The Libby Kirwin Renovation + Design Consulting team recently visited the Stone Source showroom in Boston, MA…during their annual company party. There was no better time to visit the showroom…music was on point, the food was delicious, the bar was open, knowledge was being spread and inspiration was being sparked! LKRDC was eager to visit in order to visualize the latest trends in natural stone, porcelain, glass and ceramic tile. We asked creative sales woman Wynn Mitchell a few questions to get a better understanding of the companies process.
Can you tell us more about how Stone Source was founded? Who was the match to start the flame?
Stonesource was established in 1988 (in NYC) by Jeff Green and Mark Schedrofsky, two gentlemen with stone import backgrounds and the means to start their own business. Our headquarters remain in New York City. We now have 9 showrooms nationwide and over 150 employees. We import natural stone, porcelain & ceramic tile, glass, engineered stone and even some reclaimed wood. The company has expanded rapidly.
How do the showrooms curate the direction and demographic it’s trying to appeal to?
Each region is immensely different. I can speak for New England and say that our clients as a whole are pretty traditional and conservative. There’s never enough gray and white. On the contrary, there is over 100 colleges in Boston alone and the level of inspiration and creativity coming from these young minds is extremely innovating. Our marketing teams, regional directors and sales reps will follow social media accounts, and hit trade shows to keep our inventory relevant. A vast majority of our material comes from Italy and anything produced out of Italy is automatically desirable. Occasionally we can encourage a client to move out of their comfort zone, and the end result is exciting and fresh.
Stone Source offers an array of styles for the design process. What are the companies top sellers?
It’s really tough to rate. The needs of each job are so specific and different, so nine out of ten times we have specific materials for each. We sell a TON of white marble. Every designer seeks the whitest marble possible, which usually draws the price up. In regards to porcelain, surprisingly poured concrete is hot right now. We sell some really gorgeous tile made to look like poured concrete. We also carry a line called Q-Stone which is easily our best seller company wide. This is a commercial grade porcelain that mimics the look of marble and quartzite combination.
The replication of natural material is extremely impressive. Can you tell us more about the process of buying the best natural representation of each material?
It’s insane right?! Technology has expanded our business tenfold and its incredibly exciting to see what will come out next. High definition porcelain technology has been derived from the print industry to the ceramic industry, where we can now take high def images of natural species, and duplicate it exactly in the form of glazing, pressing the actual image on a porcelain body.
With offering both interior and exterior materials, what area has more activity and popularity in your company?
Definitely interior. We offer exterior cladding and paving stones, though it’s the super unique and exclusive interior tile and stone that separates us from everyone else.
What is the goal of the company? Are there any big projects for change in the future?
We’re such an extensive company with a serious foundation, so the only change we can predict would be further growth! We recently opened a showroom in Tennessee, and we’re always looking to expand where regions are hot. It’s an ever-evolving business which forever keeps things exciting!