Jennifer had been running the office of her husband Aron’s mechanical contracting business for a few years. Aron specialized in hydronic and steam systems; boilers, radiant floors, radiators, snow melt systems, etc. This couple originally met when Aaron came to service the boilers in Jennifer’s building, the rest is history as they say. Quite often, clients required radiators to be installed, more often than not, cast iron radiators.

This is when Jennifer and Aron first discovered the constant; it seemed when it came down to personal choice, people generally preferred the old cast iron radiators of days gone by.  Sometimes they would have a couple of these in stock, but other times Jennifer and Aron found themselves seeking out to find that perfect cast iron radiator to install inside a client’s building.

Jennifer already had a special connection with radiators.  Her previous pre-marriage apartments in midtown Toronto always had radiators, and she loved them.  Says Jennifer:

“ I would put my robe over the bathroom radiator before I got in the shower and it would be toasty warm by the time I got out. I could dry my winter hat on the rad in the living room. It’s those little things that got me through the winter”.

Jennifer had an idea, circa 2010.  She posed the question both to Aron and to her father-in-law (a plumber of 40+ years): Why not start a company that specializes in cast iron radiators?   The answer from her father-in-law, minus the curse words, was that there have been men, particularly plumbers who have tried to make a business out of cast iron radiators, and have all failed.

“You’ve got Addison’s in the west end doing some radiators, and some guy named Jim in the east end.  It can’t be done”.

Jennifer was not discouraged and continued to do her digging. Her response to her father-in-law was that the one difference for those others who had tried, and mostly failed, was that “none of them was a woman”.  She thought if it was done with more attention to detail, it could be a viable business.  Despite the snickering response from grumpy father-in-law, Jennifer remained determined, and soon afterwards, Ironworks Radiators Inc. was born

Jennifer acted on her intuition and took $800 of her savings and started to build her inventory one radiator at a time.  Her hunch proved correct, within three months, she had sold dozens of radiators with no marketing budget.  She then took things to a next level and started to refinish rads.  There were a few botched attempts, but eventually, she, along with her small team, finally figured out the process.

Jennifer’s next hurdle was her need for a bigger shop – in a surprisingly short period of time, she had quickly outgrown her 500-ft square feet of borrowed shop space.  She needed a bigger shop, her own shop.  Jennifer next move was to negotiate a space in the building of her lawyer, client and friend, located on Toronto’s Lansdowne Avenue.  The company grew over the next couple of years, until life threw Jennifer a curve ball – well, more than one.  Says Jennifer;

“Aron and I had our first child, two of our dogs had died, and then my father got sick.  I was diagnosed with a heart condition, and by the end of 2012 my Dad passed away.  We were completely and utterly devastated.  I had an 11-month old child who had not yet slept through the night and I was running two businesses and I was hanging on by a thread.  I had to make a choice in the beginning of 2013, and as sad as it was, I chose to close down the company that was growing and doing well.”.

But Ironworks never left Jennifer’s mind. Life went on, work, three kids, changing homes, family trips and all the rest of it.  That brings us to present day.  Just like Jennifer, her husband Aron had never stopped believing in Ironworks; always full of ideas, he was and continues to be a big proponent of moving the company forward.

One day, while scouting for a shop for Cordell Mechanical, the couple spotted a unique spot on Toronto’s Bering Avenue that looked right; Aron looked at Jennifer beside him and said, “what about Ironworks”? Now, after six years of wondering what might have been, here they are, Ironworks Radiators Inc. has been born and is growing, this time smarter, harder working, more experienced, and more determined. Says Jennifer, president of Ironworks Radiators Inc.;

“A million steps and so many hours have led to where we are right now, better than ever.”.