In tough economic times, vendors and designers are taking more creative approaches to cultivating relationships with clients and demonstrating value of the products they sell.
Just recently, New York-based tile company Artistic Tile hand-selected a group of designers, architects, fabricators, installers and media to join Nancy Epstein, founder and CEO of Artistic Tile and Joshua Levinson, President of the Wholesale Division, on an educational trip to the largest working quarry in the world.
With an annual trip to the Danby Quarry in Vermont, Artistic Tile chose to invite clients and editors who are “dear to [them] and “would truly enjoy and appreciate the experience,” according to an executive at Artistic Tile. This year’s tour consisted of a meticulously curated group including architects and designers from Robert A. M. Stern, Richard Massa Architect, D'Aquino Monaco, Village West Design, and editors from publications including Interior Design Magazine, Lonny and Interiors & Sources.
Designers spent over two hours of the journey being educated on all things stone, from the history, to the process, to the quarries around the world, to the methods of transportation. "Experiencing natural stone in its in situ position within the earth is the best way to truly comprehend its beauty, character, full potential and limitations," said Levinson.
"When you are as in love as we are with stone, you want to share the experience with others," said Epstein. "The Danby Trip allowed us to show our very valuable clients why we are so passionate about our products. The history of the civilized world can be revealed through the stones found in antiquity. Seeing how the materials are taken from the earth places true value and passion on the finished products."
"Having the ability to see the live working quarry factory take the raw material and step us through the process, gave us a much greater understanding of a question often asked by clients, 'Why is the marble (or stone) so expensive?' Well, now, I can give the client as much or as little knowledge to answer that question, to help them better make an informed decision," said Harry Daniell, a designer on the tour. "Artistic Tile perfectly danced though a creative and “outside the box” marketing and educational technique, which seems to be something more vendors are doing in these current times."
Photos by Harry Daniell