My Father, My Mentor
Founded in 1979 by Timothy Stennett, Custom Design Monuments, Inc. was initially known as Stennett Memorials. It was located out of the basement of Tim's house in Kittanning. After a few short years, he quickly became successful in not only selling, but also crafting memorials. He planned to keep all work local, and was hands on with every piece that left his shop. With success also comes change, but in a good way. Tim decided it was time for an upgrade in order to better serve the community, and also provide jobs for other local craftsman in the community.
Tim envisioned doing everything in house, and decided that moving Stennett Memorials to the Shawmut Yards was the proper next step. At the time, Tim employed 1 guy to help him with day-to-day operations, as well as his beloved wife Rose who did the book work for him, and also counseled customers. With the move also came a name change to Custom Design Monuments, Inc.
Within a couple of years in the early to mid 80s, it was once again time for an upgrade, as we had outgrown our space. We moved to 399 Butler Road in West Kittanning.
We serve most counties in Western Pennsylvania as a wholesale dealer while still providing our local community with our retail services.
Tim's first priority was customer service and satisfaction, personally overseeing day to day operations, not only in our shop, but also counseling bereaved families. From start to finish he was involved. He prided himself on work ethic, which would often cost him long hours away from his family. Often working 18 hours plus per day, he would make sure that if he made a promise, that a memorial would be in place by a certain date, you can guarantee it would be there, and it would be exactly as you ordered it.
In the late 90s Tim’s daughter Jennifer and son in law Andrew joined our team. Jennifer started in the office designing memorials via our cad program and providing renderings for our customers. Shortly after, she had worked her way up to sales. Her Dad was her mentor. Andrew provides management of field services overseeing the installation of memorials and such. If required, he meets with families on site, and assists with locating the site and preparing the site for installation, he also works as a craftsman in our shop. Our employees have become like family most being employed here since the late 80s early 90s. We have the utmost faith in them also providing the best possible service to you as well.
Continuing the Legacy
In 2003 after the unexpected loss of his beloved wife Rose, Tim decided it was time to prepare for the future. He looked forward to the day his children would follow in his footsteps. It was his dream of the second generation taking over what he would often refer to as "his baby". Tim began to involve Jennifer more in the business aspect of the company to continue his legacy. He instilled in her his principle beliefs of the importance of local business and community, and the patience and understanding it would require to be as successful as he was in the industry.
Tim had his dream come true in 2013, when he was finally able to hand the reigns over to his daughter Jennifer. Tim was over joyed in doing so. It was now time for him to retire and enjoy life. All of his hard work had given him to opportunity to enjoy his camp he had built in the early 90s. Unfortunately, shortly after retirement in 2013 Tim was diagnosed with cancer. Although weak and sick, he was always willing to give his advice and wisdom that he gained throughout his life. He fought a long, hard battle and was unable to be involved as he would have liked to have been. Sadly, Tim lost his battle in late August 2014. Up until the very end, he continued to oversee day to day operations.
Jennifer honorably stepped into her father's shoes from that day forth. She continues building the business that he so lovingly built. She also prides herself in the same virtues, values and principles that made her father so successful. She always has, and always will admire his strength, courage, determination, and most importantly, the overwhelming compassion he had for helping people. Keeping business local and providing employment for local craftsman is very important to her as well. She strives to earn the trust so many had previously given Tim. Please feel free to stop in and meet with Jennifer or any of our kind caring team. We are more than glad to assist you with any of your monument needs. We are the ONLY locally owned and operated business that craft your memorial on-site, making sure to provide you with the best possible service available. We thank all of our customers past, present, and future for putting their faith into us, and letting us help them in their time of need.