Kiwi, 20, creates multi-million dollar business DIY-ers hatred of assembling flat-packs gallery video

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Assembly company takes stress out of buying kitsets

Arguments over flat-pack furniture can test even the strongest of relationships.

But one young entrepreneur says he's created a million dollar business by assembling the problematic kitsets at customer's homes.

Jorgen Ellis, 20, says his Kitset Assembly Services business has proved so successful that he's offering franchisees.

Jorgen Ellis, Managing Director of Kitset Assembly Services.
LAWRENCE SMITH / FAIRFAX NZ

Jorgen Ellis, Managing Director of Kitset Assembly Services.

Ellis said he had witnessed firsthand how flat-pack stress can "bring grown men and women to tears". 

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"The most common one we get is when the wife calls us after the male has tried to assemble it."

Assembling a flat-pack can be stressful for couples.

Assembling a flat-pack can be stressful for couples.

"And then when we turn up the husband has always scooted off somewhere, they never stick around when we're there."

Jorgen Ellis started Kitset Assembly Services in 2014 after a "lightbulb moment" when a man approached him during his part-time work at Bunnings in Christchurch.

Ellis, who was then only 18, took up the customer's offer of $100 to assemble his new swingseat, figuring it wasn't a bad deal for an hour's work. 

Jorgen Ellis dropped out of university to start up his franchise business.
EMILY SPINK / FAIRFAX NZ

Jorgen Ellis dropped out of university to start up his franchise business.

From here, it was all go. On a whim, Ellis went out the next day, bought $300 of tools, $10 worth of business cards and began operating his business. 

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Two years on, Ellis had moved into his new company headquarters and training facility on Auckland's North Shore, from which he runs the company's eight franchises spread over the country. 

Ellis said Kitset Assembly Services was already worth "between $1.5 and $2 million", and the company was expanding quickly.

The company offers a home service operation assembling flat-pack, or kitset products from bookcases to garden sheds - their most common project - which he said usually take two weekends "or a few beers and three weeks". 

Ellis, now based in Auckland, was born and raised in Christchurch where he attended Christchurch Boys High School until Year 12. 

From here he moved on to Canterbury University where he completed two years of an accounting and management degree.

He planned on opening 10 more franchises by the end of the year, and to put a "master franchise" in Australia in the next year.

From here Ellis wants to tackle the United Kingdom, and then the United States - where he said the flat-pack industry is worth $24 billion.

His team was expanding to keep up with the company, with guys of varying ages being trained up to run Ellis' franchises.

The secret to his success is "passion and drive", he said, and developing partnerships with hardware giants including Mitre 10 and Placemakers. 

The partnership worked both ways, Ellis said, as the stores ended up with more customers that were "really satisfied" with their product. 

Ellis said becoming the country's youngest franchisor had been "a bit of a goal". 

"You may as well work hard while you're young."

 - Sunday Star Times

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