“The thing I’m most proud of in our business is the team of people that I work with. They all do their jobs with a passion of excellence and that comes through in the finished product.” – Les Bellamy
Meet Les Bellamy, CEO of Bellamy Homes, a Kelowna-based firm that designs and builds stunning custom homes throughout the Okanagan Valley. This award-winning company offers a full range of services to their clients – from architectural design, to interior design, to managing the construction process from start to finish and even post move-in services.
Les grew up in Armstrong and moved to Kelowna in 1988 to pursue a career in the restaurant industry. He soon became the General Manager of Kelly O’Bryan’s where he was inspired to get back in touch with his passion for music. An accomplished bass player and vocalist, he decided to put together a band. In those early days of playing music professionally, Les needed a day job and as such got a job as a labourer on a construction site. The rest is history. The band he put together came to be known as popular Kelowna classic rock group, “The Zamboni Brothers” and four years after his first day in construction, he had successfully launched his own company. He’s been designing and building homes (and playing music) ever since.
Les is passionate about giving back to the local community. Bellamy Homes is a six-time title-sponsor of ‘Wish-come-True’ Society, which supports building Children’s Hospice House and they contribute to numerous charity events and activities in the Kelowna area. He’s also a member of “Do Some Good”, an online platform that connects charitable organizations and businesses (and also lets consumers know which companies are giving back and to which organizations) to make a meaningful impact in the community.
Oh, and in all his spare time, he is also the newly appointed President of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of the Central Okanagan.
Here’s what he had to say about being an entrepreneur.
What’s your name, title and the name of your business?
Les: My name is Les Bellamy. I’m the CEO of Bellamy homes and we are a custom home builder located in Kelowna, BC.
Who or what inspires you in business or otherwise?
Les: What inspires me in my business goes back to something my grandfather said which was “every day, try to be better than you were yesterday” and that’s been my motto ever since and it’s been very successful for us.
What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome as an entrepreneur?
Les: I would say some of the biggest hurdles we have as entrepreneurs is misplaced or misguided government policy. Often policies are put into place because they score high on the political scoreboard but they have unintended consequences for our consumers.
What’s one piece of advice you would give other entrepreneurs or those starting out in business for themselves?
Les: I think the best advice I could give to a new entrepreneur is to be honest with yourself. Are you truly prepared to put everything in your life second to your business? And if the answer is ‘no’ to that, then being an entrepreneur might not be the right fit for you. You also have to make sure you have a spouse that agrees to be married to an entrepreneur. If my wife wasn’t as supportive as she is – we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Tell me about your volunteerism and your involvement with “Do Some Good”. Why is it important to give back?
Les: Giving back to the community is really important. They say “money can’t buy happiness” but it can when you spend it on other people! We try to strike a balance between my selfishness of wanting to feel good and giving back, and the two work hand-in-hand. We work with “Do Some Good” because it creates a platform that allows us to look at different charities and what they are offering and if they are a good fit for our company.
Tell me about your experience working with Interior Savings.
Les: The reason I work with Interior Savings is because they are community based. Canada’s largest bank – whose head office is in Montreal – did $11.7 billion in profits last year and donated less than 1% to charity. Interior Savings did $2 million in profits last year and donated over 40% to local charities and gave the rest back to their membership and their office is located right here in Kelowna.
Interior Savings always puts us, the client, first. They offer forward thinking policies and procedures that really benefit my consumers which in turn benefits me. One thing that is really important to me is that they treat me like a person and not an account number.
What aspect of your business or professional life are you most proud of?
Les: The thing I’m most proud of in our business is the team of people that I work with. Everyone from the team in my office to the guys cleaning our construction site. They all do their jobs with a passion of excellence and that comes through in the finished product. I couldn’t be more proud of the people I work with.