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Fine furniture specialist receives Camosun’s distinguished alumni award

Lifetime learner Mike Randall achieving business success by following his dream
Mike Randall, a graduate of Camosun College’s fine furniture program, was named the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner for 2022. (Courtesy Camosun College)

Thinking outside the box to achieve success in his chosen craft of custom furniture and lighting design has led Mike Randall to be honoured with Camosun College’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Having honed his talents in 2010 through the college’s 40-week fine furniture program, the designer-maker, wood-bending expert and owner of Mike Randall Designs has since built a reputation for creating products tailored to each customer and their property.

“The fine furniture program is an amazing opportunity to learn about good design, to learn about perfection, and to push yourself outside your comfort zone,” he said in a release. “I was under the watchful eye of some amazing professors who I brought on as mentors to give me advice and guidance every step of the way.”

One of those instructors, Sandra Carr, acknowledged from personal experience how difficult it can be to succeed as a designer-maker.

“Mike has found long-term success and continues to be recognized for his talent. I am very proud of his accomplishments,” she said.

Proudly neurodiverse, Randall said his non-linear, dyslexic thinking fuels his ability to create boundary-pushing forms.

From his days toiling in the Jack White building at the Interurban campus, Randall has developed a love for problem-solving through design and making complex ideas look refined. Now working with a business coach to strengthen the focus and marketing elements of his operation, he credits his education at Camosun for giving him “the skills, knowledge and courage to get to where I am today.”

His message to the college grads of today is to “never stop learning and never give up on your dreams,” as graduating from a chosen course is only the first step.

“It is hard work to get really good at what you do. You need to be able to adapt and grow, pick yourself up from your failures, keep up with current thinking and technology and develop the courage to challenge the status quo. It’s how you learn.”

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