Everybody loves a good comeback story. Seeing where someone has come from makes where they are far more admirable. That’s why we want to share the story of DIRTT. Everyone has heard the craze of how DIRTT modular wall systems are the next generation of moveable walls, but most people don’t know the founder of DIRTT and his story. It’s certainly worth digging up.
Mogens Smed began working in the office furniture business as a cabinet maker just like his father. Smed graduated with a pre-law degree and, although he had no entrepreneurial experience, moved a smidge from the office furniture industry and started his own business in the wood industry with his brother. Sadly, the business failed, enough so that Smed lost everything – including his home.
Despite the huge defeat, Smed rekindled hope overtime and started a modular furniture business. Incorporating a new concept of European and Japanese designs, Smed took a leap of faith introducing this untested concept of modular furniture. The business was a huge success. In 2000, Smed decided to sell the company for a whopping $300 million, but he didn’t stop there. Shortly after, he founded DIRTT. The company’s name immediately (and rightfully so) turned heads.
“Doing It Right This Time” is what Smed said it stood for, and that’s just what he did. In 2004 he was named as Environmental Champion for DIRTT environmental solutions, which changed the game of sustainable construction. Smed was also named in the “Top 100 Entrepreneurs of the Century” list.
Flashing forward to present day, DIRTT is driving the multibillion-dollar modular furniture and construction industries. Opposed to your typical prim and proper business, DIRTT isn’t afraid to look a bit eccentric and against the grain. For example, DIRTT representatives refer to themselves as “DIRTTbags”.
So, what’s a good comeback story without an uplifting takeaway, right? Smed’s story shows that sometimes life is going to knock you down, flatten your dreams, and make you question yourself. But, like Mogens Smed, get back up, keep moving, and just rub some DIRTT on it.
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