Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Koch.
Julie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I got involved with the startup of Elegant Additions quite by accident. I had absolutely no knowledge of plumbing or hardware design or technical notes. I happened to have worked for a company selling advertising, and I could sell. But the owner of that company took the money and ran as they say (seriously to the islands).
Out of work, and getting many questions from a gentleman who was trying to start a decorative faucet company, I simply shrugged my shoulders and said why not. What’s the worst that could happen? So in 1986, together with a partner, Elegant Additions was formed. And what a story it was… raising capital, selling so we could eat, learning the world of construction (fortunately my partner knew the ins and outs of plumbing), and just how to run a business.
Our partnership lasted a little over 3 years when he came to me and said the business was “way too stressful” and he needed to leave. So armed with the 48 hours notice he gave me, I had no choice but to go on. We owed a lot of investors a lot of money. It was an “interesting” transition. It never occurred to me that I could just quit. But I was newly single and had no job so quitting – well no, that could not happen.
Here we are 30+ years later with two showrooms, a legacy of quality, and honestly, we are very proud of. The story never stops changing and teaches lessons all the time.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Besides my partner walking out, there were times of struggle due to the economy, struggles of employees leaving (with clients who had large projects only to become our competitor, having to change our model due to the internet and the buyers, technology…. it all adds up.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Elegant Additions story. Tell us more about the business.
Elegant Additions sells decorative plumbing fixtures and door hardware to the design community. It could be a homeowner and designer who select and a builder who buys. It could be so many combinations of talented trade folks who work on our jobs. We work all over the North American Continent and do it well. We have a reputation for selling only high-end projects (really high end). That has changed over time as we realize there are multi-million dollar spec homes that need good design without always using the top dollar items.
We carry hand chiseled hardware from France and handcrafted faucets from Brooklyn.
Our vendors a from the USA and Europe. We sell products that are traditional and contemporary. We are so interested in diverse projects and clients as it challenges us daily to be different on each job. The LAST THING we want is to have someone walk into a job and go “oh Elegant Additions must have done this”. I recognize the bar sink and faucet – they always do that.
We are very proud of our reputation of caring about each and every customer from start (even the competition is good at this) but caring to the very finish! That makes us unique. I’m very proud of the team in both cities that jump in, develop relationships with their clients, and assist with some of the most interesting jobs around the US, in Texas, and of course in Houston and Dallas.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am not sure I believe in luck. I DO believe in a mantra I learned from Dr. Wayne Dyer ” You have to believe it to see it”.
I am currently gathering a strong team to take this business into the next decade. We are hiring, partnering, collaborating and more to get the quality people we know work for their clients regardless of if I am in the showroom or not.
- Website: www.elegantadditions.com
- Phone: 713-522-0088 or 214-745-0088
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: elegantadditionshouston
- Facebook: elegantadditionshouston