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New owners, new city, new space.
Wholesale Tile by Aguayo underwent a rollercoaster first year with challenges including moving twice, hiring new staff, attending Coverings with the biggest booth ever, acquiring new products, and finding new manufacturers. 

Read on to find out about our first year and why we’re so excited about 2010
.

What's New | First Year as New Owners

Office Manager Alexandra Patiño is ready for business at Wholesale Tile by Aguayo's new Miami office.
Office Manager Alexandra Patiño is ready for business at Wholesale Tile by Aguayo's new
Miami office.

Nina Long began Wholesale Tile and Accessories 26 years ago, importing handmade tile from all over the world. For eight years, she worked with the Aguayo family, bringing artistic, high-quality Aguayo Cement Tile into North
America from the Dominican Republic.

According to Jorge Aguayo, Vice President of Aguayo Tile, and owner of Wholesale Tile by Aguayo, “For years I knew that I wanted to buy the business from Nina. When she said she wanted to retire, I told her right away that she should let me know as soon as she was ready. 

“It is such a wonderful business, and it is interesting to be closer to the end customers,” says Jorge. “Nina liked the idea of us taking over. She knew the business would be in good hands, and she knew us--that we understood the concept of what she created.” 

Although the plan had been in place for years, ultimately the timing could not have been worse for buying the company. “Business started declining because of the economic slow-down right around the time we signed the contract. So it was a double risk because we were buying a company that was something we hadn’t done before. We knew cement, but hadn’t done much with ceramics. Plus the company was offshore, and with the recession, buying the company and moving it--it was risky,” says Jorge. 

Luckily, because the products are so desirable, even with the sluggish building industry, Wholesale Tile by Aguayo continues to thrive. 

When Wholesale Tile by Aguayo transferred inventory from Tampa to Miami, well-laid plans went awry just two weeks before the move. The first warehouse didn’t work out for various reasons.

So, after a chaotic couple of months, the company moved again, this time into its own warehouse and office space. “It is 6,400 square feet and a nice space. So we decided to go for it, even though the move was challenging,” explains Jorge. 

Although moving was absolutely the right choice, “the timing of the move was terrible, because it was right before Coverings and we didn’t have time to get organized,” says warehouse manager, Alexandra Patiño. “We didn’t even have a forklift yet and we were working 12 hours a day.” 

Despite the turmoil, the team assembled in Chicago for Coverings. There, they unveiled Wholesale Tile’s biggest display ever. The booth was in a great location and Wholesale Tile by Aguayo’s color stood out amid less artistic choices. The company had a noticeably larger number of visitors than other booths. 

“Coverings was wonderful,” says Alexandra. “Our distributors brunch was a lot of fun. Although it was the first Coverings show experience for most of our team members, we were very successful. This year promises to be even better!” 

“Since Coverings, it’s been great having our own warehouse. We’re even more organized, and we have experts in the warehouse who know how to pack handmade tile for shipping. In the last 6 months, we’ve had zero pieces broken during shipping because of incorrect packing on orders leaving our warehouse.” 

“The warehouse is in a great location,” describes Alexandra. “It is close to the port of Miami, which makes it accessible to trucking companies for pickups and deliveries. It is 6,400 square feet with ceiling over 20’ high allows us to effectively accommodate the in-stock items (like the Cuban Heritage Collection) for easy access and it allows us to grow.” 

“Right after we bought the business, we switched web hosting companies and due to a glitch with the old service, our website went down,” relates Jorge. The new site is working great now. Have a look here. 

Wholesale Tile by Aguayo
has worked hard to redevelop a couple of discontinued lines with new artisans so that all those lines are being remade. “It has been a wonderful challenge, but we’ve figured things out with new suppliers,” says Jorge. 

The challenges of getting started the first year are now behind Wholesale Tile by Aguayo. Last year was slow for many businesses, but Alexandra sees this as an opportunity. She explains, “The slow year allowed us to properly accommodate the new business and organize our operations. This will be critical to keep up with customer demands as the economy gets back to normal.” 

“We’re very customer-service oriented here,” explains Alexandra. “Orders are going out the same day or, at the latest, the next day. Even custom cement orders from the Aguayo factory, we can get very quickly. We get a container load every three weeks, or sooner if people need it.” 

“We have the very popular Cuban Heritage Collection in stock in Miami,” says Alexandra. Of the 30 patterns and color combos, 17 are ready for immediate shipment. 

In fact, Wholesale Tile by Aguayo has many beautiful handmade tiles in stock ready to ship today. Contact us and find out how we can get you tiled.

 

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