Left to right: Larry Ellison, Lisa Franks, Theresa Minkoff, Dave Wimbiscus, Rebecca Raffield, Rob Ahrens, Janice Howell, Dean Howell, Jerry Parks, Tasha Elrod, Pete Lutz, Jill Cobb, Jeff Hawkins, Haley Morgan and Jessica Kreunen.
MODA Floors & Interiors, a flooring and window coverings resource and Atlanta’s first Shaw Design Center, recently celebrated its 10th year in business. The company has showrooms in the West Midtown Design District and at Town Brookhaven.
“MODA” is the Italian word for fashion. Owners Dean and Janice Howell selected the company name to reflect cutting-edge style and European flair.
Started initially as a three-person home-based business, MODA Floors & Interiors currently employs 15 people and partners with 10 installation crews to complete approximately 1,300 projects each year. The diversified client base includes residential remodelers, custom home builders, designers, insurance contractors, and consumers. The company also does light commercial jobs.
“We quickly realized that working from home wasn’t an ideal situation,” said Dean Howell. So the couple rented a small space off Windy Hill Road before moving three years later to a 5,000-square-foot facility on Collier Road. MODA opened its current 20,000-square-foot showroom on Chattahoochee Avenue three years ago. The Town Brookhaven location opened this month.
“The franchiser went out of business during our fifth year in business,” Howell said. “While it was unfortunate for the franchiser, it was one of the best things that could have happened for us because we were able to go independent and create the MODA brand.”
The typical MODA client’s core needs have remained the same over the last 10 years. According to Howell, they still want a beautiful end product and an engaging experience with a high level of customer service throughout the process.
What has changed most during his time in business has been the explosion of digital media / tools that give clients and the MODA staff multiple ways to exchange information and communicate, he said.
What’s the biggest business lesson he has learned over the years? “Externally. it’s all about customer satisfaction and ‘always doing the right thing’ in terms of treating our customers. Ensuring our customers’ total satisfaction is the one thing that will sustain our business over the long haul. Internally, we focus on developing our team members and business processes. We still come to work every day thinking about how to do it better,” Howell said.