ROGER SHOLLMIER, TOGETHER WITH HIS LIFELONG FRIEND, RODNEY TURCHI, MOVED WITH THEIR YOUNG FAMILIES FROM THEIR HOMETOWN IN ARKANSAS TO EMBARK ON A NEW ADVENTURE TOGETHER IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA.
THE YEAR WAS 1976.
Neither brought with them much money, but both had ambitions and dreams they believed would be fulfilled in a new city of opportunity. They pooled what they had and rented a space in a shopping center in what was then South Tulsa.
It wasn’t long before Roger’s talents as a kitchen designer became apparent, and business started coming in. He discovered a knack for understanding how to make a kitchen function for his clients, and the rest was easy.
Within four years, Roger had so much of his own business coming in that he bought out his friend’s share of the business and formed his own LLC. It wasn’t long before many of Tulsa’s ‘who’s who’ had commissioned Roger to design their kitchens and national magazines were featuring his work.
Throughout the years, Roger and the team at KI have shared an enthusiastic passion for what they do. Breathing function and style into every home is a must no matter the size of the project. While other designers may focus solely on the look, every designer at KI loves to cook and believes the kitchen must function as the heart of the home. The designs are tailored to meet each client’s lifestyle and are viewed as a reflection of each home with an element of beauty to create that wow factor.
Many years after creating Tulsa’s most successful kitchen design firm, Roger had an epiphany. What if there was one place in the kitchen where all the prep, cooking and serving could be done in one place? He sketched what looked like a large sink, but with tiers on the inside that housed cutting boards, platforms with colanders and bowls, and a drain rack, ready to be put to use. It looked like it could work, so Roger had it fabricated locally.
It was beautiful! He installed it in his own kitchen, but couldn’t keep it to himself. He brought friends and clients over to see it, many of which asked him to build one for their own kitchens. Finally it dawned on Roger that this might be something that could be marketed and sold. That’s how The Galley Workstation began, and Roger’s innovation began to reinvent how people now, all across North America, use their kitchens.
Today, Roger still owns Kitchen Ideas and continues to think “outside the box” with each and every design. With his design team of Michael Thorp (KI Manager and Designer) and Roger’s daughter, Lesley Shollmier (Designer), along with a strong team of project management, design assistants and tradesmen to take a kitchen from paper to reality, Kitchen Ideas is now stronger than ever. Roger’s philosophy of combining function with good taste is a winning combination that has created happy clients for 40 years and counting.