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Family business is thriving

Even during the recession business has improved each and every year

Posted: June 5, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 5, 2013 2:00 a.m.

From left, Christy Crawford, Stuart Crawford, Mike O'Hara and Corey Kiefer of Valencia Custom Shower Doors.

 

Working in the glass business since he was 15 years old, Stuart Crawford, owner of Santa Clarita based-Valencia Custom Shower Doors, thought he should strike out on his own and do a better job for customers.

Crawford opened his business in 2004 right before Christmas, said Christy Crawford, wife and co-owner.

“It almost gave me a heart attack; it was a gamble,” she said.

But that gamble has since paid off.

“The first year we didn’t make any money and ran up a lot of credit card debt,” Christy said.

Family-owned and operated, Christy handles all the billing, bookkeeping and paperwork that go along with supporting a growing business.

Business has improved each and every year – even with the recession, she said.

“We weathered the recession by lowering our prices,” Christy said. “It sounds counter-productive but we figured if we’re working – it’s all good. And we’re still in the black doing more showers for less money.”

Valencia Custom Shower Doors handles 720 installs a year now, averaging 60 per month, she said.

While the firm serves as a full-service glass shop handling window repairs, table tops and more, custom shower doors account for 80 percent of their business, Christy said.

With three employees, one works at the shop to do windows and cut glass while the others install, she said.
But, sometimes the company picks up work a lot larger than a custom shower door.

“The largest project we had was a mirror job in Beverly Hills,” Christy said. “It was a fancy clothing store and they wanted almost the entire surface of the store mirrored, even down to table legs.”

The growth in Valencia Custom Shower Doors’ business led the company to expand to a larger workspace in April.
And that growth was a blessing in more ways than one. In early May the business next door to their old location caught on fire.

Everything was a mess and the ceiling caved in, she said.

“But we were already in the process of moving across the street,” she said. “Our vehicles and most of our materials and tools were at the new shop.

Firefighters were able to save what little we did have here.”

While 90 percent of their business is residential, the company also does some commercial work, Christy said.
Valencia Custom Shower Doors works with storefront glass as well, she said.

“A lot of businesses have trouble with storefront doors that don’t close properly, so we do a lot of that kind of work for landlords.”

As for residential customers, frameless shower doors are the most popular right now, Christy said. And there isn’t a huge price difference between the new doors and old framed ones, she said.

“Everything is made to order. We take very detailed measurements,” she said. “The goal is to have the shower door disappear and focus on beautiful tiles you just spent money on; to have as little metal as possible so it disappears.”

Valencia Custom Shower Doors is located at 26858 Reuther Ave., Unit A. More information can be found by calling 661-298-0261 or online at www.valenciacustomshowerdoors.com.

 

 

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