TISE 2019 Brings Exciting Opportunities

TISE 2019 is upon us and with it brings exciting opportunities…for retailers, manufacturers, realtors, and consumers!  As I sit back and reflect, I am truly inspired by the paths that have brought us here, excited about the journey ahead and enthused by the roads we have traveled along the way.

Drawing from my personal experience as a flooring retailer and integrating that with my knowledge of consumer needs and wants, made a partnership with Realtors an exceptionally easy choice to make. Fabulous Floors Magazine is now providing classes for Realtors to become Fabulous Floors Certified™.

Let’s face it; Realtors have to play an advisory role some point during the Realtor – Home buyer relationship.  The consumer perceives their agents as having the answers about the properties they see. However, this is often with little knowledge of current flooring trends and product information.

In the same vein, consumers need the retailers to purchase the flooring from so all of you retailers out there, partnering with Realtors in your neighborhood can help bring the consumer to your doors. And, think about it, if the Realtors are educated in flooring types, they can direct their customers (now they are yours!) in the right direction.

As a publisher, I wanted to do two things: 1) help the Realtor gain knowledge about flooring and 2) give the consumer valuable information about the Realtor –Home buyer relationship.

We did this by offering CEU’s for Realtors in areas of flooring and homes.  We have several classes coming up in 2019 on Historic Homes; How flooring affect home sales; Aging in Place and Retrofitting commercial flooring…just to name a few.  We started in New York State with great success. For times and dates of classes in NY State and to sign up, go to, https://gcar.com/education.  For additional information and details contact Lis Calandrino at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

For the consumer, in our magazine Fabulous Floors we dedicated a section — Finding Your Way Home, to help them in the home buying/selling process. This section includes articles written by Realtors and flooring products that are lifestyle driven. Pick up a copy of Fabulous Floors Magazine at SURFACES in Las Vegas this month and see for yourself!

Margo Locust, Publisher, Fabulous Floors Magazine

#TISE2019 #GCAR #NYstaterealtors #Findingyourwayhome #Lisbethcalandrino#Margolocust


Is Your Business Making you Tear out your Hair?

Have you Ever Thought of  Growing Your Business By Working Less? If so, join me on my FREE Webinar, November 15th, see times below:

You will learn…

  • What sets great managers apart from the ordinary?
  • What gets in the way of your team achieving their goals AND your goals?
  • Almost all managers have at least 1 success-limiting habit. What’s yours?
  • How to motivate and empower your team to do their jobs at their maximum potential.


Cost: FREE

Date: Thursday, November 15th        

Time: 1:00 PST, 2:00 MST, 3:00 CST, 4:00 EST


Register here:   http://marketingmasterywebinar.com/Lisbeth


See you there!


To Your Success,
Lisbeth Calandrino, http:www.lisbethcalandrino.com

#marketingmasterywebinar #lisbethcalandrino #Floorcoveringnews #greatmanagers #growyourbusiness #setting goals #lisbethcalandrinotimesunion #successlimitinghabitsLisbeth-8



Should a REALTOR® Understand Flooring Basics?

Flooring is expensive, and if it has to be replaced who can your customer go to? If they ask you what do, what will you tell them? How will you know the latest products and what’s the best for your potential buyer’s situation? Knowing more about flooring can be the difference between making and losing a sale. Would it help your client by sharing your flooring knowledge? The realtors that attended our last flooring training said they were sure it would!

Greater Capital Association of Realtors is excited to offer a 2nd Flooring Certification course on November 7 and 8, at the Hyatt Place in Malta, New York.  Exit 12 off the Adirondack Northway. Lisbeth Calandrino, Industry Flooring Expert, from Fabulous Floors Magazine will be our featured speaker.  Our last class had rave reviews; we ran out of seating and had to turn people away. Don’t let this happen to you!

 This day and an half course is sponsored exclusively by Mohawk Industries, Inc.  Richard Owen, Sr. Director or Market Development and Training, Residential Flooring at Mohawk Industries will be joining the class as a guest speaker. Mohawk is the world’s largest flooring company, delivering style and performance for residential and commercial spaces around the globe.

“As your customers’ needs have changed, so has Mohawk, offering the finest in on trend and fashionable collections of flooring products to meet all the demands of today’s home buyers. From luxuriously soft carpeting to the best in wood visuals across all hard surface collection, you can truly FLOOR THE IMAGINATION with Mohawk!” – Richard Owen


INVITE YOUR CUSTOMERS AND BUILDERS! Do you want a client to attend, what about one of your customer builders, architect or interior designer?  Non-members are welcomed at all GCAR classes and this useful and interesting flooring course will benefit you and your connections.

Today’s home buyer expects more, and that includes their expectations of their REALTOR®.  You don’t want to lose a sale because they thought the flooring was a problem and you didn’t know what to do! Learn about the latest styles, color trends, which products are the best for your customers.  You will find this exciting and a major tool for your realtor kit.

Listen to what REALTORS® said in the April course:

  • “Who knew there was so much to learn about flooring?! It was great information and Lisbeth was a dynamic instructor!” – Tracey LaFleur, Howard Hanna
  • “Liz is an encyclopedia of information, I recommend this course to any REALTOR looking to enhance their knowledge or flooring materials, it’s a fun and worthwhile class!” –Susan Sommers, Better Homes & Garden Tech Valley
  • “The information presented has changed my views on many types of flooring and the knowledge will allow me to better serve my clients.” –David Fyfe, Bird Realty
  • “Lisbeth has an engaging personality and a wealth of knowledge related to flooring. Her course, Fabulous Floors Certified, was valuable and informative professionally and personally!” – Melanie Jakway, CM Fox Real Estate
  • Fabulous Floors was a great course~ I will be able to make better decision on choosing floor coverings for my rehab projects!” – Lorraine Gage, United Business Services

Register now at GCAR.com:  $75 for members, $100 for non-members. Benefits to attending the course:

  • Receive 9 CE credits for the course
  • Receive an extra 7 hours of CE with a requirements course day that covers: Fair Housing, Ethics and 1 hour of Agency that expires at the end of 2020
  • Be listed in the International Magazine: Fabulous Floors with your contact information to reach new clients
  • Submit your REALTOR® stories to Fabulous Floors Magazine and have your own byline
  • Discounts on products from local Retailers

Register early so you don’t get left out. We have moved from GCAR offices because of limited seating—after 38 we had to turn people away. Again our seating is limited to the first 60! Register now by clicking here.

STAY AFTER CLASS FOR FUN AND NETWORKING! Join us after class, November 7th for a meet and greet with local flooring retailers, consumers and builders.

For more information on the class, call Lisbeth Calandrino @518-495-5380, or write, Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

Looking for New Customers? How About the Remodeling Show & Deck Expo?


I had a therapist friend whose favorite expression was “You can’t get chocolate milk in a turnip field!” It may sound silly but if you’re looking for something specific, you had better know where to find it! Looking for new business should be on the top of everyone’s list, but I know who has any extra time? Like you, I’m ‘time starved’ but this year I’ve been re- introduced to our partners in the building and remodeling industry. This is an industry that directly connects to the flooring business. For many of you, it’s your bread and butter business.

I recently spoke at the Leading Suppliers Conference in Portland, OR. The LSC was established by the National Association of Home Business in 1964. The council is a multifaceted supplier resource for the building industry that represents the business the business interests of its members through advocacy, education and networking. I realized how important this connection was when I realized how many of their members were from the flooring industry! This is what I call an ‘eyes wide open’ connection. Isn’t the building industry directly related to our business?

Seriously looking for new business?  How about ‘partnering up’ with some of your customers? Who is in a position to help you get more business and how can you help them? Are you overlooking potential customers who are also satisfying your customers?

Those of you, who’ve known me over the years and read my column, know my passion is   helping you become more successful. We all need to expand our horizons and explore new opportunities. With that in mind, consider this my personal invitation to the Remodeling show and Deck Expo, https://www.remodelingdeck.com/en/home.html on October 9-11, 2018 at the Baltimore Conference Center, Baltimore, MD.  The show is brought to you by Informa Exhibitions; the same people who bring you the International Surface’s event, TISE. If you’ve attended, TISE, you know Informa Exhibitions knows how to put on a great show.

The Remodeling Show co-located with DeckExpo brings together residential remodeling and building professionals from all over the country to experience the hottest products, learn the newest building techniques, and build their professional reach through fun networking events. The in-depth education program includes hands-on training and business education through live building clinics, on-floor demonstrations, and conference sessions with industry experts.”

You can tweet about the latest building trends, meet new experts and do some Liveblogging or live streaming with Facebook Live. (If you’re not sure how to do these, give me a call.) This is a tremendous way to connect with your existing social customers and post fresh content to your web site. Click on the link and check out the network events and on-the-floor exhibitions.

The strong economy and increased demand because of 2017’s natural disasters led Metrostudy, a sister company to REMODELING, to boost its 2018 prediction from the 4.7% rise in activity it forecasted three months ago. Metrostudy now predicts there will be 12.57 million projects launched in 2018 that are worth at least $1,000. That’s up from 11.96 million last year.”

Of course, there will be plenty of flooring manufacturers as well as architects and designers; you’ll feel at home!

These are your customers. What could be more enlightening than a new place with fresh scenery to get your creative juice going? Think of how excited your customers will be when they see you’re networking with their builders and understanding the trends in ‘their ‘worlds.

Of course I want you to join me at my seminars, TU10 – Being a Woman in a Man’s World – Women in Construction Workshop and TU19 – The Coaching Edge: Building a Successful Team. Please recheck the times and schedule for my workshops.

You’ve undoubtedly heard this before, ‘there’s gold in those hallways.’  I hope to see you networking in those halls!

Lisbeth Calandrino is Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine, and we will be speaking at the Remodeling and Deck Expo, October 9-11, 2018. She can be reached at http://lisbethcalandrino.com. or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com., 518.495.5380.

#Remodelinganddeckexpo #2018Remodeling/deckexpo #lisbethcalandrino #Beingawomaninamansworld #Thecoachingedge #Leadingsuppliersconference #Nationalassociationofhomebuilders #Remodelingdeck18 #remodeling_deck #remodeling_eduregistration remodeling show


How to Make Your Showroom Look Better and Inspire Customers to Buy More

emilFabulous Floors Magazine is happy to have guest blogger Emil Mellow of EM Creative Services. Mellow is extremely talented and understands retail.

For the second year in a row, the vast majority of retailers (86 percent) believe there is a direct correlation between proper execution of merchandising directives and an increase in sales conversion rates. For Retail Winners, the rate is even higher: 94 percent recognize the link between merchandising execution and sales.

Who doesn’t want better sales? Here are some ideas to make the overall customer showroom experience exciting and inviting.

LangCarpet_Collage1 copySteps to a Great Showroom.

  1. Make a great impression! The purpose of your showroom is to stimulate and motivate your customers to make a purchase. Don’t forget, your salespeople need to be motivated to show your merchandise.

They say ‘you only have one chance to make a first impression’ and it’s true. Get a third-party to evaluate your store from front to back. People notice your window displays.

I design showrooms everyday but it was impossible to redesign my own studio! I had to have someone with fresh eyes and not emotionally attached.

Does your exterior building have ‘curb appeal’? What about overall appearance? Check your signage, parking lot and planting. According to a FedEx survey, nearly 76% of consumers, (8 in 10) said they had entered a store or business they had never visited before based simply on its signs.

Your entrance way – is it fresh – is your flooring clean and new? Is there a sign greeting your customers? Fresh flowers? For instance, enter a Safeway grocery store in the chain’s upscale Marketplace format, and your eye is drawn to the floral department on the right.

Make your retail store first class – you want to create a special shopping experience and a clean well-lit showroom is a good start.

  1. Choices not ‘Chaos’

I would say 80% of showrooms that I evaluate are overcrowded with merchandising displays and samples. I hear the excuses…’I’ve got to keep that one I’ve known them for ages’. That is not a good business reason to have their display. Research now shows that there can be too much choice; when there is, consumers are less likely to buy anything at all, and if they do buy, they are less satisfied with their selection. HBR

If your strategy is to showcase the best products to help your customer, then you need to make the tough strategic decision on what products are the best and only showcase them. Don’t duplicate! It will only confuse your customer. They are there for your expert guidance or they would be shopping in the big box!

Get rid of deadwood (Displays that haven’t performed or are duplicates).

With fewer displays that have your preferred choices you’ll have more room for wider aisles and a better shopping experience.

Finally clean your show room like it’s your formal dining room – get rid of the clutter!

Want better sales? How easy is it for salespeople to find the right products? How many times have you been in a store and the salesperson says, “I know the perfect product for you—it used to be right here!” Every time this happens the salesperson loses status with the customer and appears to be not on top of their game. Cleaning up and organizing your showroom is the critical link to getting things sold.

  1. Let your store shine!

Proper lighting is a must. Well balanced lighting is critical to see color and texture. Ask your retailers to only use low volt LED daylight balanced fixtures for your displays. recent study from Lux suggests that in-store lighting can actually help guide customers through your store, and increase the average spend per customer: “Zumtobel claims a fashion retailer in Germany saw its sales go up by around 12% compared to another local store, after it installed a new lighting scheme specially designed to appeal to the personality profile of its target customers.”

  1. Don’t forget the ‘fanny’ room.

Wide aisles and sight lines – the best showrooms have both. Tall displays in the center of your showroom create a visual barrier and a shopping ‘maze’.  Take an example from your retail friends in attire. They have low racks in the center and line the walls with the taller displays…they do this for a reason! Women shoppers like to feel comfortable not claustrophobic.

  1. The Disney Way

Hire, pay, train and retain friendly engaging sales people.

One successful retailer I interviewed told me he uses a personality test to determine if the store associate is the right type. This is critical because if they are ‘shy’ or don’t like to engage your customer everyone fails.

This is not rocket science. You have to get the right people on your floor to have a good pleasant customer experience and build repeat business.

It helps to have someone with flooring experience but not 100% critical. They can learn about flooring. In fact, the better flooring providers love to give PK (Product Knowledge) session right in your store. Take advantage of this free service.


I get it…it’s a daunting task to re-do a showroom but essential if you want to do more business.

It is also tough to lose business to the ‘bigger and better’ store down the street. So do the right thing…evaluate, plan and change. It’s for your survival and growth. Ask for professional help if you need it! The results will be new and repeat customers, happier sales people and more profits. Now that sounds like a project worth doing!

Emil Mellow is owner of EM Creative Services and has over 20 years of retail merchandising experience from design to implementation. Some of his design experience includes Armstrong Flooring, Karndean Designflooring, Disney Epcot, DuPont, Stainmaster® and Wawa. He can be contacted at emellowcreativeservices@gmail.com or by calling 302.690.2358.

Lisbeth Calandrino is Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com  or 518.495.5380.

#EMCreativeservices #Emilmellow #showroomdesigns #Lisbethcalandrino



Lisbeth Calandrino, Associate Publisher, Fabulous Floors Magazine

Every time I look at the magnitude of our SURFACES show, I feel an enormous pride to be part of the floor covering industry. I’ve learned so much from industry experts, met so many great people and had the privilege of consulting with many others.

I’ve been going to the show for over twenty years. It’s  comprised of  three world-class trade shows: SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomac, and TileExpo events, TISE is THE industry marketplace for floor covering, stone, and tile industry professionals – offering four impressive days of the newest products, hands-on demos, inspiring trends, key manufacturers + industry suppliers, along with unmatched education and networking opportunities.

TISE is definitely for the creative types; architects, interior designer and installers as well as business owners.  Having been in the industry for over twenty years, I’ve always felt that installers and fabricators were the backbone of our industry. Through the years, have become more respectful of those that have the skills to take our products and turn them into magnificent floors.

One interesting seminar “Art & Technology Collide: Creating Unique Designs with Waterjets” will be highlights both the art and the installation of waterjet. It will be presented by Jim Belilove; WE06 January 31, 12-1PM. There are a number of seminars listed specifically for stone fabricators and/or installers; this is a unique seminar for those interested in specifying water jet projects.

This year I was honored to be on the Advisory Board for TISE with other industry professionals; they came from all areas within the industry and the press. I enjoyed listening to their ideas for seminars and what they felt their constituents cared about. The process of determining what seminars should be offered was done over a two-day period, and at times it was difficult to determine what should ‘go and what should stay.’

Whatever seminars you should choose to attend, you should know the programs were determined with much thought. I enjoyed listening to the participants ideas for seminars and what they felt was important to their constituents. The process of determining what seminars should be offered was done over a two-day period. At times, it was difficult to decide what should ‘go and what should stay.’ Whatever seminars you should choose to attend, you should know the programs were determined with much thought.

TISE is an important event for your potential customers. As you look at products, think about whom at home (interior designers, architects, home owners, installers and builders) would be interested in what you are learning and seeing. Here are some ideas for you.

  1. How about a live video streaming with Facebook Livestream? You can video a conversation with an interior designer, a manufacturer or anyone you feel is interesting to your target market.
  2. Post new products to your Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest or Houzz page. Check first to see if you can take photos of products; if not, you can take photos of the brochures.
  3. Collect all the literature to bring back to your team. TISE maybe ‘old hat’ to you but I’m sure your teammates will love to know what’s new. I never carry literature back; I have it shipped by FedEx. They have several locations: on the show floor and Mandalay By front desk.
  4. How about posting 2018 Design Trends on your web site as well as interviewing the presenter? Everyone I know, whether they’re in the floorcovering business or not want to know about the latest design trends. Interior Designer, Christopher Grubb will be presenting “WE10 – Health & Wellness Design: A Conversation with Four Top Designers, January 31from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. As consumers age and decide to stay in their homes, there are different concerns for their living space.
  5. Plan your time wisely. It’s easy to get off track, especially when you meet an old friend you haven’t seen since last year. Make your conversations short and find a way to meet later on.
  6. If your hotel has a spa or gym, why not take advantage of it? Check out your Fitbit; it’s likely you will be able to get more than enough steps for the week!


#TISE2018 #WE10Healthandwellness #Facebooklivestream,#WE06Artandtechnology,#Instagram,#ChristopherGrubb#Mandalaybay #Surfaces#Lisbethcalandrino #customerservice #StonExpo/Marmomac, #Tilexpo #uniquedesignswithwaterjet

Jim Belilove Explains the Theory of 10-1 for Architectural Water Jet

Kalahari Water Park

Kalahari Water Park

Jim Belilove, owner of Creative Edge Master Shop, and I often talk about business; his is in a very precise business with no flexibility for error .Architectural water jet is a very detailed business; you are literally taking computer generated photos and turning them into magnificent stone art for the walls and floors. It takes lots of good ideas to make this work.  He also has a 10-1 theory about how things work.

We were discussing how many ideas you need to have before you have a viable one. Jim’s 10-1 theory is  very useful and can be helpful for all types of decision making including the design of architectural water jet projects.

“When I was teaching business in the University Of Maharishi School Of Management in Fairfield, Iowa , students would ask how they would determine how many projects would actually work. Just being enthusiastic about a project doesn’t actually make it happen. I figure that  based on experience that 1 out of 10 work.  Each project has to pass the ‘10’ test before it’s viable. Even then, things just happen that make you have to scrap it.”

How does it come to 1 out of 10? I asked.

“After years and years of ‘good ideas’ I realized that there are certain forces that erode and defeat our plans.  There is always the demand for products and the cost of the idea which are an important part of everything we do. We must remember that only to the highest bidder will go the very highest cost.”

“At Creative Edge Master Shop, we get all types of projects that can be created through waterjet. We would love to take everything from conception to the prize of getting it paid for and completed, but there are a number of factors to consider. I created a checklist of these 10  factors.  This is a way to get something done before you get in ‘too deep’ without a way out. (You don’t want to be committed and then find out the cost is too expensive for the customer.)”

Excitement and the ability to ‘think out of the box’ are essential but all most pass the ‘critical 10.’

  1. What will the project cost to build and what is the final cost to the customer? The price consists of many things below and must be included when quoting a customer. The project must be paid for before it’s delivered.
  2. Projects that often look the same are always different. Having done something similar once before doesn’t guarantee the present cost. Product prices and labor costs always change.
  3. Can you get the project competed in a timely manner? One that will help you bring it under or close to the cost you anticipate?
  4. Can I get all of the products I need in a timely manner? Is everything available?
  5. Can I get the project to the customer within their time frame? Is it realistic?
  6. Will the materials work together? Sometimes things occur which we haven’t anticipated, i.e. a reaction between the glue and setting materials.
  7. How flexible is the customer? Sometimes a customer is too difficult to work with and becomes a problem from the start. It’s better to walk away early.
  8. How will the project be shipped and who will be there to receive it? We’ve done this so many times that we are very cautious about this and how it’s done.
  9. Installation of the product. This is another critical factor. In fact it’s often important to get this information on the front end. These products must go to real artisans that understand what materials they are working with and do things by the book.
  10. Try and see things clearly. No matter how exciting we must try and see them clearly and  not skip the crucial steps or think we can somehow make an excuse for one of them.

No matter what, we must continue to come up with ideas; it’s what gives the world its uniqueness. To connect with Jim Belilove at Creative Edge Master Shop: @ jimb@cec-waterjet.com, 641-472-8145 ext.101, CST.

Lisbeth is one of the original founders of Fabulous Floors Magazine and has been a business consultant in the industry for over 20 years. Reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.