything. You come in and you see the piece, then we can configure it, fabrics, leathers etc. If we had 300 000 sq ft, we probably still couldn’t show everything we sell. Here it’s like a little boutique representing the brands so you can see the quality and then you order. One of our companies has 4 million SKUs. You can have one table with ten different tops and ten different legs, those ten different tops can come in five different finishes. walnut, oak, etc.

What made you want to start in this business/industry and when did you start?

Monika: It started with me working for the previous owner here, I worked for him for about two and a half years. I left the retail business for about two years and in retrospect realized that I really did enjoy what I was doing being more connected in the design industry with furniture and stuff, that was in 2009. I came back in 2009 and we took over. We both have design backgrounds as I mentioned, a degree in architecture and interior design so we both have a love for design and different fields regardless. With having worked here in the past I really felt comfortable to take this on. Jacob made his decision to leave his government job at the time, it was a 100% dedicated decision to go into it full force. It was a great opportunity presented to us from the business owner, we couldn’t pass it up.

Jacob: We always wanted to have a store, we just thought it would happen closer to retirement. When you see Ligne Roset, it looks good but it’s also comfortable, that’s designed furniture. It’s not like someone has taken a photo of a sofa, sent it off to China to have it replicated, without studying the ergonomics of it. Everything here has had an actual designer design it. They’ve thought, how does your body fit in it, what’s the depth, what’s the height, how’s it going to work? Ligne Roset has exquisite and unique pieces that look great and are comfortable, they hit it right on the head.

Monika: We love design, that’s our background. We love to get people excited about design. The big thing for us was to educate people about design and designers. We take the time to explain why that Eames chair is the price that it is, versus what’s available down the street for a thousand dollars. It’s up to us to take our time to talk to people and educate, not everyone’s going to be aware.

Jacob: You wouldn’t want someone to take a paper that you’ve written, put their name on it, change the title a little bit and send it off. There’s a lot of work involved to make something so simple work well.

What do you love most about your business/industry?

Jacob: Problem solving! In a different way. You have a space, you want your space to work, you spent a lot of money on a home, how’s it going to flow, how’s it going to move. We don’t sell furniture, we don’t sell anything! We guide people to make the right choice. There’s no pressure, we want you to have the right piece, that’s key. People come to us and they want a sectional, if they have a 500 sq ft place or bigger place, either way they want a sectional. It may not work, some stores may still set it, but we won’t.

Monika: We don’t just jam the space up with furniture.

Jacob: For example is the piece going to fit in an elevator? Will it fit around the corner. We’ve seen so much stuff that we can usually solve these problems really quickly.

What are some technological challenges you’ve faced as a business and how was CapitalTek able to help?

Jacob: Like any small business we’ve got our skills, and they are not technologically based, we’re designers. This was eating so much of our time in the beginning to try and get stuff up and understand new technology. We had so many issues.

Monika: From the technological standpoint we need a proper POS system. So that we can organize orders etc.

Jacob: CapitalTek helped us with us the little things, the important things that make the business run. Because of your customer service and quick response we were happy with your services.

Vintage Computers: Apple PowerBook G3 Pismo, 2000

Vintage Computers: Apple PowerBook G3 Pismo, 2000

The Apple PowerBook G3 (Pismo) was the fourth generation of the G3 Apple laptops and code named Pismo after the City of Pismo Beach, California. The Pismo PowerBook was the last model in the G3 line, before the more modern Titanium PowerBook G4 models were released.

The PowerBook G3 was not shy with its appearance in pop culture. The laptop was seen in You’ve Got Mail, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, House on Haunted Hill, Mission: Impossible 2, Disney’s The Kid, Dark Angel, What Women Want, The West Wing, Friends, The Lone Gunmen, The Core, Duplex, Saw, Sex and the City, How I Met Your Mother, Night at the Museum, Charmed, Everybody Loves Raymond, Stargate SG-1, That’s So Raven and Angel.

The Apple PowerBook G3 (Pismo) came with the following specs:

  • 400 MHz or 500 MHz processor
  • 64 or 128 MB of PC100 SDRAM Expandable to 512 MB
  • ATI Rage Mobility 128 with 8 MB of SDRAM graphics
  • 6–18 GB
  • 6× DVD-ROM
  • Optional AirPort 802.11b, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, 56k modem
  • 2x USB 1.1, 2x Firewire 400, 1x PC Card I/II, Audio out mini-jack
  • Mac OS X 10.4.11 “Tiger” and Mac OS 9.2.2
Antivirus For Small Businesses – Part 3: Botnets

Antivirus For Small Businesses – Part 3: Botnets

A Botnet is another type of malware that targets PCs. In the case of botnets, multiple PCs are generally infected and compiled together to perform a task only achieved with mass computing power. With many PCs infected all at once, the attacker has the collective power of all those PCs to create an attack. In the past, attackers have used this specific type of malware to spam certain websites with so much traffic that their servers can’t handle it and they go offline. You need your PC for your business, not to be used as an agent in an attacker’s arsenal.

Please click here for more information on services that include antivirus.

Feature Client: Alteriors

Feature Client: Alteriors

For this week’s #FeatureClientFriday, we’re proud to introduce our client Alteriors. Alteriors has been offering modern and contemporary furniture solutions to Ottawa and the surrounding area since 1997. Below are further details about Alteriors, and next week we’ll be sitting down with the owners for an interview, so check back!

Alteriors is not simply just a contemporary furniture store, it is a place where unabashed creativity culminates in the artistry of superior design, exquisite craftsmanship and inspired aesthetic. Specializing in exclusive luxury pieces that cannot be found elsewhere in the Ottawa region, Alteriors handpicks and delivers a mosaic of unique furniture and home accents that will resonate in the present, but also transform with time to become treasured family heirlooms.

Alteriors opened in 1997, and was regarded as Ottawa’s location for modern quality design. Changing hands in 2009, Alteriors has undergone a major revitalization. Customer service, Store Aesthetics and Brands were updated to provide Ottawa with more of the items originally only available in larger cities.

We feel a boutique showroom doesn’t mean unobtainable. Our doors are at street level, and open to anyone who is interested in exploring something new, or just taking a break from the day to enjoy beautiful design. We are very lucky to really love what we do, and we hope it shows and leaves people with a positive experience, and a little more knowledge of design.

Owners Jacob and Monika believe that design of any kind is meant to inspire and encourage original thinking. It is their warm inviting showroom, however, that personifies that belief, regularly debuting new extraordinary pieces in a series of comfortable vignettes that translate into the real world. “We are creative, visual people with strong design backgrounds,” says Monika. “And we love furniture. We roll all of that artistic appreciation together and inject it into our showroom.” “We want to encourage people to think outside the box, expose them to new ideas and ultimately push the design envelope to show what is possible,” reveals Jacob.

Whether you are a professional looking to expand creative horizons, or simply someone searching for the perfect piece to complete your inner space, step into Alteriors and be welcomed home to quality design.

Vintage Computers: Intertec Data Systems Superbrain, 1979

Vintage Computers: Intertec Data Systems Superbrain, 1979

The early 80’s industrial design aesthetic has never been more present then in this “all-in-one” commercial microcomputer” called the Superbrain from Intertec Data Systems. First sold in 1979, the Superbrain included a display, keyboard and disc drives in what would’ve been considered then a sleek, integrated system.

The Intertec Data Systems Superbrain base model was sold for $2,000 US (buying power of approx. $4,947.38 today) and came with the following:

  • DSS-10 10Mb Hard Disk
  • CDC 96Mb Hard Disk with removable platter
  • Priam 14″ 144mb Hard Disk
  • Microsoft Basic
  • 8080 Assembler
  • Microsoft Cobol 74
Antivirus For Small Businesses – Part 2: Trojans

Antivirus For Small Businesses – Part 2: Trojans

A Trojan, or Trojan Horse is a type of malware that attacks your PC disguised as something else. The name comes from the famous war tactic of the Trojans. The Trojans delivered a giant horse through the gates of their enemy under the guise of it being a gift, meanwhile Trojan soldiers were waiting within to destroy their enemy from the inside. Trojan horse malware operates in much the same fashion. Trojans will often enter into a user’s PC via email attachments, downloads or from spam links. The trojan will generally then allow the attacker to access the victim’s personal information such as banking details, passwords or IP address.

Please click here for more information on services that include antivirus.