My life is so full right now. Between being a full time working mom and running a household my brim is pouring over!! My blog had to take a side car to me just being productive with my daily tasks…..plus I needed some time to develop material! LOL
We are heading into the busy season and we are noticing the demographic of our new clients is changing. We have had a flood of young and excited new home owners getting their dream stones and sparing no expense! And we have also gained more mature clients who are re-doing their kitchens and picking super high end materials!! This is so exciting!! This means the “sparkle” is coming back!! HELLO GENERAL PUBLIC!!!! NATURAL STONE IS A LUXURY ITEM!!!! Hopefully the days of “quick and cheap” (this is when someone comes in the shop with only 40% of info we need to give pricing and they demand it cheap and quick) are coming to an end. America is the breeding ground for free enterprise so there will always be a niche for someone and always a target market. Joe and I feel like we are heading towards the turning point in the stone business. There is excitement and creativity flowing. The new colors being quarried are super vibrant and offering new color palettes.
As we head into TAX SEASON it seems like the tax refunds are being used to enrich lives with upgrading in the most used areas of “ones” home…. either kitchen or the bathroom!
Joe and I strive for nothing but smooth sailing and happy customers!! I always try and open another level of communication with current technology. If you have an iPhone I can text right from my iPad or iMac. It is super easy and sometimes when our clients are in class or meetings it is just easier to look at the phone and text back. Do I like talking on the phone with clients—-OF COURSE!! 60 texts = a 10 minute conversation. I can sum certain things up in a matter of minutes opposed to feeling like someone is being neglected because I didn’t see their text! It’s a double edge sword…just like everything in life. I do feel that in this day in age, society in general, is all about convenience. So we just go with the flow and bend with the times and use our technology at our fingertips.
I would say that 8 out of 10 calls is about getting Carrara inn the kitchen. YOU CAN NOT PUT MARBLE IN THE KITCHEN unless you embrace and are away that the science is not on your side. It will stain. It will etch. With that being said, I have a Carrara marble kitchen table. It is destroyed to perfection and I love it! Every stain and scratch is a memory that we as a family have made. I don’t know how I would feel though if I bought a huge kitchen and spent $$$ and had a nice cabernet stain in my island…just saying. WE are stocked with some really nice white granites and quartzites that could do the job if your still clinging on to the WHITE TREND. **TREND ALERT**
I just had to share this. I found it online when looking for unique tile layouts. It’s called Striato Olympico marble and you better have confidence to pull this off!! There is one thing I would change and that is I would make the tub undermount. Besides that, this designer really knocked it out of the park! Perfect example of mixing cool tones and warm tones and creating a really classy look! Enjoy and once I find the source of this I will share the info!!!
This fountain actually has a crazy story attached to it. Joe and I met in October of 2004 and it was love at first site…..BUT the summer of 2004 I was actually walking down Passyunk Ave enroute to some adventure and I saw Joe and the guys working on the fountain. Joe’s cousin was actually contracting Colossus Granite to fabricate the fountain ledges and wrap. I worked with Joe’s cousin at the time and Joe’s Uncle was my landlord. When Joe’s cousin yelled “Hey Kat! What’s up?” I remember seeing Joey and waving hi. Who would have thought that on that day I would be waving to my future husband, father of our children and future business partner…. Who would think that the company that was installing the essential pieces to the long awaited East Passyunk Fountain would be mine one day… Life is crazy. Just don’t sweat the small stuff…embrace what’s infront of you and own any actions you take.
The stone in this application is simply 3cm Absolute Black. It has been installed for 10 years through all the elements and look how it has held up!! Amazing! Granite is durable people!! It’s the surface that just keeps giving back!
Azul Imperial Quartzite….where to begin.. Heather Grey, Lavender, Turquoise, Mint Green, Dust Gray, Sea Foam Green…..
Earth’s pressure can make such a piece of art. It is just humbling. We have a client that saw this and fell in love!! She used it for her laundry room….. YES I SAID LAUNDRY ROOM!! Can i fold my towels all up on your Azul Imperial please????
Ok so samples in the natural stone business have gone through many phases. Years ago builders used to swing by the shop and ask for a sample board or a sample box. Although the timing of natural stone has always been grouped in blocks and lot #’s, we always gave away samples in groups and made a bold disclaimer :”THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES THAT THE SAMPLES YOU ARE VIEWING ARE GOING TO BE THE EXACT LOT OF WHAT YOU WILL GET”. When a client came to us directly they have always been shown their actual slab and we would knock a huge chunk off the side of the slab. This can get really costly and wasteful. It also damages the slabs. If there are any existing fissures or pits near the area of impact it can cause stress fractures. As time progressed, we would Fed-Ex samples to clients directly after we cut it off with a Makita. This was also costly but now at least we were progressing from hammer strikes to strategically cutting a 4″ x 4″ square off the corner. NOW…in 2015 we actually, upon delivery of every material. cut the left or right side of the slab, whichever has the most color variation, the height of the slab by 4″. Then once we have the 60″- 79″strip we cut it down into 4″ squares. You average 17-20 samples per slab.
WHAT’S THE SAMPLE EPIDEMIC?? Well….If I have 5 clients come in 1 day and everyone takes 3-4 samples then by the end of the week I am out of samples. This means I have to once again return to cutting the strip off the side and now I am really wasting money since I am cutting away from the total length of the material. By cutting 8″ off the side of a slab can mean a kitchen now getting seamed when it should have fit in 1 piece or a kitchen spilling into a second slab when if the samples weren’t cut it would have worked. This really cuts into our margins.
We are very very serious about a customer 100% knowing what they are choosing and how the color will look in their application. I love that I can give samples out and everyone finds them helpful when they get home to see what it looks like in the lighting of their personal space. Let’s be real…. the material is displayed in 100% natural light …I am pretty sure there is no such thing as a topless kitchen unless it’s for an outdoor cooking area or Vegas….get it…
The one thing that I still find baffling is what a customer will do with the samples once they make a decision or if they choose to shop around and keep all of our samples. There really is no need to not give them back. Even if you choose another fabricator, just leave them by the front door of the showroom after hours or drop them off to the showroom during 9-5!! I will be so grateful! During my lunch break today I brainstormed as to what I thought clients used the granite samples for other than just returning them and giving potential clients like themselves the same opportunity to see their color choice in their nest.
Just a girly girl in a male dominated industry trying to get my point across…