Meet, Keith Horne, General Manager of our Christiansburg store, and our New River Valley Operations. Keith has been with Ideal Cabinets for over thirty years, and he still loves coming to work every day. He loves what he does, and it shows.
Keith was born in Tazewell county. His Dad worked at the post office, but also worked as a carpenter building cabinets. Keith grew up watching and learning carpentry skills from his dad, and his love for woodworking was born.
Keith’s first job, before he was even out of high school, was working as a medical orderly. He says “this job taught him humility and passion for work, and for others.”
Soon, Keith moved to a cabinet shop in Bluefield, West Virginia, where they made everything. While there, he was moved into Sales and worked there for a few years learning to be a salesman and a craftsman.
A few years later, Keith moved back to Tazewell and started a family of his own. Keith had many odd jobs to support his family over the years, but one that he will never forget was working in the coal mines. Nothing quite teaches you hard work like mining coal. The decline of the coal mines in Tazewell county led to Keith being laid off because of lack of work.
Once again, Keith found himself looking for a job, and his first choice was always cabinetry. He came and interviewed in Christiansburg at many places, including Ideal Cabinets, and a few days before Keith was going to take another job, Ken (Rakes) called and offered him the job at Ideal.
Keith moved to Christiansburg and lived here three months before his family moved down with him. Keith has worked in the trenches with Ken and Virginia Rakes helping make Ideal Cabinets the success that it is today. He has been one of our cornerstones, and we are so very proud of him, and all that he has done and accomplished for Ideal over the years.
I asked Keith, what were some of his secrets to such a long successful career. He said the following:
- Honesty — I think the customers know that I’m honest with them about prices, and I am passionate about getting their job done the way they want it done. I will do what I say.
- Confidence — Over the years, I’ve gotten over my insecurities and become confident in my abilities as a designer and cabinet maker. I’ve worked with many professional people in all walks of life. It doesn’t matter their skill set; doctors, lawyers, or even Hokie Royalty. I am one of the best at what I do, so my customers start to relax when they see they are dealing with someone who knows what they are doing, and that gives them confidence in me, and confidence in the quality product they will receive.
- Treating Everyone the same—I know other people who pay attention to what someone is driving, or what designer clothes they are wearing – that doesn’t mean they can afford more of a kitchen. It’s not my job to know who you are, or your prominence or importance. All of my customers are equally important to me. Every job has the same value to me. I agonize over every design and work on it until I am satisfied with it, and I feel like it is the best it can be.
- Team Work – The last twenty-five years or so I have had a great team. Jeff Mottsheard who works here in our shop can create whatever special pieces I ask for. He does all the special modifications that the cabinet manufacturers won’t do. The other man be behind the scenes is Bill Coleman, a subcontractor, who works for us as a cabinet installer. Bill is the “Ideal” person behind the scenes that makes it all happen and makes my vision a reality.
Interestingly, those are four of the primary principals that Ideal Cabinets is founded upon.
- We will be honest with you.
- We want you to be confident our work is the best.
- All of our Customers are equally important to us.
- We believe in Team Work.
So what does Keith do when he is not designing and selling cabinets? He spends time with his wife Connie and likes to visit his son and granddaughters.
When he is at home, he has his own workshop where he does woodworking. He makes tables, doors, mantle pieces, and many other things. While traveling, he will take photos of interesting things he sees, and go home and make it in his workshop. When you do what you love, then you love what you do, and it shows.
It has been an amazing journey from the coalminer he once was to the incredible Salesman, Designer and Manager that he has become today. He has a consistent record of high sales for the last 25 years, that is more than impressive, but it is his care for his customers and their satisfaction that makes him such a great asset to Ideal Cabinets. As Kahili Gibran said, “Perhaps time’s definition of coal is the diamond.” Our Coal Miner has certainly become a diamond to all of us here at Ideal.