According to Landon Croome, he was always making money, any way he could. “I was always the kid with the lemonade stand or a snow shoveling business,” he remembers.
When his father was too busy with his plumbing business to capitalize on a side-line in retractable screens, Landon saw an opportunity. He begged his dad to show him how to install the screens and, at the age of 17, Landon began making fliers and handing them out to neighbours. With his determination on high and his 1982 Toyota Celica loaded up, he started on a venture that would take him down a path of success.
For years he worked out of his father’s home, but landon realized he would have to expand his resources if his business were to grow. While studying for his diploma in Business Management at grant MacEwan College, he was encouraged by his teacher and mentor lynne Fisher to go after Costco as a client. In 2006, he graduated and he signed an agreement to have his product sold in Costco stores across Canada. The deal enabled landon to expand, acquiring a distribution centre in leduc, new products, and staff. he renamed his company from Mainstream Screens to Solaris Products ltd. in 2007.
The real challenge followed when the recession hit and business got harder. landon had to make a choice. So in 2009 he joined forces with his biggest competitor, Phantom Screens, owned by Tim houle. Together they created a superstore of sorts…a partnership that created better business and friendship opportunities.
Landon is enjoying sharing the company with someone he respects and considers a true friend. “After years and years of wanting to be a part of Phantom Screens, I finally got it.”
They have also opened an office in grand Prairie. Solaris stocks high-quality screens, shades and umbrellas, and is the exclusive supplier of Phantom Screens to Edmonton and Northern Alberta.
At 27, landon understands the importance of giving back. As a member of Team Solaris, he participated in the MS Bike Tour and helped the team raise $4,000. he also takes on field placement students from grant MacEwan, considering it a win- win situation.
“It forces me o become a teacher and a leader. And giving back is important because I think grant MacEwan really shaped my outlook on business and my focus.”
overall, landon credits his business success to having confidence and doing things a little differently than everyone else.
“Because I was an underdog it forced me to be creative.”