Location: Pineville, NC
“I started this company from my frustrations trying to find tile for my own house,” says Elaine Creasser, owner of Tile Collection. “In 1992, my family made the corporate move to the Charlotte area from Fort Lauderdale, FL and saw that the Queen City was lacking in the field of tile and stone. My son was installing tile in Florida and I told him that we should open up a business here — the rest is history.”
Quick Tip: “Never, ever give up. Starting a company in a field where men rule can be tricky, but you can’t back down. No pressure, no diamonds!”
During the recent recession, Creasser was forced to retool Tile Collection’s model. “Prior to the crash, we were 80 percent new construction and 20 percent retail/remodel, but that all had to flip in a matter of months when everything hit,” she says. The company pivoted to focus entirely on retail/remodel. “Restructuring your entire company overnight is stressful, and we had to tighten our belts for a long time, but I knew that we would be able to pull through if we could just hang on,” says Creasser.
Creasser is passionate about giving back to the community, and especially helping other female entrepreneurs. “NAWBO has been a great group to be a part of, and as a former Business Woman of the Year recipient, I always feel that it is vital to never forget where you came from,” she says. Tile Collection has supported Habitat For Humanity with donations of cabinets, appliances, tiles and other materials.