Troy Duncan of Dala Decor is on the Road to Success

Photography By Nicolai Gregory
By Dan Lalande

I built my first house and went broke furnishing it. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know anyone in Ottawa who could direct me to the right people. So, the first chance I got, I got involved in the industry, took a leap, and went for it.”

That was in 2017, when the hirsute, handsome Troy Duncan was learning the communications, marketing, and networking skills he would soon be applying as founder and President of Dala Decor. Back then, Duncan was a successful sales rep at Molson Coors and Gongshow Gear, trafficking, respectively, in six-packs and hockey apparel. Duncan classifies both as enjoyable educational experiences, a collective form of hands-on business school he holds more dear than his years sitting in a classroom (“I always did better with applied learning,” he explains).

The Ottawa native’s vision for Dala Decor was to help homeowners, businesses, and institutions create unique, welcoming environments, classy, comfortable spaces at once artisanal and practical. “There was a massive gap in design-forward furniture and services in Ottawa at the time,” Duncan recounts. “It was a city full of big box stores. You had to go to Montreal or Toronto to find anything else.”

That’s why you’ll find Dala Decor’s inventory generously displayed throughout the city, from office spaces and condominiums to restaurants and financial institutions. Dala Decor is even the official luxury furniture partner of the Ottawa Senators, adding their imaginative magic to select areas of the Canadian Tire Centre and even some of the players’ personal residences.

As proof that Dala Decor can accommodate any request put forth by any style of client, Duncan outlines the company’s various departments:

“We have multiple divisions,” he explains. “We have a Large Showroom division that caters to our higher-end residential clientele. Then there’s our Interior Decorating division, which supports larger design projects. We also have a Staging division that works with builders, developers, realtors, brokerages, and stagers. There’s also a very large Commercial division servicing restaurants, hotels, offices and commercial spaces.”

Each division is fronted by a knowledgeable, amenable manager. “Our managers are the lifeblood of our business,” Duncan affirms unequivocally. No more flailing for much-needed assistance the way he was forced to back when he was that desperate first-time homeowner. Today, thanks to Duncan, that fissure in knowledge is filled with people who can speak the language like it’s their native tongue.

“Our team is selectively hand-picked and painstakingly groomed,” Duncan stresses. “It’s small but mighty. We’ve moved mountains in this industry and continue to do so.” Plus, to a person, they love what they do. “We try to keep it a fun, young, low-stress work environment,” Duncan adds.

While there are no immediate plans for expansion, the company is nevertheless on the brink of a significant growth spurt, one predicated on industry advancements in demonstration and design technology. “We’re working on some pretty revolutionary 3D furniture software you’ll see released later this year,” Duncan promises. “That will be a big part of our growth.”

Meanwhile, interested Ottawans would do well to comb Dala Decor’s eye-opening online catalogue, prominently featured on the company’s website. Whichever way prospective buyers are looking to upgrade their home, office, restaurant, or lobby area, they’ll find all they need to make their vision a reality. The site also offers access to Dala Decor’s brain trust within a speedy twenty-four hours.

Conversely, clients can drop in on Dala Decor’s legendary flagship showroom at 1790 Woodward Drive or its newly opened outlet store at 17A Enterprise Avenue. The latter constitutes 3,000 square feet worth of lightly used pieces and accents, a rare opportunity to avail oneself of floor models and out-of-the-box merchandise. Unsold items, by the way, are donated to area charities, solidifying Dala Decor’s reputation as a generous supporter of Ottawa’s needier residents.

“Building a business is like building a highway,” says Duncan. “You start with the main road and find a way to grow by adding exits to hop off.”

In Duncan’s case, it’s the road to success—and there’s no end in sight.

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