Edie’s marks 25th milestone

Rhonda and Isaac Edie are about to mark a milestone.

The husband-and-wife team behind Edie’s Décor is celebrating 25 years in business – an occasion that will see promotions, giveaways and special events throughout the month of April.

‘We just want to thank our customers for their support,’ said Mr. Edie. ‘They’ve been very good to us and we want to reciprocate.’

The well-known Cayman flooring and drapery firm’s silver anniversary is not only a time to celebrate past successes but to look to the future, and Edie’s is poised to move forward with new innovations.

That’s reflected in the company’s brand new logo, which now adorns its Eastern Avenue shop.

‘We wanted to have something more innovative and fresh to reflect what we’re all about,’ noted daughter Karen Edie, the company’s general manager.

Technology will be at the forefront including new software to streamline operations as well as the launch of Edie’s own web site.

But whatever changes are in store, the cornerstone of the business remains the same – its unwavering commitment to personalised customer service.

It’s the foundation that Mr. and Mrs. Edie have built their success on.

‘Personalised customer service is the strength of our business,’ said Mr. Edie. ‘Because of that we have many repeat customers and referrals.’

Hard work and perseverance, of course, also come into play.

Since its launch in 1981, Edie’s Décor has evolved from a home-based business into a multi-million operation that employs 15 full-time staff.

While there have been ups and downs over the years, the Edies say the rewards have been many.

Modest beginnings

It all began when Mr. Edie decided it was time to strike out on his own after working for a local flooring company for eight years.

Backed by a $2,200 loan and with no more than a few samples on hand, Mr. Edie began building the business from the ground up. He worked out of the utility room in their Prospect Park home, using the porch as a storeroom.

A year later, with demand growing, it was time open their own office. They bought and renovated a private home on Eastern Avenue, where the Edie’s complex continues to operate today.

Mrs. Edie worked alongside her husband in the shop, selling carpet and vinyl sheeting. These were demanding days as the couple juggled raising four children while running the business. After school, the shop became a second home for the youngsters.

Expansion continued but it wasn’t until the late 80s that the business hit a turning point. Mr. Edie describes it as ‘the magic years’ – a boom time for building in Cayman.

Edie’s was involved in major projects, outfitting the flooring for such prestigious developments as The Grand Pavilion, the Hyatt Regency, the Radisson Hotel (now Grand Cayman Marriott), the first phase of the Britannia development and the Cayman Brac Airport and Fire Station. Other major projects included the Cayman Islands Fire Station, The Great House and several high-end office buildings and condominiums.

The tremendous growth prompted another expansion. Mr. Edie purchased the property next to the existing operation, building new warehousing facilities on site and converting the old facilities into a brand new showroom. Along with flooring and drapery, the company’s soft furnishing side was also flourishing.

Change in store

By 1993, however, the business reached a crossroads, Mr. Edie recalled.

‘There was such a demand for our services and it was hard to keep up.’

Not wanting to compromise on quality workmanship, Mr. Edie decided to scale back by phasing out the business’s full responsibility of installation and encouraged their installers to go out on their own. Edie’s was one of the first companies in the field to take this step, and the results proved mutually beneficial.

Today, they continue to work with many of the same installers, who are now self-employed and happy with the change.

Another move at that time also helped the business grow, and improve customer service. Previously contracting work out of Miami, Edie’s set up its own onsite workroom, hiring professional staff for draperies, bedding and upholstery.

‘That was a good decision because we were never out of work,’ said Mrs. Edie, an interior designer who oversees the department. ‘We were always busy.’

It also provided a good complement to its flooring business, the foundation of Edie’s operations.

Today, the 11,000-square-foot operation supplies and installs a wide variety of flooring and wall coverings, window treatments and accessories from the US, Europe, South America and Asia.

The Edies have garnered many industry awards in recognition of their work including the Trade Leaders Club 1996 Construction Award, the Trade Leaders Club 1999 American Awards for Quality and the International Association of Business Leaders 2002 Lifetime Award for Vision and Performance & Leadership.

The company is family-focused, with daughter Karen taking up the helm as general manager and son Devon assisting with sales and consulting on a part-time basis since opening his own business, Geographics. The younger siblings, Jonathan and Teresa, are studying abroad but maintain a keen interest in the operations. All four children trained in the business, working on holidays and school vacations.

‘My dream is that it will be a family owned business for a long time,’ said Mr. Edie.

Many rewards

Looking back on 25 years in business, Mr. Edie said meeting people and getting to know clients has been what has kept him going for so long.

‘I love interacting with people,’ said Mr. Edie. ‘It’s energising.’

Mrs. Edie said the business has allowed her to do the work she loves.

‘From early childhood, I loved colours and fabrics.’

Also a people person, Mrs. Edie’s line of work requires she gets to know her clients well to design environments that match their personality and lifestyle.

Karen added that it’s rewarding being able to help people create an environment they love.

‘It’s a good feeling knowing that the products and services we provide make a positive difference in how people feel in their home.’

The family is grateful to all those who have supported them throughout the years in whatever way, large or small. Serving others, they say, has been their greatest reward.

‘We’ve always prided ourselves on top notch service,’ said Mr. Edie. ‘That’s something we still hold dearly today.’

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