My name is Devin Schaffner. I was born in Chatham and had a great childhood. Like most young people, I had no clue what I wanted to do for a career. Luckily, I had many opportunities to travel and explore career options. I travelled as an exchange student to Costa Rica, attended St. Clair College in Chatham and then went to Georgian College in Barrie Ontario for Interior Design.
I was hired in Toronto as a draftsperson for a design firm where I was introduced to custom furniture design. I received my bachelors for industrial design in 2014. I developed my future business "Rekindle" for my thesis. I worked for other design firms like GUS Modern, Style Garage, and Brothers Dressler and gained great work experience. I started my business in Toronto to develop products under my own brand - Rekindle.
I met my current partner, Natalie, while living in Toronto. We soon had a child in 2015. We loved our time in the big city but found we wanted to be around family more. We wanted our daughter to build a tighter relationship with her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin. Natalie is from New Brunswick and my family lives in Chatham. Chatham was very inviting as it is so close to Toronto which allows us to travel back and have our friends travel here very easily.
We love how easy it is to get around. We always joke that it takes seven minutes to get anywhere - something we weren't used to living in Toronto. We have so much more space to move around. I am an avid cyclist and Chatham-Kent is great for easy riding with wide open spaces to enjoy long rides. We have built a great core group of friends that keeps growing as more friends move back to CK.
The Chatham-Kent community loves to support local. Collaborating with other local businesses, people, and artists has been a huge source of joy for me. I have approached so many different people about creating something together and the response has been so positive. We have created so many unique relationships, partnerships, and products right here in Chatham-Kent.
Chatham-Kent is a community that is welcoming and supportive and my advice is get out there and talk to as many people as you can. So many of us support you and would love to meet you.