In Memory of Craig Davies and Design One

When someone close to us is lost it is not so much the hole that is left in our lives which should be felt as much as the reverberating question, “How would my life be different had I not known this person.”

It was a warm spring afternoon as I drove my car through down-town Langley to a doctor’s appointment  when I first saw the Design One Graphics sign hanging in the second floor window of the old brick post office and government building. As I came to a stop at the stop-light I wondered if this non-descript design firm had need of a web development team to produce some of their work.

I pulled out my phone, searched for Design One’s phone number and dialed it into my phone. The light turned green. As I accelerated down the road the phone was answered by a kind gentlemen who I gave my one minute cold call pitch to. It wasn’t elegant as I was actively driving and dodging pedestrians while talking on the phone – yes, in these days it was legal to drive and talk on your phone.

To my surprise the man responded by telling me he would transfer me to Craig Davies, the owner of Design One Graphics. I could tell from my first conversation which Craig that he was a kind man who loved to chat and over the next 10 years he would share that love of story telling over and over again with me.

That summer spring day brought into my life a mentor, advisor, and great friend. We would travel from meeting to meeting together, dream up the next big marketing and web project and consistently close sales from small to large firms. Sure, many times the meetings would go well over-time as Craig recounted his past and how much things have changed, but who could blame a great story teller like him.

Craig Davies provided mentorship for Abendago at its infancy – when it needed it most.  His office door was always open and he could quickly tell if I needed a kick in the ass or some friendly encouragement. He shared years of experience with me and taught me “how business should be done.” He could be rough around the edges but he genuinely meant well.

When Abendago first began in our small Langley condo, it was only a few blocks from Design One. One afternoon while my wife and I were out Craig tried calling me over the course of a couple of hours. Naturally there was no answer. On our way back home I stopped in at Design One and ran into Craig putting his jacket on. “Oh, I was just going to walk down to your condo and see if you were ok” he exclaimed. He was sincerely concerned that something might be amiss because it was out of character for me to no answer my phone when he called.

A few years later we moved to Abbotsford and bought a boat. Craig lived at Cultus lake with his wife  Kate and upon discovering we were going to be on the lake one evening invited us over for dinner. We had a 2 year old daughter at the time and Craig welcomed her as though she were his own. We ate, and drank wine and enjoyed a cool summer evening together. It was a refreshing change of pace from our usual hustle and sales work. It was the true Craig – caring, giving and protective.

A few weeks ago Craig Davies passed away at the young age of 64. The news comes as a shock and even now as I write this I struggle to really believe that this chapter of life is closing. My life has changed, his figure prints are over almost every aspect of Abendago and my family. His office door was always open and he was always willing to chat. I wish I had taken more time to glean from his sage advice.  His friendly smile was contagious and his passion for design and perfection enviable.  But most of all his love for people, respect, and to do the right thing as what I will miss most.

As Design closes its doors, Abendago will continue to live on. We partner with many design agencies around the Fraser Valley and North America. A piece of us will be missed, but his impact will remain forever.

It’s not every day you meet a man like Craig Davies, it’s a truly sad day when you lose him.