Some stories are so good, you almost can’t believe they are true. This is one of those stories.
Born in Laos in 1964, Sy Phandanouvong, came to the United States in 1979 with his father. Despite not speaking any English when he arrived in the United States, Sy graduated from Rosemount High School in 1985 and enrolled in an aviation mechanics program at Hennepin Technical College.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for his customers, the aviation program didn’t work out. Despite no family history in the building trades, Sy landed a job in the window industry. At first, Sy learned the nuts and bolts of window construction on the assembly line of a manufacturer of vinyl windows. With a strong work ethic, natural curiosity and a can-do attitude, Sy’s career progressed. His next challenge was as a supervisor of a vinyl bending operation for a company that supplied the industry’s big boys specialty shaped windows, many of which were installed in historic properties. Working side by side with engineers and installers, Sy developed a keen eye for architectural detail, an almost unmatched knowledge of historic windows and the subtle nuances of window installation, especially in older homes and buildings.

Sy the Entrepreneur

In 2001, Sy’s entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and he started SP Custom Carpentry and Windows. At first, he focused on installing other companies’ products, but this would not last long. By 2003, SP Custom Carpentry’s business was humming. With a knack for customer service and problem solving, an SP customer, unwilling to put aluminum storm windows on her historic Victorian home, challenged Sy to develop a better alternative. The result was SP’s patented wood surround combination storm window – from the outside it looks like a historic wood storm window but from the inside it’s a modern aluminum combination window eliminates the seasonal swap-out of storms and screens and allows the storm windows to be cleaned from the inside. The product was an instant hit and quickly became SP’s flagship product.

With a growing stable of customers and a patented product under his belt, Sy flexed his new product development muscles. The launch of his wood combination storm was followed by designing a line of historic aluminum storm windows with an improved weep-hole design and better, more historic aesthetics. In late 2006, Sy finished the development of his double-hung interior sash replacement product and applied for another patent on an improved jamb-liner. SP Custom Carpentry had come full circle and was now manufacturing prime windows.

About Sy Phandanouvong

Sy lives in Shakopee with his wife, KP. His daughter is a graduate from University of Minnesota and his son is a graduate from Dunwoody College of Technology. In his spare time, Sy enjoys working out at Life Time Fitness, playing soccer and playing in a rock band.

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