For all of us, life as we once knew it has changed. Countries around the world, including us here in the U.S., have all been hit hard by the worldwide pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus. For some, it has hit closer to home than others. Maybe you have lost a family member or close friend. Trying to find the positive in all of this, I can say that I am spending more time talking with family members, long-time friends and co-workers. My feeling is that the pandemic has sparked a need for us all to feel closer and keep in touch with those in our lives that maybe we didn’t check in with as often as we would have liked before COVID-19 struck.

The majority of us are working from home, thinking of ways to best connect with our clients and vendors. Speaking on a personal note, I have become an expert with setting up GoToMeetings and Zoom video chats and I have organized a daily group staff call – some days we are focused on business, and some days it’s just nice hearing each other’s voices and having a few lighthearted moments.

I live in New Jersey, so as we are publishing this edition of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, we are still abiding to a “stay at home” order. For others residing in different parts of the country, it may be different. Lately, among the highlights of my weekend is to take a ride to a garden center or Home Depot with my husband. The pandemic has given us, like most of you, time to focus on home projects.

With that said, manufacturers of stone, quartz, tile and sintered compact stone products are still working feverishly to keep the supply chain running. Talking with several fabricators, inventory of some material might be limited at the moment, but they are confident this will improve over the next several months.

I have had the opportunity to speak with several leading manufacturers over the past several months, and while their employees’ health and safety is at the forefront, they were also reassuring that production of products is continuing.

From my observations of the crowded parking lot and lines at Home Depot, home improvement is at the top of the list for many homeowners. I’m certain there are many who are considering a kitchen or bathroom renovation. And they look for the advice of experts in the field to assist them. It’s important for us all to remain optimistic and resourceful during these trying times and let your clients know you are available to assist them in their designs when they are ready.