It’s always nice to have extra help at work, even if it’s in the form of Casper the ghost.
“We had our opening party on April 3 and heard from people that used to work at The Observer that their radio would just turn on,” Gina Grezlovski, Texas Cabinetry co-owner said. “[Sales manager] Ali’s computer has been tweaking, it flickers, goes on and off, and goes green. It’s so weird.”
It’s probably a coincidence, but the owners of Texas Cabinetry resemble the Scooby gang themselves if they were expert home remodelers instead of ghost chasers. Grezlovski and her fiancée, Umit Iljazovski, along with his brother Ersan, and close family friend, Ali Ziyad, originally came together working part-time for Grezlovski’s family construction company but wanted to make a name for themselves on their own terms.
The idea for the business came to life after Gina and Umit purchased their first home in Chicago, which Grezlovski called “a complete gut job.” It was the first time they had tackled a full remodeling job on their own.
“Ersan and Umit are brothers, and Ali, we’ve known for over 10 years,” Grezlovski said. “They helped us with our house and remodeling it. We realized how we enjoyed being our own bosses, purchasing our own items, finding the vendors to work with. We just had fun with the transformation process.”
A trip to visit a niece attending the University of Houston convinced them the city would be a great place to start a business. The four close friends and family members, all under the age of 30, put their resources together and relocated to Humble in 2015. No, they didn’t do it in the Scooby van, but it was the start of Texas Cabinetry Kitchen and Bath.
The shop specializes in hand-selected products from local vendors and from their Windy City connections. They are self-taught in remodeling and design and quickly gained an impeccable reputation for perfectly built and installed high-quality cabinets, countertops, bathroom vanities, nightstands, entertainment centers, even meeting tables. All their products are made from high-end maple or birch wood, but they take special orders, like European flat panels, with shiny lacquer finish.
And just like Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy, they had to learn to work as a team. Umit is the general manager who specializes in IT and finance. Gina is the account manager and assists with marketing and promotions. Ali, the sales manager, is hands-on with installation at job sites. Ersan is the sales manager and is an expert with measurements and taking customers through the remodeling phases. All four conduct sales and help with designs.
“Since day one, it’s always been a learning process,” Umit Iljazovski said. “We’ve had curveballs thrown our way, but slowly and surely, we overcame the simple things. Three of us came from the retail side, so we got the basic concept of what it takes to manage a business, and from our different levels of experience, we were able to contribute to bringing this idea into plan.”
The four young business owners aren’t done growing, with the goal to expand to showcase their full inventory. They would also like to incorporate a space that allows them to store more product to save on shipping. Until then, they’ll continue to provide top-tier service to their many clients in the Lake Houston Area and beyond.
If things get too busy, they just might call on their co-tenant for some additional help.
“We’re actually recruiting the ghost to build our cabinets,” Grezlovski laughs. “Free labor would be great.”
Spotlight Video - Texas Cabinetry Kitchen & Bath of Humble, Tx
Born the son of Korean immigrants, Paul Woo knows about hard work.
He learned it firsthand, growing up in his parents’ dry-cleaning business in Rochester Hills, Michigan, where they would work 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. Paul’s father, Dong, started working at a dry cleaner after moving to the U.S. His boss saw potential in him, and offered to invest in opening his own place where his mother, Junghee, joined him on the shop floor.
A graduate of Michigan State, Paul earned his degree in business administration and accounting. Now, he’s followed in their footsteps and at 26-years-old, manages Kingwood Cleaners for his parents who own the shop, nestled in the heart of the community that bears his shop’s name.
“When we came down here, we thought it was well-placed, in a good neighborhood to start up in,” Paul said. “When the time came and the opportunity lined up, that’s when we decided to come here. I agreed to work with [my father] on this business and it’s been growing, slowly but steadily.”
Kingwood Cleaners provides dry cleaning and laundry services, including washing and pressing, in addition to alterations, tailoring, and leather care. Started in September 2017 when Paul’s parents wanted to escape the harsh Michigan winters, it has quickly become a popular place for Kingwood residents.
The American dream is the obvious story with the Woo family. But it’s also about American ingenuity. Paul took a struggling shop and turned it into a profit-maker. Originally a satellite store where clothes were sent off to a third party to be cleaned, all product is taken care of in-house, increasing revenues.
“When we came here, we fixed up the machines, replaced some machines, and now we’re a fully running plant,” Paul said. “We do all the work on site and the response has been great since. Everyone can tell that the quality has gone up and I think that’s why we’re growing right now.”
The hard work is paying off. Even though other cleaners might be a little cheaper, the attention to detail and customer service is what keeps customers coming back and trusting their garments with Paul. Need proof? Just check out the shop’s Google rating.
“We came out here and checked out the store, and the location was good, but I could see there might be a few issues with the previous owner and how they took care of things,” Paul said. “We’ve really turned it around. We took a 2.7-star rated cleaners and made it a 4.2.”
Paul now works the same schedule his parents did, the work ethic they instilled in him helping him become another successful, young business leader in Kingwood. As owners, the Woo parents are there to support their son, their two decades of experience running a shop on stand-by.
Paul’s main focus is the shop and only keeps Sunday for himself. As a golfer, he hopes to hit the links soon when the weather cools off. Who can blame him if his only day off is used to get some much-needed rest and relaxation?
“I work 69-hour weeks, so the one day off, I just really enjoy spending it for myself,” Paul said. “Sunday is a dedicated rest day.”
And now, the moment you didn't know you were waiting for. Here are the top five most visited pages on LocalMeA for the month of June.
Bugtime Termite and Pest Control have been providing termite and pest control products and services to the Houston metro community for over 16 years.
Recognized as a "Winner of Distinction" in the Damage Restoration category, this was the ninth time to be recognized by the Better Business Bureau for service excellence.
It is rare these days to see a business passed along from one generation to the next, but one Lake Houston area home renovation company is keeping it all in the family.
Rick Hatcher, President of the Greater East Montgomery County Chamber (GEMCC) announced his retirement at the June 5 chamber luncheon. Hatcher began his career at GEMCC in January 2014 and served with six chairmen of the board during his tenure.
And the most visited page on LocalMeA for the month of June goes to...
Don't just shop local, shop the Best of Local
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Your kids are getting older. Before you know it they’ll be dating, driving and entering college (if they aren't already!). Tax breaks drop dramatically as your children grow up, but you may be able to offset the losses with some timely tax planning. Consider the following tax events based on the age of your child:
This information was provided by Stander & Company - A Best of Local favorite in the Lake Houston & East Montgomery County area serving Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita, New Caney, Porter and Splendora.
The simple answer? New customers. If you're not interested in new customers, you can stop reading here.
Today's customer rarely buys or tries anything new without doing online research, and that means reading reviews. I interact with successful business owners all the time and am surprised at how many are unaware of their online reputation. Some are not even sure if they have a Google My Business Listing. If your business is already doing well, then why care?
New customers, that's why. How many new customers didn't visit your business or use your services because they couldn't find current reviews about you? You will never know. But one thing we are all taught as business owners is to never settle. There are always new customers and being a household name is not as easy as it used to be. Online Reputation Management is an important part of marketing your business, and you should be taking advantage of it. I bet your competitors are.
If you would like to learn how Local Influence can help with an easy-to-use yet powerful Reputation Management System and Promote Your Business to the Lake Houston / Greater East Montgomery County area, please contact us. If you are not interested in getting new customers, then you probably shouldn't have read this far.
PS We all read reviews, but do you write them?