Interview with Adam Ruddell & Kyle Taylor

Interview by Michelle Heslop. Photos by Jody Beck.

How long have you been in business and how was Broadwell Metal conceived? We started Broadwell Metal two years ago and were founded on the desire to work for ourselves and be able to focus on high-quality architectural and structural metalwork. We also really want to be able to work on projects that we are passionate about while continuously striving to evolve our skills.

What exactly does Broadwell Metal produce? We craft high-quality architectural and structural metalwork. We work with all metals and all processes. From a simple handrail to a highly complex fireplace surround or custom structural steel for a home. Our shop is fully equipped with modern CNC plasma cutting equipment as well as a large capacity press brake and state of the art welders. We truly can do it all.

What were you doing before you started this company? ADAM: I was born and raised on Salt Spring Island. I have been a metal fabricator for over 10 years and Red Seal certified for six years. I started my career working in an architectural metal fabrication shop on the mainland. From there, I moved back home to the island to start a family and worked in both architectural and industrial metal fabrication shops. I met Kyle in a shop in Victoria and we knew we wanted to start a business together.

KYLE: I grew up in the Kootenays and moved to Victoria over seven years ago. I am a Red Seal certified welder with over 10 years of industrial welding and fabrication experience. After high school I got into the automotive aspect of metalwork working within the auto body industry. I gradually moved toward fabricating because I enjoy the creative side it offers. Shortly after Adam and I connected, we knew it was time to start our own shop.

You have cultivated an impressive list of clients in a short period of time. From architects, to builders and designers, your work has become highly regarded. What is the formula for this success? From day one we have tried to be as forward thinking as possible. We strive to maintain focus on all aspects of our business from communication with clients, to the attention to detail in our work and to the way we market our business as a whole. It’s important to our culture to continuously work to improve all aspects of the business. I think our level of commitment has been apparent to our clients who are working on projects that require that extra level of detail. We were also fortunate enough to have great friends in the industry that referred us to a number of clients. Our Instagram account has also been an effective marketing tool. 

How are you changing the way people think about metalwork? We want to influence how people think about metalwork by focusing on the fine finishing aspect. The dated image of the “rough around the edges” welding shop is something that we are attempting to change. We want to show the industry that we can achieve the same level of detail and quality with metalwork as you would with fine finishing carpentry. 

I think it is evident in our work that we are open to new and challenging projects. You won’t hear us say “we can’t do that” when it’s something we haven’t yet done. I think people are starting to realize that they can bring us an idea and we get excited to find a way to make it happen!

You have expanded to multiple staff and continue to grow. What does the future look like for Broadwell? We like where we are right now. We work with some of the best architects, designers and contractors in the industry and are grateful for the relationships we’ve built. Our crew is the perfect size now to be able to take on some larger projects but also still be highly focused on the level of quality and attention to detail we strive for at the shop. The first two years of business growth have been amazing but there is also something to be said for not growing too fast. We want to take our time with the business to ensure we grow the right way, focusing on each step to make sure we have a solid footing is key. That said, the future looks bright.