Italian manufacturers, always ahead of the curve | by Brittney Harmond
Since 2005, Soho Studio has established itself as a top leader in design and distributor of high-quality materials in the North American Market. By offering one of the largest and most diversified collections of mosaic tiles and unique building products, Soho Studio provides its clients and customers with efficient, brand new, and cost-effective tile solutions. Distributing tiles from over 40 Italian manufacturers, ceramic and porcelain tile accounted for 70% of Soho Studio’s total sales in 2021. With this in mind, we are pleased to celebrate Soho Studio’s outstanding accomplishments and valuable contributions to the industry by presenting them with the Confindustria Ceramica 2022 North American Distributor Award. We spoke with CEO Eli Mechlovitz to commemorate this achievement.
What are your company’s fundamental principles?
Our company’s fundamental principle is bringing in excellent products that are best in class for each design need and delivering them at attainable prices through great service. We want the overall experience for the customer to be as painless and individualized as possible.
Who are your main clients and what types of projects do they work on?
We service everything from direct to consumer, to architects and designers, to wholesale. Each division functions to service a different client. We do projects of all sizes, from DIY to multi-family, to commercial spaces.
Since 2005, Soho Studio has established itself as a top leader in design and distributor of high-quality materials in the North American market. How does this affect your influence over trends and demands?
Thank you, it is a great honor to lead such a unique industry. Essentially, at this point, our reach is so large that we are driving a lot of the influence. If we push a style heavily, it’s setting a trend as opposed to following one.
What are some of the current challenges in the industry? Have they affected your company and, if so, how did you overcome them?
In the past few years, we’ve seen many ups and downs in the world at large, so we have learned to adapt quickly. Currently, the largest issue facing the industry is the labor force shortage, but we’ve been rolling with the punches.
Distributing tiles from over 40 Italian manufacturers, ceramic and porcelain tile accounted for 70% of Soho Studio’s total sales in 2021. What styles and trends do you see dominating right now?
The number one key to what’s driving design trends is that people are less afraid of colors these days. This lends itself to more creative tiles and makes the design much more interesting and rewarding.
As you know, ceramic tile is one of the most eco-friendly surfacing products available on the market. Does sustainability play a large role when it comes to sourcing new products? What other factors do you consider?
Ceramic tile can definitely be eco-friendly, and we are seeing more and more manufacturers push for sustainability, which is great for the world at large. The main factors we consider are mostly design and price. However, sustainability is definitely a big plus for the right market.
Italian manufacturers have quickly become leaders in the kitchen and bath space, producing ingenious turnkey solutions like ready-to-install ceramic units and invisible porcelain cooktops. What innovative designs are you seeing from Italian manufacturers for kitchen and bath that are appealing for your clients?
Italian manufacturers have always been ahead of the curve with technology and color precision. More specifically, the detail to texture on some of the Italian porcelain lines is still head and shoulders above other competing countries!
What do you love most about Italian tile?
When it comes to Italian tile, the key factors I enjoy are the reliability of quality and service. The people and relationships we have built with Italian manufacturers over the years only enhance that.
Soho Studio carries the following Ceramics of Italy brands: ABK, Atlas Concorde, Altaeco, Armonie, Blustyle, Cerdisa, Campogalliano, Ceramica Colli di Sassuolo, Ceramiche Coem, Century, Ceramica Valsecchia, Ceramica del Conca, ECO Ceramica, Mariner, La Fenice, Flaviker, Florim, Gambini, Happy House, Imola, Italcer, Lea Ceramiche, La Fabbrica, Marca Corona, Ceramica Rondine, Naxos, Gamma Due, Ceramiche Piemme, Sichenia, Sintesi, Settecento, Target, Tonalite, and Versace.