Redesigning your personal space: Kevin Richards’s passion for organization shines at High Country Closets
July 26, 2017
A place for everything and everything in its place — that adage is something Kevin Richards, owner and operator of High Country Closets, takes to heart.
Richards is a former manager for Waste Management who recently left the corporate world behind to return to his passion: custom closet and storage design and construction. While many people may not view closets as evoking passionate feelings, for people like Richards, whose minds crave organization and order, the symmetry of a well-ordered pantry or walk-in closet is satisfying in its simplicity, form and function combining as one.
Richards opened High Country Closets in early April in Grand County, offering storage maximization solutions for closets, pantries, laundry rooms, garages and pretty much any area of a home or office that would benefit from an orderly organization scheme. Richards is available for consultations throughout Grand County and can provide customers with unique plans to address their storage problems.
Originally from southern California, Richards moved to Grand County in 2009 to help oversee Waste Management operations in the high country. But after many years in the corporate world spent working long hours, often on the road far from his family, Richards decided he was looking to get back to his passion.
"I got tired of 70-hour work weeks," Richards admitted. "I figured, if I'm going to work that hard I might as well do something I love. Quite frankly, I missed it."
Richards's father was a contractor and he spent his youth helping frame houses and on other construction projects. In 1999, he got into the storage business, working for the largest closet company in the world, as he explained. Not long after Richards purchased a pullout-shelf dealership business that kept him busy for many years.
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When the corporate world offered him the opportunity to move to Colorado, Richards jumped at the chance. His time spent in the recycling industry made him reassess what he wanted from his working life, however, and after nearly a decade spent working for others, Richards once again put on his entrepreneurial hat.
Richards's somewhat surprising passion for closet and storage construction is rooted in the late 1990s when he first broke into the industry.
"It was the beauty of the product," Richards said, explaining how he was initially drawn into the world of custom closet design. "You have to understand the beauty of it. There is nothing better than taking a closet and fixing it up.
"You get to feel it and touch it, to see how you have improved somebody's storage needs. No two systems are alike, they are customized to the clients' individual needs."
Richards said he was proud of the niche position his business fills in Middle Park as High Country Closets is the only closet-focused business in Grand County. Richards noted that there are several companies from outside the county that occasionally do business locally, but explained they couldn't compete with his price offerings.
"I know the competitors come up here, but there is a surcharge for their services," Richards said. "That can be very challenging on people's budgets. I don't have that (surcharge) since I live here."
From consultation to installation, High Country Closets can complete most jobs in as little as two weeks, so it's only a little time spent waiting for a whole new organized space.
High Country Closets can be reached by calling 970-531-4003 or online at http://www.highcountryclosets.com. Richards is available for consultations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.