Marjan Stone maps a plan for success
Hikmet Pauls of Marjan Stone in Spring Valley, CA, has slowly prepared his business for expansion through careful strategizing and investments
Since starting his fabrication business, Marjan Stone, in the early 2000s, Hikmet Pauls has strategically grown the company. Based in Spring Valley, CA – neighboring San Diego – Marjan Stone operates an impressive 18,000-square-foot shop that currently serves the residential and commercial sector. The successful business it is today did not happen overnight, but was the result of dedication and planning. Pauls took his time to methodically develop the company’s path of expansion – from equipment to the shop’s floor plan to its targeted markets.
When Stone World visited Marjan Stone back in October 2016 (see article in the January 2017 issue), Pauls explained the most significant change for the company since its inception was making the switch to digital technology. At that time, Marjan Stone had become the first fabrication shop on the West Coast to install a Northwood six-axis dual-table Robotic Saw Jet. Additional equipment, which the company continues to use in its production process, includes a Titan CNC stoneworking center and Fastback edge polisher — both from Park Industries; and two EnviroSystems for recycling water from Water Treatment Solutions. This past August, Marjan Stone added to its lineup with a GMM CNC stoneworking center. Some reasons for choosing the GMM CNC was because “they are very reputable,” according to Pauls. “They have the best customer service and most sold in the U.S.”
Stone World recently had the opportunity to catch up with Pauls to learn about Marjan Stone’s further transformation. “We worked hard in 2018,” he said. “The last couple of years we have been preparing ourselves for large-scale commercial and builder work.”
Pauls said that Marjan Stone signed accounts with Lowes and Ikea, as well as with Home Depot’s first design center in the U.S., which is in San Diego. He explained that it was through the company’s work with these Big Box stores that it got in with the design center. “It is better for us to work with Big Box stores in case the economy goes down again,” said Pauls.
For the first time in high volume, Marjan Stone is collaborating with several large builders to complete tract homes and apartment renovations. The company is fabricating and installing various types of stonework for each project.
“These projects will keep going and the Big Boxes will be there too,” said Pauls. “We are building an infrastructure.”
In recent years, Pauls has also gotten more involved with industry associations. Although Pauls is a long-term member of the Natural Stone Institute, in 2017 he joined the Rockheads Group. He believes the more entrenched in the industry he becomes will only benefit his business. Pauls recently returned from the Xiamen Stone Fair, where it was his third time being a part of the Natural Stone Institute delegation. He also joined a group going to the Izmir stone exhibition for the first time with the Natural Stone Institute delegation.
Over the last several years, Marjan Stone has developed a strong team that oversees all areas of sales, business development, management and operations that he is very proud of. Paul’s seems most pleased with its involvement with the Gary Sinise Foundation, a program that provides mortgage-free fully customized homes to severely wounded veterans across the U.S. A couple of years ago, the Natural Stone Institute became a proponent for the foundation and Marjan Stone donated a countertop through the association. “It’s something rewarding,” said Pauls. “A way to give back.
“I have a great ambition to create something bigger than myself,” Pauls continued. “Marjan Stone is not just about business; this is my opportunity to make a difference. I always implement my personal ethics, beliefs and philosophy into my business. My employees, community and the people we interact with. Each one is a piece of something great on a much larger scale.”
Spring Valley, CA
Type of Work: residential, commercial, home builders and Big Box stores