– Words and photography by Lia Crowe
“I love people, and I get jazzed if I can inspire others with a warm smile and a word of encouragement,” says Tim Miller, when asked what “fires him up the most in his work.”
We meet at Matchstick Coffee in Vancouver’s West End, where I’m greeted with the warmest of smiles that suddenly makes my day a whole lot better.
Tim dreamed of being a business owner back when he was in high school, and from there he completed a business administration degree and joined an older brother in the furniture business in 1981. After 20 years of owning an independent furniture store, Miller’s Fine Furniture, Tim partnered with a younger brother, opening La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Greater Vancouver. They currently have four retail outlets with a staff of 75.
With that much success behind him, I wonder what daily practice Tim has adopted that has brought him here.
“Don’t allow yourself to get too bogged down in the day to day,” Tim says. “Deal with the task at hand and move on. Don’t take life too seriously. I recently saw a quote from author James Clear: ‘Each day is a small lifetime. Live a good life today.’”
Outside of work, Tim is an avid volunteer, both locally and abroad.
“Locally, La-Z-Boy partners with Ronald McDonald House. Once a quarter we head to the local RMH and prepare a home-cooked meal for the parents and children staying at the house while their children undergo treatment.”
Internationally, Tim belongs to a group of local businesspeople who love to give back.
“Our group, Guatemala Conexions, has partnered with local Indigenous leaders in Guatemala, helping to meet needs in their rural villages. We’ve funded community centres in remote villages, funded classroom construction as well as water enhancement projects.”
Tim goes on to say, “We’ve partnered with a local doctor and financed the construction of a small hospital. With the help of a local Indigenous couple, we have ongoing support for a group of students, helping them financially, allowing them to complete their grade 12 education. We have also supported a program teaching them English during their school vacation time. Several graduates now work for American companies in Guatemala, lifting them and their families out of the poverty cycle. With today’s technology, we have been able to keep in contact with our partners and students over these past few years, but I do have a ticket booked to visit in person this fall.”
When it comes to style, for Tim, it’s all about being authentic to yourself.
“Spend more time doing the things that give you energy than tasks that suck the energy from you. I’m comfortable with who I am, whether that be conversing with a panhandler on the street or attending a downtown gala. Yet selfishly, I’m most comfortable chatting over a coffee at any local coffee shop.”
Asked to describe his best life lesson, Tim says, “Take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. If you love who you are, it’s easy to love and support others. Be inquisitive, listen and smile.”
Uniform: Casual is the best!
Favourite denim, brand and cut: I’m most comfortable in jeans: 34 Heritage brand.
Current go-to clothing item: My ANIÁN jacket.
Currently coveting: A new ATV.
Necessary indulgence: A great cup of coffee.
Style Inspirations & Life
Favourite musician: I love country music: Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton are top of the playlist, yet my all-time favourite is Elton John.
Favourite cocktail or wine: Red wine drinker (recently became an investor in Stoneboat Vineyards in Oliver, BC).
Favourite city to visit: Vancouver—I’m so blessed to live here! And I will say, my recent fishing trip to Haida Gwaii, staying at Queen Charlotte Lodge, was pretty epic!
Favourite place in the whole world: Apart from British Columbia, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.
App: I love the Audible app.
Recent audiobook listens: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Fave Podcast: Impact Theory by Tom Bilyeu.
Coffee table book/photography book: Humans of New York.
Favourite book of all time: The Bible.