Not every married couple is suited for business partnership, but dream team Shelley and Matt Wehner found the entrepreneurial freedom they both craved in opening Cabinet Concepts by Design.
“We wanted to be in control of our own destiny, and we weren’t going to be able to do that by working for other people,” said Shelley Wehner, co-owner, designer and project manager at the Springfield, Missouri-based shop. “Matt and I are completely opposite in how we approach situations, so we combine our strengths to accomplish goals.”
Ten years after the pair took over, the sleepy shop that they bought with no work in the pipeline has expanded to six times its initial size and employs a staff that’s grown from six to 30.
About 90 percent of the shop’s business is residential, and a glance at the company’s website is proof that quality and creativity in design are high on its list of priorities. While Cabinet Concepts by Design offers custom cabinetry for any wish list, featured kitchen designs include products in lodge, old world, traditional, farm house, transitional, light and airy, rustic, and contemporary styles. The company also offers storage solutions for closets, garages, pantries, and other spaces.
Shelley was always interested in interior design, and Matt, who studied math in college, had long been a woodworking hobbyist. Initially, the plan was for Shelley—a then stay-at-home mom to the couple’s three children—to manage the shop’s books. Matt, with help from four employees, would handle sales, design and production. However, it quickly became apparent that Shelley was naturally suited to design and that handling the business side was a better fit for Matt.