Future rosy for window company

The future looks bright through the custom-made PVC windows made by the Little Fork Ojibway Company now that the recently re-opened operation, owned by Rainy River First Nations, is selling its product to major hardware stores across the district.
“The window factory’s sales are up,” said Rainy River Chief Gary Medicine. “Everything is going well. Orders are coming in daily.”
The company primarily sells its custom-made PVC windows locally, but is looking at expanding to Thunder Bay, Kenora, and Dryden. It’s also working on marketing to help increase sales but isn’t ready to go public with the details just yet.
The windows are designed to handle Northern Ontario’s extreme weather conditions.
The PVC arrives in long strips and is molded into shape based on the customer’s orders. It uses the latest technology, including machines that produce “fusion-welded” corners.
Manager Matt Veldhuisen is just 20 years old and brings a youthful enthusiasm to work.
“This is my favourite part,” he said while showing visitors the welding machine. “The welds themselves are stronger than the material.”
Once the welds are completed, the pre-cut glass then is fit into the custom frames.
He even knows the window preferences of Canadian and American buyers. As he displayed the varied designs, Veldhuisen noted, “These are single-hung windows. The Americans go for these.”
Meanwhile, Chief Medicine said a needs analysis proved the company could be a success. And there’s a real “atmosphere of teamwork” among its four employees—Veldhuisen, Ruth Ann McGinnis, Curtis Hofer, and John Barras—that helps the operation run smoothly.
The reserve already had a lumber mill that provided materials for many First Nations communities, Chief Medicine noted. A logical next step would be windows.
“Projects were mostly on reserves. Now people are buying the products for their cabins,” he said.
Company reps will be in Thunder Bay this week in hopes of attracting new customers.