Meet the Phoenix Custom Auto Designs team
Barry – Owner / Operations Manager
My name is Barry Kunstleben. I was born and raised in a small town in Northern Alberta.
I have had many different jobs in my working career from dishwasher, backhoe operator, correctional officer, mobile sub and sandwich sales, to working at a gas station pumping gas.
One day one of my regular customers stopped in to get fuel. He stated, “he was very busy currently and wondered if I might be interested in helping him in his sign shop for a bit until he was able to get caught up”. I told him “I did not know the first thing about this industry but would check it out”. He taught me many things over the course of the next three and a half years before he sold his business and I moved to Calgary.
Once in Calgary I worked for a couple of graphic shops before settling into a position that I stayed at for the next twelve years. There I had the chance to learn many more aspects of this ever-changing industry.
To start, I worked a night shift for about three weeks to be able to get the company caught up on a major project that was ongoing. Once that was completed, I was hired full time and was put into the position of production. Here is where the fun started; from introducing myself to the clients and getting to know what they required, to being able to help to make their vision a reality. I stayed in this position for the next twelve years.
At the end of the twelve years I became an owner/ partner in another graphics company that over the next nine years grew into a successful business. With being a small business owner, you quickly learn how to wear many different hats. While it was a challenge at times, it was all worth it to make our client’s visions happen.
At the end of the nine years it felt like the right time to create a new graphics company, one that would reflect my own vision of what I would like to see in a graphics company.
So, my new business partner and I move forward with our vision… “PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTO DESIGNS LTD”. Let it rise from the ashes of the past.
Collin – Owner / Office Manager
Greetings from Collin McGuirk.
My start in business came with my first ‘real’ job with Westfair Foods in their Winnipeg office, processing accounts payable for their IT department. From that point, I moved up to the corporate office, again as an accounts payable clerk and branching out to processing a small payroll for the IT department.
In 1990 I made the move from Winnipeg to Calgary, and took on some contract/temporary work until my next break when I started doing the accounting and payroll for a small construction firm. When business slowed down and a full-time person was no longer required, I switched tracks to work for a local Radiology firm. I remained there for 19 years; transitioning from full cycle accounting to focusing entirely on payroll.
During this time, I completed my certification with the Canadian Payroll Association as a Payroll Compliance Practitioner, and received my certificate in Business Administration – Human Resources through Mount Royal University.
I have not forgot my roots in accounting & business administration, as I was instrumental in setting up and maintaining the company accounts for Barry and his partner’s previous business venture.
Since then, I have had several shorter term positions, until recently when I decided to go into business with Barry, taking on the business administration duties and helping us to realize our vision of a progressive graphics company…PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTO DESIGNS.
Elysia – Designer
I’m Elysia Hutchison, the designer with Phoenix Custom Auto. Since I was a kid I have always had a passion for design, and was happiest with some crayons and a colouring book.
I graduated from high school in BC, and shortly after moved to Calgary. I met my now husband and for several years worked odd jobs, never really pursuing my passion.
One day I saw an ad on Facebook for Reeves college’s graphic design course. I booked a consultation, and enrolled in the course. I graduated with honours, and immediately started working in the print industry. I worked for several years in the industry, where I developed my style and creative approach to projects.
Eager for an opportunity to try something new, I began working for a local renovation company as the design assistant. I was able to use my background in graphic design to help create beautiful renderings of kitchen and bathroom designs for clients. From there I got into some social media content development.
Through all this time working, I started a family with my husband. I made the decision to stay at home to be with my family. I always did some freelance work on the side for friends and family, so I decided to make it official; I started up my own graphic design company and built my network of clients, all from the comfort of my home.
One thing I was taught in school, is that you’re never done learning. This led me to the next step. I started with Phoenix Custom Auto for the opportunity to grow my skill set, while exploring some familiar but also new territory. I’m excited for the opportunity to take on new challenges with my own unique and fun approach. My goal is to help Phoenix grow, and “make simple pretty”.
Cole – Installer / Production Assistant
Bio coming soon….