Dominic Staniscia Finds His Passion In Tiles

Dominic Staniscia Finds His Passion In Tiles

Owner of City Tile Nanaimo Celebrates 15 Years in Business

  • Mar. 20, 2019 11:05 a.m.

– Story by Tess Van Straaten Photography by Don Denton

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

After more than 15 years running a busy and successful company, Nanaimo entrepreneur Dominic Staniscia says the biggest mistake he made was not launching his business sooner.

“A friend of mine and I had been talking about it for years,” says Dominic, owner of City Tile Nanaimo. “I should have done it sooner.”

Dominic was selling turkeys and chickens for Lilydale — a job he’d been doing for 10 years — when he finally decided he’d had enough.

“We were out fishing one day and we were 25 miles offshore and I said, ‘Vince, let’s do this, I’m ready to do this,’” Dominic recalls.

That was August of 2003. By the end of November, Dominic and his partner, Vince D’Andrea, opened City Tile Nanaimo. For Dominic, the drive to be his own boss and make the company a success fuelled his passion.

“For nine years, I worked seven days a week, and then my kids got involved and I was able to take a day off,” jokes Dominic, who is 60 this year and still works six days a week. “I just love it — I love the business.”

All of that hard work and passion has certainly paid off. City Tile Nanaimo celebrated its 15th anniversary last November and business is booming. The first location was 2,200 square feet. After seven years of growth — including during the recession — they expanded 400 per cent to a 9,100-square-foot facility before buying land to build their current 13,000-square-foot location on Boban Drive.

“We’ve grown it to the point where now the kids can run it,” says Dominic. “In order to do that, you have to train the kids properly, so I’m working lots to show them what true work ethic is. If I didn’t work as I hard as I do, I don’t think they’d get it.”

Dominic and his wife, Rose, have three daughters and they all work in the business, along with two son-in-laws. It’s a family affair and Dominic says it’s also important to treat staff like family.

“The best advice I’ve ever received is that you can’t do it on your own,” he says. “You need good staff and you have to treat your people properly and respect them. You need to treat them like family, and if you do, everything should work out.”

Dominic admits that when he started the company there was a lot to learn. And over the years, he says, the biggest lesson has been about buying product.

“You don’t make money selling — you make money buying,” Dominic explains. “You have to buy right or you’re not going to make a profit. You have to focus on getting it at the right price and then selling it at the right price. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck with product and you’ll lose money.”

Dominic travels all over the world to source the best tiles. He regularly travels to Italy, Turkey, Spain, Brazil and China. It’s something he loves to do, but also says it’s key to the businesses’ success.

“You really need to do this because the manufactures are there with all the newest trends in design and if you’re not there, you lose out,” he says. “We receive these containers on a weekly basis and it’s nice to see the world in a different way.”

One of the ongoing challenges is to keep inventory fresh in a face-paced industry with constantly changing design trends. A few years ago, they ran out of space to hold new products and had to decide what to do with older stock.

“Rotating stale product with new product involves risk, decisiveness and, at times, sacrifices,” says Dominic. “We came up with a solution that gave us both room and cash flow. We purchased two tents to hold the outdated product and priced it at such a significant discount, the products sold very well and that gave us much-needed cash flow to purchase new inventory.”

Looking to the future, Dominic still wants to grow the business but says his goal is also to “semi-retire” and let his children run it.

“I plan on slowing down a little bit because you have to have balance,” he says. “My wife and I have been married 38 years come September and we want to travel more.”

As for quitting his day job and deciding to launch the business? Better late than never.

“I was 45 years old when I started the company, so it’s never too late to start a business or do things you’ve always wanted to do,” Dominic says. “You’ve got to love what you do. If you don’t go to work happy and raring to go, you’re not going to succeed. You have to be passionate about what you’re doing.”

Boulevard Magazine

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UCP MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr. (File photo)
MLA Ron Orr: Benchmarks were achieved but goalposts were moved

Orr responds to concerns, calls on province to fully open Step 2

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

(Black Press file photo)
Blackfalds continuing its fight for a registries office

The Town of Blackfalds has been fighting for a Registry Service outlet for roughly a decade

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

hands
The call is out in Rimbey to sign on with a group that is all about building connections

‘Already, we are building a network where we can rely on each other and help each other out’

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Many rural seniors are having to travel a long way to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Stettler residents are being told to go to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose. (Black Press file photo).
Rural central Alberta seniors have to travel far to get vaccines

Stettler residents are being directed to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose clinics

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a news conference in Calgary on May 29, 2020. Shandro says Alberta is considering whether to extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine shots to four months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta may follow B.C.’s lead on faster rollout of first COVID-19 dose

Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming

Most Read