Fun is something Perfect Settings takes very seriously. Whether it’s working on a dressed-to-the-nines party for 650 or a quiet family get-together, this decor business led by energetic entrepreneur Estelle Demers is intent on ensuring that every event is a memorable one. “It’s something you can’t help but enjoy doing,” said Demers. “Just knowing that someone’s going to be happy because of what we do makes it all worthwhile.” Her current level of success wasn’t something she could have predicted 12 years ago when she first took the reins of her current home-based business. Having spent several years in payroll and office administration before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Demers wanted to get back into the workforce, but only with a job that challenged her while letting her express her creativity. When the opportunity arose to buy out an existing decor business, all it took was one day on the job to see that it was exactly what she’d been looking for. With the tireless support of her family, she’s since grown the business from a solo affair to an on-call staff of 12, taking it from a seasonal hobby to a full-time, year-round business. Her client base has also grown beyond Timmins to events throughout the region, including places as North Bay, Iroquois Falls, Matheson, and even Moosonee. This continuous growth has also created a never-ending need to expand and change her inventory to ensure that partygoers will not see the same setup twice. What once fit in an 8-by-10-foot space 12 years ago has since spilled over into ever-growing areas around her home. Her inventory now fills a storage unit, a shed, a sea container and a garage, and that doesn’t include whatever is being laundered or in use at events at any given point. This kind of space is needed to house more than 1,500 chair covers, “thousands and thousands of feet” of material, as well as table settings and much, much more. This dedication to keeping things fresh and appealing for her clientele has helped to keep her incredibly busy, meaning that few people have their pulse on what’s happening in Timmins quite like Demers. In fact, forget about construction statistics or job growth reports: the true health of Timmins’ economy can be measured in events, according to Demers. As she quite literally sets the stage for countless events, she scoffs whenever she overhears someone complain that there’s never much going on around town. “You can talk about the downturn in the economy, but people are still throwing big parties, companies are still looking to recognize their employees,” said Demers. “People still know how to celebrate.” One recent celebration that Demers looks on with particular pride is Porter Airlines’ much-talked-about “grand opening” event held at the Timmins Days Inn in January. With a scant nine days to prepare, Demers and her team were able to transform the hotel’s ballroom into a relaxed, atmospheric throwback to a different time, complete with a hazy blue-and-white theme matching the company’s official colours. So stunning was this transformation that people have commented to Demers about the fine work some “Toronto professional decorating company” must have done – something she quickly clarifies with an interruption and a chuckle. This level of quality has been on display throughout numerous other high-profile events in which Perfect Settings has been involved, seen most recently in the Porcupine Dante Club’s 60th-anniversary celebration, as well as the Downtown BIA’s Sass in the City. She’s equally proud of her involvement in various volunteer events, to which she lends her creative expertise. Over the years, this has included providing event advice to the likes of the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Canadian Cancer Society, to name a few. Of course, Perfect Settings is also known for its work with the Chamber’s own Nova Awards, with which Demers has been proudly involved since its second year in 2003. This year’s awards were particularly important, said Demers, as Perfect Settings was the recipient of the 2012 Service Excellence Award. Despite her acclaim, however, she is insistent that when it comes to putting on truly fantastic events, it’s never about the work of one individual. “It’s not just what we do; it’s what everybody does together,” said Demers. “I can provide the linens and chair covers and centrepieces and whatever else, but it’s also about the creativity of the committee and everybody pulling together, from the lights and sound to the food. Everything is put together to make something a success.” For more information on Perfect Settings, visit them online at www.perfectsettings.ca, or call them at (705) 235-3210. Click here to see the full-sized image.