By Jesse Wood
Jan. 29, 2013. “Are you crazy?”
That’s how Trudy Shell responded to her husband’s idea to buy Mountain Tile in 2010.
But what else were David and Trudy Shell going to do.
Several months earlier both lost their longtime jobs – cast aside like so many other individuals during the Great Recession. David had been employed for 25 years as a regional sales manager in the flooring industry and Trudy worked 22 years with a company that distributed business forms such as checks and business cards.
After the shock of possibly diving wallet-first into something new wore off, Trudy had confidence in David, especially since he had more than two decades of related experience in the flooring industry.
“Absolutely or I would have never gone along with it,” Trudy said, laughing.
Whenever the Shells purchased the business, the housing market was still spiraling downward, but David believed the economy would soon stabilize and eventually take an upward trajectory.
“When everyone was thinking of selling, I had the confidence in the economy and the people of the High Country that business was going to come back,” David said. “I wanted to be a part of that.”
It looks like David was right.
Equipped with the latest lines of ceramic, porcelain, glass and natural stone, Mountain Tile has expanded into the largest showroom of tile and stone in the High Country. Located along N.C. 105, David and Trudy leased vacant space next door to accommodate the renovations that began in September. Soon to be finished, the extra space has doubled Mountain Tile’s showroom footprint.
“We wanted to offer a new design center to help customers visualize what their home would like,” David said.
With the expansion of the showroom, Mountain Tile now offers additional product lines, including three different kinds of sinks – Herbeau, a French fireclay sink; Sierra Copper, Mexican-made copper and nickel sinks; and Onyx, another line consisting of natural stone, travertine and marble sinks. The showroom will feature walls of ledger stone and natural stone that looks like stacked natural stone, yet comes without expensive labor costs associated with stacking.
“Our mission is to make every customer’s experience buying tile pleasurable,” David said, adding that Mountain Tile strives to offer exceptional service, competitive pricing and premium quality.
As the renovation illustrates, “business has been improving,” Trudy said, since the couple purchased Mountain Tile four years ago. Now as for the overall health of the economy and their business, in particular, in the months and years down the road, David added, “I am cautiously optimistic.”
Check out what Mountain Tile has to offer at 1852 N.C. 105 in Boone.
When you enter the store, either David or Trudy will greet you. While both work the showroom floor and have a hand in every job that comes through the door, Trudy handles billing, bookkeeping and the financial side of the business, while David engages in the warehouse and installation aspects of Mountain Tile.
“The two of us make a good team,” David said.
The business is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday by appointment. For more information, click here or call 828-265-0472.