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Founder's Roots: Todd Chitester's Inspiration for Dwelink

When you think about a new entrepreneurial startup, you often think of the story—the person behind the idea, their professional journey, and the inspiration that drives them. Todd Chitester, founder of Dwelink, is a prime example. At first glance, his degree from Duke University and his background in physics and engineering, coupled with a lengthy career in corporate real estate, seem like the natural progression towards a business aimed at simplifying homeownership. But delve a little deeper, and you'll uncover the true essence of Todd's story—the roots that anchor him to his past and the profound connections that drive his vision for the future.

Born and raised in the small town of Frewsburg, New York, Todd's upbringing was grounded in a working-class community. As one of six children and a dad as a woodshop teacher, Todd's formative years were filled with summer days spent building decks with his brothers, riding 3-wheelers, mowing lawns, and delivering papers around the neighborhood. People often spent their weekends at each others' houses installing a kitchen floor, gutting a bathroom, or chopping wood for the winter. This close-knit community fostered values of hard work, camaraderie, and mutual support—a foundation Todd holds dear to this day.

In 2022, Todd found himself contemplating a departure from corporate America, drawn back to his roots and the hard-working tradespeople who embody the spirit of his hometown. Recognizing the inherent value these individuals bring, he embarked on a mission to merge their ethos with his professional expertise, creating something truly innovative. Scratching his entrepreneurial itch and fueled by the desire to create a successful startup business, he founded Dwelink and coined the term “HomeMate,” a trusted home advocate and maintenance expert empowered with advanced technology, to be the cornerstone of a thriving enterprise.

A little over a year into his venture, Todd has gathered a small but mighty team who embrace values of mutual support, reliability, and kindness. He's forging partnerships with individuals and organizations dedicated to empowering marginalized communities while providing a caring, supportive work culture that offers opportunities for meaningful employment. Recently reflecting on his conversations with his father and the importance of hands-on learning, Todd shares an opportunity to reignite a passion for the trades and community in Charlotte, NC, where he has resided for the over 25 years. This flourishing city presents an ideal setting for such a startup, brimming with opportunities in the realm of homeownership and technology.

No mistaking it though, Dwelink isn't just about simplifying homeownership; it's as much about fostering a supportive atmosphere and providing meaningful employment to people wanting to “break the mold” of a traditional work environment. Todd encourages his team to bring their whole selves to the job and do things that matter to them. For one person, it’s about having the flexibility to take her husband to routine doctor’s appointments. For another, it’s being able to get their son to school in the mornings. At team meetings, Todd asks what people dream about. When one person shares his dream is to never have to wear shoes again, he responds matter-of-factly: “then let’s figure out how your work at Dwelink will get you to a sandy beach where you spend your days barefoot.” Whatever the dream, Todd’s answer is always “Dream bigger.” Whatever that dream may be.

For Todd and his sister, who has joined him in this venture, Dwelink symbolizes more than just a business—it embodies the transformative power of love, support, and belief in one another. As they face the challenges of entrepreneurship, Todd and his team do so with purpose and conviction, rooted in the understanding that it's not just about business success; it's about cultivating communities, caring for each other, and creating a better world for us all to live and work in.  

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