Raffini Design

Raffini Design Inc.
Raffini Design Inc.

Sonya Yake

Raffini Designs

Teresa recently chatted with BACD client, Sonya Yake from Raffini Designs, a custom cabinet maker based out of Uxbridge.

Visit their showroom:
Monday to Wednesday 9:00am-5:00pm
Thursday and Friday 9:00am-6:00pm
Saturay 9:00am-3:00pm

905-862-9099 (or 647-376-6278 after hours)



Sonya, tell me about your business?

Raffini Design custom designs cabinetry for residential and commercial businesses. We also sell range of complementary products such as countertops, sinks, faucets and hardware for your kitchen, bathroom, living room and offices as needed.

How did you get started in this business?

My husband and I custom built our own home as well as renovated a number of others over the last 20 years. We have an in depth knowledge of design, project planning, renovations and dealing with suppliers and contractors. In 2013, I was restructured from my job and I decided to take a leap of faith. We leased our current space in April 2014 and then after extensive renovations we opened our doors in September 2014!

How did the help you got from BACD impact you and your business?

I took part in the Win This Space competition in Uxbridge, where BACD was the training partner. I was inspired to bring my dream to reality through taking part in the Business Builder workshops. Even thought I was aware of business planning and setting goals etc, these workshops and the knowledge I learnt was instrumental in helping me move forward with our business.

People kept telling me to go with it! If it’s what you love to do, don’t be talked out of it, however, make sure you take calculate risks and make the right decisions at the time.

Of the many tools and workbooks we got, the Financial spreadsheet you gave us was a Godsend! I love that template and use it everyday!

Why did you think you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I always had that desire to be in my own business but never found the right opportunity – eventually everything converged – we had a feasible business idea, it was the right time, a good location, the right amount of challenge and risk and if we did not jump on this now, we would never.

What was more difficult than you thought it would be?

In some respects! Every decision you make impacts your own bank account! There are many decisions to make! There is many emotional ups and downs, hang in there.

What was more difficult than you thought it would be?

No, I think for me it easier than I thought it would be as I had prior experience working in a business environment and the fear I had thinking of starting a business, was gone once I started. I just kept moving forward.

How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?

For me the location we picked was a great decision and continues to drive business and traffic to my store. I also change out our window designs regularly which draws people in. I did advertise in a magazine and unfortunately had no leads. I recently ran a ladies night décor seminar and had some good leads from that. I plan to do more of those.

I am on social media but have not had any leads from it yet.

Do you have employees? How many?

I have one full time technician and a part time technician.

What do you do to keep abreast of the changes in your business and in your industry?

I go to technical conferences, Apple events, read articles and blogs and stay hands on with issues and problems that arise in clients’ machines. We also install and service Apple servers in larger businesses across the GTA.

What do you do to keep abreast of the changes in your business and in your industry?

I belong to kitchen and bath associations, I research and get updated by suppliers and vendors in our industry. My accountant also helps me keep on top of legislation as needed.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?

It can be an emotional roller coaster ride, you can be a fantastic planner and be as organized as possible however, there is always something that was not thought of or not aware of. Take it as a learning opportunity and a challenge to grow as a business owner and to keep moving forward in your business. Stay positive and keep focused on your dreams and goals, don’t let obstacles bring you down.

What is it that you do that’s made you a success?

We have been very happy with our progress so far and our sales continue to increase every month. My clients like the knowledge that I have as well as the confidence in our ability to take care of their needs. I am a partner in helping them realize their vision for their project. Our experience in this industry helps me put our clients at ease and that we can be trusted.