Kitchen & Bath Design News

MAR 2013

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Industry Profle six years ago, but ���it was totally destroyed by the storm,��� she says. And insurance coverage can be complicated, Sherman soon found. That���s because when damage is evaluated by insurance companies, they don���t necessarily look at the cost to rebuild today. Rather, ���They���re looking at the value based on age,��� she says. ���So it���s tough when the costs [of materials, work, etc.] have increased,��� leaving a pnancial gap. Another insurance-re- Focusing on the ���personal touch,��� which she sees as increasingly important during tough times, Sherman creates spaces such as this kitchen with her clients��� needs in mind. lated challenge came in the form of long wait times to receive payment on claims. ���If you have the pnances to do a remodel or repair without waiting for insurance money, you���re lucky,��� she says. ���But some of the toughest problems people are facing 30 | Kitchen & Bath Design News are trying to replicate their homes [while still waiting for insurance checks].��� Neither was Sherman���s own business immune to this. She notes, ���We had cabinets in a warehouse, waiting to go into a project, and when I went to inventory them, there were yards and yards of cabinets that were totally destroyed���hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. I was very lucky my products were only slightly damaged, but I���m still waiting for the insurance money. I���ve had to reorder, and I���ve put out money again to have them installed, but I still haven���t seen the money recouped to my business.��� Yet, ultimately, Sherman still feels lucky. ���Things are replaceable,��� she says. ���New Orleans came back, and we���ll come back, too.��� HUMAN KINDNESS While it was rough going, and will continue to be rough March 2013 Circle No. 18 on Product Card for those who su���ered the worst losses, Sherman also had the opportunity to see some extraordinary acts of human kindness, both in the community and in the design industry. ���People really came together,��� she says. ���ASID chapters across the country called and asked if we needed help. [We saw] the resiliency of the human spirit���people pitching in to help one another.��� Sherman���s company also did a bit of pitching in, as well. At the firm���s holiday party, they collected donations for the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. They also gathered toys for Toys for Tots, food for the community pantry and clothing for a local charity designed to help women get back into the work force. PERSONALIZED SERVICE Through it all, Sherman focused on maintaining what she says has made her suc- cessful in the first place: o���ering ���unparalleled design excellence with outstanding personalized service. ���In the era of large companies and online retailers, I think the personal touch is being lost,��� she says. ���But I think it will gain in popularity again.��� While it may seem counter intuitive, Sherman believes the right technology can help build and strengthen relationships and that much needed personal touch. She references Web sites such as Houzz, which she encourages her clients to utilize, as helping connect people. ���Being able to work electronically is really, really important,��� she says. ���But I also think as people isolate themselves and our world gets smaller, our desire for human contact becomes more important. Relationships are still really important, and I think they���ll become more important in the future.���

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