Meet the Owner of Factory Optical, Steve McIntosh
At Refined, we recognize the importance of local businesses in our community. They are the engine that makes our economy run — employing people, taking risks, meeting market needs, and supporting important causes. So often, we only see the business — the storefront, the products, the services — and never really get to know the business owner behind the scenes making everything happen. Refined is proud to profile business owner, Steve McIntosh, and help you get to know him better with some personal and fun questions.
Where did you grow up/which schools did you attend? I grew up in Toronto/London/Montreal. I received undergraduate degrees from Western and Windsor, and a graduate degree from York University in Toronto.
What led you into this business/career? Over a number of drinks and on a napkin in London, Ontario, I bought an optical store in Regina and moved my family out here in September 1999. It felt like home by mid-October and it became the springboard for everything else we’ve built.
What do you love most about your business? I love that the modicum of success we have achieved is enough to allow all those who contributed to it to also share in it.
What is your most important characteristic? Self-awareness.
How do you support the community/social causes? Beyond financially supporting a number of causes, I try to change my energy focus periodically. For the past couple of years, I have been working with a fantastic middle school for gifted kids in Regina.
What do you value in your friends? Humility and decency. A good sense of humor is compelling too.
Who is the living person you admire most? Anyone who has had to overcome and has done it without a chip on their shoulder.
What one piece of advice would you give your younger self? Don’t sweat the small stuff; it will impact your hair colour.
Let’s talk favourites:
- Vacation – any with my wife and kids.
- Book – It really depends on my headspace at the time. Right now, I’m reading biographies on rock bands. A month ago, I was reading books on private equity financing.
- Movie – Good Will Hunting.
- Song – I’m pretty eclectic and don’t think I have one.
- Food – Steak and asparagus with Hollandaise would be my “going to the chair” meal.
- Dessert – I’m a chocolate cake guy.
- Vehicle – Love to say Prius or public transit, but cars are a serious weakness of mine, so I will say my next one.
- Way to relax – A big offee and long hot tub. Provides me incredible clarity every time.
- Friday night – Good wine and even better friends.
What is your motto? Don’t take yourself too seriously. I believe that this might be tattoo-worthy for me.
What talent would you like to have? I would love to be musical. I’d even begin with being able to tap my foot in rhythm.
What would your friends say are your best/worst traits? Big heart and too critical; I’m not sure which is best/worst.
When did you make a difference? I like to think that I gave my mother some comfort in her last years.
What brings you joy? Watching my kids evolve. Saturday mornings without a hangover is a good one, too.
How did you know you were on the right path? I still don’t know if I am. When is it too late to become an astronaut?
Do you ever consider closing your doors? What business advice would you give to others? Never and don’t. Just play better.