Building a handcrafted stone business
Edgard Sargi, president of ImExWare in Henderson, NV, journeyed to Indonesia several years ago with a specific objective in mind. â€œI realized that they have nice marble, and also reasonable labor costs there,â€ he explained. â€œI went to get into something different then general construction, which I had been doing. I was a general contractor in Las Vegas.â€ And after observing local practices in Indonesia, Sargi returned to the U.S. with thoughts of launching a business to produce split-faced stone products.
â€œI noticed that for a lot of things, [Indonesians] rely on their hands -- to make furniture and other handcrafted things,â€ he said. â€œI went to a trade show there, and after I came back, I thought about the idea of doing split-faced stone, because I know how to do this kind of work.â€
Once Sargi was convinced of his idea, he returned to Indonesia to begin hunting for a company to manufacture the products. â€œI went back to Indonesia, but couldn't find anybody that had the technique to do this kind of work and make it for me,â€ he said. â€œI waited about six months, and then went ahead and started my own factory.â€
It was three years ago when Sargi set out on this mission. â€œI brought technicians from Europe, and spent six months building the factory and training people to split the stone,â€ he said. â€œWhile in Indonesia, I went around to all different islands and found quarries with different colors. We offer 18 colors in all.â€
Sargi explained that he purchases materials from these quarries, and then fabricates the products at his facility, which sits on 5 acres. The factory is equipped with everything from hand tools to advanced machinery, according to Sargi. â€œWe do split-face, bushhammered and polished stone finishes as well as mosaics and ledged stone, which is with 2-inch random length pieces set on mesh,â€ he said. â€œThe bottom line is that we can fabricate anything the customer wants. Custom orders aren't a problem. We can do any size.â€
The company, which began with 60 employees, has now grown to include 120. It outputs 10 containers a month, and markets its products to regions throughout the U.S. ImExWare maintains a showroom and warehouse in Henderson, NV, where it keeps a total of 60 containers in stock. The company offers interior and exterior products for both residential and commercial design.
â€œWe are planning to go worldwide,â€ said Sargi. â€œWe are setting up exclusive dealers for tile. We just signed a deal with Dal-Tile in San Francisco, and are looking for exclusive dealers all over the U.S.â€