Dan Pan, BBA Alumna 06’, knew since childhood that her ultimate dream was to own a business. After graduating from the TRU School of Business and Economics with an accounting major, Pan spent the next four years building a career as a Certified General Accountant before seizing the opportunity to realize her dream.
“I saw a gap in the Kamloops market for quality furniture and décor,” Pan explains. “There was a need for more fashion-forward, service-focused providers who were willing to partner and grow with trusted suppliers and take on role of a trusted community provider of affordable quality Canadian built furniture.”
Filling this void, Pan founded her own furniture and décor shop, known then as Black and White Décor, in 2010. The store, complete with its own warehouse and delivery truck, operated under this name until 2012, when Pan decided to re-brand it to Portfolio Interiors as part of a shift in her overall marketing strategy.
Today, Portfolio Interiors is a thriving success story with several milestones worth celebrating. In Fall 2013, the business was featured in the Kamloops Daily News’s “Kamloops Profiles of Excellence,” and in August 2014 Pan expanded Portfolio Interiors’s…well, portfolio, to include a spinoff business branded as The Mattress Store.
Pan’s establishment also created new employment opportunities for other TRU Alumni, including Kathy Underwood, Visual Arts Alumna. Underwood currently serves as the store’s manager and oversees its day-to-day operations. She also travels across North America to research and buy merchandise for the store. Corrina Logan, who graduated with a Medical Lab Assistant Diploma, also works with the store as an interior design consultant.
Pan, reflecting on the success of her entrepreneurship, explains that it was “through the BBA program [at TRU] that I learned the fundamentals of business.” She also attributes part of her success to TRU’s English as a Second Language program: “I was always encouraged to be involved in the community, join local community events, and volunteer. This helped me with my communication skills.”
Portfolio Interiors Inc. sells furniture and interior décor, and mattresses. Check out its current selection (and Logan’s interior design advice) at www.portfoliointeriors.ca