Closet Symposium is August 23,
the day before IWF 2016
Save $50: Early bird rate $175 'til August 1; $225 after. Includes:
Free registration for IWF 2016
Continental breakfast and lunch

It was his entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to work with end customers that lured Joe Lonardo into the custom closets industry. He quickly put his business savvy to good use developing Bella Systems closet franchises.

“Having owned my own business in an industry with many layers and high overhead, I learned quickly how to contain costs, but the returns kept diminishing. I knew I wanted to build something geared towards franchising so that I could export my expertise in running a business to others while building a brand.”

Photo: Bella Systems

The year was 2009 and the recession still ongoing. While many would argue that it was probably not the best time to launch a business catering to “luxury” items, in hindsight Lonardo says it’s among his proudest moments. “Many in our industry were straining to remain above water and unfortunately, some even closed. Most of my peers and definitely my family and friends thought I was crazy. Yet here I am seven years later.”

Make that seven years and three franchises later, with more underway. “I would like to see Bella Systems in two to three additional markets in the next few years,” he says. “We provide exceptional customer service and I’d love to be able to help other small business owners achieve the level of success I’ve been fortunate to experience.”

Woodworking Network named Lonardo a Wood Industry Market Leader in 2015.

Learn from Joe Lonardo

Demand for organized closets, garages and other home storage areas will rise steadily over the next four years, reaching $10.9 billion in annual sales by 2019. That makes it bigger than wood flooring and windows. This presents a significant business opportunity for a number of business owners and entrepreneurs.

At the IWF 2016 Closet Symposium, to be held August 23 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, participants will learn how the closet has evolved from white wire frame racks to a luxury experience for consumers, and extended its reach into pantries, home offices, and the fast-growing garage segment. Lonardo, a board member for the Association of Closet & Storage Professionals (ACSP) will moderate The Great Debate-Insource or Outsource – a panel of presenters will weigh the merits of internally produced closets and wood components, versus outsourced supply.

Jeff Bruzessi, president and Mike Mendelssohn, marketing director for Closets Factory, Virginia Beach will also take part in the all-day symposium along with Bob Lewis, CEO, Closet & Storage Concepts; Troy Greenberg, Redline Garage Gear; and Jeff Klein, president, Closet & Cabinets Experts.

To register for the symposium, visit

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