Tile Haven is without a doubt one of the leading tile and bathware providers in Ireland. Whether it be through wholesale, commercial, residential or even online sales and services, this tile and bathroom ware wholesaler and retailer has built an enviable reputation on the back of dedication, hard work and great teamwork.
Tell us how Tile Haven started and grew into such a large and successful retail establishment.
We started back in ‘97 from my parents’ farm in Castlehaven, West Cork. I was an agent for a tile production company before, which is what gave me the knowledge to do so. We were originally wholesale only, and then opened up a small shop in Clonakilty on short-term lease to see how retail would go. It turned out to be a great success, so we opened our first large store in Bandon back in 2012 and then expanded to our flagship store in Little Island in 2015.
Tell us about your free design consultation service.
By booking a free design consultation, our customers can avail of a one-to-one consultation with a member of our experienced team. We find that many people taking on larger projects, such as a full refurbishment or new-build home, get the most value from these consultations, mostly because it can be overwhelming to make such important decisions on your own without much previous knowledge or experience in flooring and bathroom ware.
Our senior staff will give you the time such an investment deserves. At these consultations we review your plans and establish the stage you are at, and from there a timeline, style and budget would be agreed. We would then offer you our recommendations and best advice based on these criteria.
What other services do you have on offer?
We provide flexible finance packages and a room measuring service from our experienced network of tilers. This ensures more accurate assessments of the job at hand, so we can ensure you have the right quantities, and also offers the customer an opportunity to meet a tiler, who might be able to complete the job. We also provide wholesale services to over 80 shops around Ireland and we are sole agents for several tile manufacturers.
What makes Tile Haven different and unique, when compared to other similar retailers?
Our showroom experience and one-to-one service you can avail of! We are the first and only tile and bathware retailer in Ireland with a full e-commerce website that allows you to buy what you need online and have it shipped to your door. On top of that we are not just in retail and have an extensive network all over Ireland of other shop owners, who are selling tiles distributed by Tile Haven. I would say this makes us uniquely different from the vast majority of retailers!
Tell us about the Tile Haven team and what each of them do?
We have a team of 12 full-time and two part-time staff. Sandra Forde is our Store Manager in our Little Island Showroom. There she works alongside our experienced Sales Advisors, Leonard Crowley, Jason McCarthy and Shane Rodgers. Evelyn McDonald is our Online Sales Advisor and Sarah McGorman is our Customer Admin Manager. Katherine Keohane deals with all our wholesale customers and is our Office Manager, while Gillian O’Driscoll is our Imports and Logistics Manager. Ray O’Leary is our Sales & Business Development Manager and Daithí O’Connell is the Operations Project Manager. David Carroll looks after our website development and design. So, as you can see, we have a dedicated team that works extremely hard to offer all our customers a fantastic customer experience, both online and in-store.
What are your plans for the business over the next 12 months?
Our priority in 2018 is to streamline the business and increase the operational efficiencies of our existing infrastructure, so we can grow our online sales, commercial engagements and national partnership network. We have appointed an experienced Operations Manager to help us with this and were able to move our general manager into a more specific role of Sales & Business Development as a result. Last month we created two new roles and appointed an Online Sales Manager and restructured our internal sales process to aid with customer admin and service. Our aim now is to cement these changes and see them result in positive sales growth in all verticals of the business.
We noticed that you have collaborated with Flexi-Fi. Why did you decide to offer flexible payments options and has it benefited Tile Haven?
We felt it was the next logical step in the evolution of home renovations. You can finance a couch or TV, so why not finance your new bathroom or kitchen? The rates are competitive and the application process is user-friendly and discrete. We have just launched it and already have had several customers from the greater Dublin area.
Tell us how Flexi-Fi works?
Click on the link in our site, you apply from the comfort of your own home for up to €15,000. When approved you get a code, which then allows us to confirm and transact as if you were spending card or cash. The fees are very competitive, similar to your local Credit Union, and transparent with terms of 24 and 36 months available, however, if you decide to repay early there are no charges or penalties. A great product and a great fit for Tile Haven.
For someone redecorating or building a house and finding it rather daunting, what advice would you give them?
In regards to redecorating I would advise to keep it neutral. If you want to create a feature, then make sure it’s only one feature; nothing worse than walking into a room with too much going on! Kitchens are generally the most expensive home purchase, so make sure your floor and splashback work with it and do not take from it. In regards to building a new home the most important thing is to get on and have a good relationship with your builder but remember you’re paying him to do what you want and like.
To create the most space keep the same floor from the front to back door; continuity is key. If you have underfloor heating, porcelain is the best surface to have on it, no matter what any so-called experts say! Timber effect tiles have come a long way and are very realistic, which make them a very popular choice for our customers and if timber effect is not for you then our customers love large format, ie 90×90 or 120×120. The bigger the tile, the less line and grout, the more open it makes the space look.
As a successful business man, leading a successful team, what is the best piece of professional advice you can offer our readers?
I would say there is no secret really and that most business people would tell you the same thing. One piece of advice I stand by myself is that no one succeeds in business alone, and those who try will lose to a great team every time, so essentially, bring together a great team to create a successful business.
Eastgate Retail Park, Little Island, Cork
021 435 4886