#IntDesignerChat July 26, 2011 Topic: To Tile Or Not Tile – With Guest Host – Lee Nicholson Owner of Filmore Clark

19 Jul

Lee Nicholson has been in the tile business for over 15 years.  Lee is originally from North Carolina, a small town called Lenoir, which was for many decades the “furniture capital of the Southeast.”  Hard working people were a way of life and she grew up knowing that if you worked hard you could do anything.  Lee  graduated from Appalachian State University with an Art major/Marketing minor which lead her to want to pursue a Masters so she could work in a museum one day… needless to say that fell by the way side as Lee started working for an art gallery out of college which lead her to move to Minneapolis in 1991.   This was a great learning and growing experience both personally and professionally.  Lee was exposed to a wonderful art scene and a great new big city (having come from the very small town.)

After almost 4 years in Minneapolis a friend knew of a job opening at an upscale tile showroom and this is what started Lee’s love affair with tile! Working up the ranks Lee soon became showroom manager, she loved designing and working with designers and homeowners. Soon it was time to for her to move on to sunnier and warmer weather.  California was the grand experiment for Lee, as she knew only 1 person and did not have a job.

After much searching Lee landed at Country Floors where she worked as a Wholesale rep. then advanced to Marketing Assistant then Head of Marketing and Purchasing.   Spending many years learning and loving all the beautiful handmade tiles she was helping to bring to market. Economic hardship fell over most of the industry in the past several years and this lead to more showrooms closing as well as manufacturers laying off workers.  Lee felt so strongly that the US artisan tile maker had so much to offer that was not being focused on by any tile studio that she decided in 2009 to leave my job and pursue my own showroom.  Having long working relationships with so many great tile makers I had the key to a successful venture ~ love for the product and great products to offer!

This all made even more sense with more and more focus on “going local” and supporting local farmers, so why should your building product choices be any different? So many people had no idea what was and could be manufactured in the US.  Lee Nicholson’s passion and goal is to educate the consumer, designer and architect on how diverse and wonderful US made ceramic, glass, concrete and mosaics truly are.

Lee opened Filmore Clark in West Hollywood, CA .  Following the tradition of artisan tile studios, Filmore Clark offers the best in American art tile. Working in such a rich environment she began her love affair with handcrafted tiles and over the years had the realization that the American art tile maker is one of the best in world.  Lee Nicholson’s showroom offers renowned collections such as Pratt Larson, Tempest Tileworks, New Ravenna and KJ Patterson.  Filmore Clark hopes to bring a new life to the custom tile selection process. Keeping it local will be the main focus of the business. By showcasing only domestically manufactured collections Filmore Clark will take to heart the true meaning of a smaller footprint and being green.

Q 1: When choosing #TILE does classic trump trends?

Q 2: How do you incorporate Earth-Friendly Tile Products into your bath designs?

Q 3: How do you choose the materials and scale of your tile to create a contemporary feel in a fireplace design?

Q 4: What materials and scale of tile, create a more subtle update in a clean and organized Kitchen design?

#IntDesignerChat  Recap of July 26, 2011 Topic: To Tile Or Not Tile with Guest Host Lee Nicholson transcript topic-IntDesignerChat-2011-07-26

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