TileCircle.com: Creating a New Niche in an Old Market

Creating a niche in the flooring industry isn’t exactly easy but every so often, something new comes along. So it is with a two year old company called TileCircle.com.  Behind Tile Circle is the creator, Kelly Akehurst.  Every so often a business comes along that has a real niche. Kelly has a good eye for the unusual and realized there was a void in the high end tile industry. Her thought was to create affordable, handmade mosaics with one of the specialties in mother of pearl. The handmade mosaics are designed by designers with over twenty years’ experience.

“I just love mother of pearl, says Kelly. It is both elegant and old world. I decided to give it a modern twist. Tile Circle is dedicated to sourcing high quality materials and then turning them into unusual floor and wall products.”

Kelly Akehurst

Kelly Akehurst

Her customers range from architects, interior designer and consumers who are specifically looking for mother of pearl. Her products are mosaics and not all are mother of pearl, but it certainly is a niche.

The other niche is Kelly’s online sales. Kelly never wanted to be in the brick and mortar business so she built her business online. One doesn’t have to look very hard to realize that the online business is high growth. At this point Kelly sees no reason to develop this end of the business.

One of the other unusual things about Tile Circle is their customer service. If you go to their page and look for testimonials, you will be amazed at how many people rave about Tile Circle’s customer service. Samples are sent out immediately and received by the customer within days. Kelly also promotes the “personal touch” by meeting with architects and interior designers helping them specify and understand how to install her products. Customers are buying directly from the manufacturer with no middleman. This makes the products price more reasonable and connects the customer to the source. If the customer requires individual help, it is available directly through Kelly or her team. In February 2014, TileCircle.com was awarded the “Best Of Houzz” by Houzz. Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The online tile specialist was chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal idea books via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhoneapp and Androidapp. The TileCircle.com has a “Best Of Houzz 2014” badge on their profile, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

What does Kelly see for the future?

Kelly continues to see the future as a continued focus on design, customer service and building company culture.

“At Tile Circle we are continuously working on new designs.  This spring we will introduce our new interlocking marble mosaic pattern collection which has been designed so that you cannot see where one tile begins and the other ends.  It’s quirky and fun”, Kelly says.

On the top of Kelly’s list is to continue to build a flexible, fun company for her partners and employees. She believes that happy and great employees are at the core of her business.

Kelly can be reached at 212-920-4601.

Lisbeth Calandrino is the Associate Publisher, Fabulous Floors Magazine. To have Lisbeth speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com

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