30 in Their Thirties: Stephen McKay // 31


Stephen McKay // 31

Partner and Vice President // Cranbrook Custom Homes, Shelby Township // Employees: 20 // Revenue: $42M

Lawrence Technological University

Stephen McKay entered the business world when he was 8 years old, and never looked back. “My dad owned an electrical contracting business, so I worked for him, and I also had paper routes and a retail job,” says McKay, partner and vice president of Cranbrook Custom Homes in Shelby Township.

Before he could drive, he landed a job as an apprentice at an architectural firm, where he worked for six years while attending college. From there, he created custom homes for a design company while running his own architectural firm.

“I would design 10 custom homes on my own each year, and while I was doing that I was designing a complicated home for myself,” he says. “When my customers noticed I was building my own home, they asked (if I would) build homes for them, as well.”

In 2011, he launched Cranbrook Custom Homes with two partners, and today the company builds 40 to 45 homes a year. The homes, which range in price from $480,000 to $3 million, typically come in three styles — contemporary, traditional, and European.

“The proportions, the design, and the materials all have to be perfect,” McKay says. “We’ve done some homes with indoor pools and indoor basketball courts, whatever the client desires. Our goal is to keep expanding in southeastern Michigan and beyond.” — R.J. King