#MCM – Mica Crush Mondaaaaaaaays

The weekend was really really relaxing and now I am in the drivers seat once again.  My #MCM is a product called Supreme Surface!!  Yes it sounds corny but this new sealing/conditioning agent is exactly what our clients have been looking for!!  It not only cleans and polishes the stone but it conditions the stone to retain the sealant that is in the compound.  The more your use it the more it repells outer agents that can penetrate the stone surface!  It smells really good and it makes the surface feel silky smooth without any residue!  We recommend using anti-bacterial dish soap to do your initial cleaning and squeegee right into the sink or off the edge.  Then apply the Supreme Surface!  Let the solvent sit for a couple minutes then wipe away with the orange micro fiber cloth that comes in the kit!!  We sell them in the showroom for $20.

Photo on 1-12-15 at 12.05 PM

 

xoxox

Kat

We did 9 pieces of WHAT!!!!!!!!!!! #fabricationfriday

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This is just too cool not to share!! We recently finished up a penthouse apartment in Rittenhouse at the Barclay building.  It’s public knowledge between the realtor and Colossus that the stone sold the place. The unit wasn’t even finished yet and a potential buyer walked in and became the owner!!!  The kitchen sold it!!  1.7 mILLLLLLLLLion for the unit and the Super White Quartzite 9 piece island was the show stopper!!  It was our creative concept to fabricate and install this long island being that we had to overcome height and length restrictions with the Barclays elevators.  We brought 5 pieces of 3cm Super White and 4 pieces of 3cm Absolute Black to the unit and the magic began.  It took all day but the outcome is so amazing!!  I would love to get into the unit now to see the kitchen complete but the owner has moved in and wants to keep it all to himself!!  I hope he’s not upset that I just unearthed his big secret!! DISCLAIMER TO THE LADIES…If your out and about at ROUGE or PARC and you meet a handsome guys in his 30’s and he’s bragging about his 9 pieces of what not back at his place…..Its his island top!!  LOL  Enjoy the pics!!  It’s Fabrication Friday peeps!!

 

xoxo

Kat

Throw it back…… throw it back y’all!!!!

This is really an amazing transformation!!  We sat back and looked  at these pics and we just can not believe how much time and energy and FINANCES it took to make this building OURS!!  It is still a work in progress but it is coming along nicely!  We are actually picking paint colors now to re-vamp the showroom but I thought it would be cool to show how far we have come in 6 years…..2190 days!

#2009

 

xoxo
Kat

 

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Fly Eagles Fly….ya never know who is stopping by …

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Trent Cole stopped in today to get his bathroom all suited up.  Such a nice guy!!  Humble and really really down to earth.  He was just trying his best to pick the most ideal color to make his fiancé happy! Really really sweet guy! GO EAGLES!

xoxo

Kat

 

 

 

GMM sawwwwwww me do it. :O)

IMG_0911This ladies and gents is our 3rd child….  Our GMM saw. This puppy was bought 6 years ago almost to the day BRAND NEW!!  I give all the credit to the saw for me losing the baby weight from our first born!  Between the actual liquid purchase of this machinery to watching the set-up to going through classes on how to operate it to the fullest potential.  STRESSFUL!!  But it is the gift that keeps giving. Yes..of course we have to nurture it but it does give us all the freedom to cut and create and keep this business rolling. This piece of machinery is the epicenter of our location.  If I can hear the saw from the office then I know money is being made.  Maybe on the TBT this week I’ll post the video of me making the first official saw cut at Colossus’ official home for good.  Moving this operation from 3 miles down the road 6 years ago was BEAST!!  Stressful but EXCITING!!  Scary yet invigorating.  More to come peeps…  more to come….

 

:O)

Kat

Why snow WHYYYYYYYYYY!!!! Snow + granite business = waaaahhh

This is no fun.  The streets are messy.  Our install crew is not back yet and it’s 2pm.  Crickets are flying through the showroom…..  not really since it’s a good day to do catch up work but still…  i like foot traffic.  We have been at our current location for almost 6 years.  We used to be located in an industrial park that we paid way too much $$ for a month.  It was a hard pill to swallow every month writing and mailing that rent check.  Now we get to write our rent to check to US!!  AMAZE!!  But with buying this building comes the upkeep.  Which on days like this means snow removal!  Thank goodness we have bags and bags of salt that we sprinkle all day and also a local guy that comes to plow for $50 but even with that being said – IT STINKS!!  It’s messy and hard to navigate the clean-up when we have clients that need to get here to look at pending options as well as new clients!  Just one big headache!!  So I’ll sit and pout with my hood up and think of 90 days from now where the weather breaks!!

xoxox

Kat

Sitting at my desk waiting for the snow to just go away!!
Sitting at my desk waiting for the snow to just go away!!

Mondaaaaazzzzzzeeeee and THIRSTY granite

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At the desk and ready to make it happen on this brisk chilly Monday. I was driving to work today thinking how liberating it is to work for myself.  I can take my time driving my boys to school, listen to music in the car super loud with no worries of timelines or traffic, and most importantly I get to come to work with my husband and take one step closer to our ultimate plan.  The “PLAN” i will never divulge but knowing there is one is super motivating.

I wanted to touch base on what a THIRSTY granite is since it is hot on my mind from this past Saturdays appts.  We had a client choose a granite called Colonial Ivory which as you can see has a nice fluid movement with cool tones and warm tones married with a nice variation.  It goes great with a silver travertine tile and also a warm bisque tile.  This client had both tile variation in their setting so I can sense they felt defeated before they even started.  I saw the tile and knew right away — BINGO!!  Colonial Ivory is going to be AMAZE in this application!!  It doesn’t hurt that they have a 90 sq ft kitchen a block from the beach with an amazing usage of natural light and a cabinet color that is to die for.  Painted eggshell with a porch swing glaze.  That’s right peeps — I said PORCH SWING glaze!  This is a unique color that is between gray and oyster.  When a client come in the showroom my main objective is to EDUCATE what they are purchasing.  Aesthtics are great but actual hard facts on the rock or surface they choose is what is the most important.  In this case they chose a light granite so the conversation of density is on the table.  Common knowledge in this industry is that with color carries weight and density.  Dark colored stones = DENSE. Medium colors = pretty solid.  Lighter colors = NOT as DENSE.  The science is not on your side if you choose a lighter color BUT with that being said, that is not a red tape warning to move away from light colors!! It is just to digest and understand what you are purchasing this way you know how to maneuver around your stone and enjoy it.  If your buying granite you expect it to hold up over stains, etching, and just plain ole traffic!  We seal the granite when we install the kitchen but you still have the science that is less dense on the lighter stones.  If you have a sweaty glass on the granite you will see a ring under the glass.  If you leave chicken to thaw overnight you will see the outline of condensation.  If you are washing dishes like crazy you will see the flange around the sink completely saturated.  This is OK!!  This is the science just taking the liquid in and it will dry out!!  I will be going over dos and don’ts on another day but for now just know that thirsty granites are not defects or irregulars.  It is purely science and the density.

“The color a granite is the window of it’s density” – Me.

xoxox-

Kat

 

***PICTURE DISCLAIMER***

Perfect example of how pictures can be deceiving!!  The top pics of the water saturation were taken at different times.  The water cloth sat on the stone for 15 minutes.  The saturation lasted more than 2 hours.  I came in the next morning and took a pic of the fully dried sample and the all together coloring is off.  It was a different time of the day…hence the difference in natural light.  Look at the full slab shot as well!!  The coloring is so OFF since it was taken indoors at the stone warehouse before it was loaded.

10 years in the making…….a new chapter begins.

A couple of days ago it dawned on me that I was about to hit my “10 years officially in the stone business” mark.  I was taken back on how long it has seemed but how quick it has gone by.  There are so many memories and experiences that made me who I am today. Do I love my job?  YES! Do I love what i do? YES Is it always peaches and cream and perfection…NO!!  There are some days when I walk into our showroom and feel like anything is possible and positive energy is exuding from the staff, the phones, the clients……then other days I feel like I walk in with a 60 lb. fire fighter uniform on and I’m hosing down every incident from a slab that was forgotten to get strapped and now lays in a million pieces in our yard or a slight calibration difference on a Verde Butterfly slab ,that although falls under the tolerance of what the industry deems acceptable, that was fabricated and installed and now in the same day is getting ripped out because our level told us to do so.

This business can be very lucrative when all the stars align and everyone is on the same page.  Details are everything in the fabrication business.  In this day in age that is what is missing.  Do I miss some major details sometimes..OF COURSE!  I am human and have a heavy work load everyday on my agenda.  It is just learning and moving on and adjusting the pace and the system that doesn’t let it happen again.  You can never assume anything because it can end up being very costly and very stressful.  It took years to grow a shell to the trauma that can occur when you hear a loud BOOM and find out that is was a slab of Asterix that the raw cost is close to $5K and that was the last slab of that lot…not to mention that is was hand-selected 6 months prior specifically for a dream kitchen project that you have been put at the helm of the ship to make sure the expectation is exceeded. All I do is take a deep breath and look at my husband/business partner and say “NOW WHAT?!?!”.  From this I have learned that honesty is key.  If you try to hide the raw facts then it just creates a snowball effect.  I have learned the coping skill needed from my husband who at this point I consider a seasoned vet.  he has seen it all and has overcome a lot.  Without him I would not even be where I am today.  My life took a different path when I met Joe and for that I am grateful.  I have learned so much in the trade of natural stone fabrication but better yet about myself.  I know what I can handle.  I know what I can not handle.  It takes a certain level of patience, understanding, self-reflection with a sprinkle of magic to run a business with your spouse.  We are parents, partners and husband and wife.  If that isn’t a whole other level of team work then please fill me in on what is!!

This is my first attempt at a blog and it feels good to finally do it.  I have talked and talked and talked about doing it but I thought how appropriate to mark my 10 year anniversary at Colossus Granite & Marble with a look inside my life as a really “girly girl” inside a mans world.  Surrounded by males all day at work let alone at home with two sons, I have learned thing or two about the other sex and more importantly about myself.  I am enough girl for 1 house and I am exactly what a male dominated industry needs to add the sparkle to the biz………maybe you would just call it some Mica in the Rough.

Happy New Year everyone!!

xoxox

Kat