Oklahoma City, OK - Denise Kerstine had been a very successful interior designer/decorator for 12 years before she got into the fabricating business. Working with her clientele, and for builders and contractors, she said they she developed a feel for what was on a client's mind when they described the look they desired. “About three years ago, I decided to incorporate this knowledge into my own business [Marble Design Inc. in Oklahoma City, OK],” said Kerstine. “I knew exactly what I wanted: a showroom that was warm and inviting with the right lighting and with plenty of choices. I knew my clients felt very comfortable by conferring with some one who really understood their needs, especially a decorator.

“With that in mind I began to look for other creative people, decorators and designers for my sales staff. I wanted them to be personable and patient, and to sit down and offer the right ideas in a very creative setting. Our showroom today is about 3,500 square feet, and our yard is stocked with more than 200 slabs of marble and stone.

“It also helped to be in the right place at the right time. Edmond is a fast-growing upscale community right outside of Oklahoma City. We do some advertising, but the majority of our business comes by word of mouth. We employ 17 people, including our fabricating department. Our business mix is about 80% residential and 20% commercial.

“As with all businesses along with the creative aspects and selling there is scheduling and installation, and in this business you cannot fall behind,” Kerstine continued. “It is wonderful to grow, but if you don't have all the resources behind you, you're asking for trouble. For those reasons, before installing machinery in our factory, I wanted to make sure we only had the best. I got on the phone and called everyone I knew in the industry before I made my choices. That's why we own a Sebring Gantry Saw and a Daytona Edge Profiling System from Matrix Stone Products. Christian Garcia, my shop manager, a real pro that has been in the business for years, claims they are by far the best value in the industry. His fabricating crew loves the machines. They are simple to operate, and just go on and on. We could not have grown to the company we are today without them.”