Tess Van Street photography by Don Denton.
For Daniel Cassido. And his wife, Beatrice Carmona, of Victoria, far from her native Colombia, and their thriving Victorian rehabilitation business is something they could never have imagined when they emigrated to Canada 16 years ago to make a better life. Were looking for
“When we came to Canada, my wife was pregnant with our first child,” says Daniel. There was no money and then they were opening a business in a foreign land. “
Venture plastering, concrete finishing, heritage restoration and the use of tadalaquet (limestone) imported from the Marrakech, Daniel and Victoria restoration team are now being sought by some of Vancouver Island’s top builders and designers. This is most impressive because Daniel had no construction experience before moving to Canada, and never thought he would work in the construction industry.
“I’ve been working as a graphic designer at two major Colombian newspapers for 14 years,” Daniel explained. “I was great and thought I’d do it here.” But no door was open for me. I knocked on the door several times. [a local newspaper] And I was expecting to work there, but nothing happened.
To make a living, Daniel accepted a job in construction and admitted that adjustment was difficult at first – especially physically.
“The funny thing is in the beginning, my hands looked like I had a computer,” he said with a laugh. “Soft and I didn’t have any calluses. After I started building, I had calluses and blisters, and now I can work with anything and they never show up.
After learning the concrete finishing trade and gaining valuable experience, Daniel decided to start his own branch in 2008 with the help of batteries. An accountant and self-described “entrepreneurial woman from her university years”, she runs things smoothly as the managing director of a battery company.
“We weren’t able to do much marketing at first, but through church friends who owned construction companies, we started working,” Batteries explained. “They really praised the quality of the work and asked for more, and the word spread.”
Friends told the couple – who now have three children – that it would be very difficult and warned them against starting a business. But they did it anyway, guided by their strong sense of faith and willingness to put in all the hard work and effort to make it a success.
“We’ve learned perseverance, discipline, hope and patience,” says Daniel. “We’ve learned to read customer needs so we can come up with a solution.” But the most important thing we have learned is to trust God.
In 2017, Daniel and Batteries took another leap of faith – in the application of both Tidalkit and Venetian plaster imported from Italy.
“The Venetian plaster is very popular in Colombia, but it was not popular when we asked about it here,” says Daniel. “They’ll bring people from Vancouver or California, so we’re curious about offering it as a plus for our customers to give it a unique and more advanced look and finish.”
Daniel discovered his passion for traveling to Italy, England and Morocco for training, and to learn about the applications of gold / silver leaf.
“It’s hand-made and very artistic, and everything we do is unique,” he says. “We like creativity and we love it when people see the final product and they like, ‘Wow!’
Whether it’s a feature wall, fireplace, shower, steam room or even an entire home, Daniel creates pieces of art and transforms ordinary spaces into extraordinary spaces. He traveled to the Lower Mainland to work on luxury projects and traveled to other parts of Vancouver Island, including Nanos Bay and Leedsmith, and embarked on a major project on one of the Gulf Islands that took three months to complete.
“It’s great to know that we’re doing some of the island’s most luxury projects and have the opportunity to do something unique for everyone, and to see the faces of our clients happy and grateful for their special look. Space, “he says.
As word of mouth spreads, and business continues to grow, Daniel and Batteries hope to expand further.
“We look forward to moving beyond geography,” says Daniel. “Our plan is to continue serving the province and go where our customers need us.”
Story courtesy. Boulevard Magazine., Black press media publication.