I am from Gazientep, Turkey and have been in the marble and stone business for over 10 years. I grew up poor, with a mother who was abusive. I left the house ar 17, living on the street and finding odd jobs. I eventually found my passion with marble and stone and worked my way up to having my own mining and export company! I was doing well, until the war started in Syria- where my money was invested in a mine.
I lost everything in an instant. I had nothing. I came to the US 2 years ago with nothing, but the opportunity to manage a Turkish-owned marble company in San Jose, CA. The owner treated me horribly, but I felt I had no option but to work and save money to get my freedom of business ownership eventually in the US.
I met my wife, Hillary over a year ago and she has helped me make this goal. I left that company and started StoneHub, with her support and the money I had saved while employed at that other company. I have a small showroom, with relationships with top vendors and have had a few sales. I’m developing relationships with contractors so they feel confident in my ability to sell top marble/tile etc at costs less than my big competitors. My dream is to become one of the largest stone companies in the US, to be a good provider for my family in Turkey and my family in the US!
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
I started StoneHub just a few months ago, though the plans have been in the works for a year. I have a small showroom of different marbles, tile, Quartz, travertine etc. I am a seller and expert in these stones. My customers are both individuals/families who want to remodel their kitchen/ bathroom/patio and contractors. I have accounts with top vendors. My biggest challenge is getting my name out there as an option for those who want the same products as larger stone companies, at a cost that is significantly less to the customer! I have little resources for advertising and marketing.
I would love for my company to expand in time – to have a huge showroom – without compromising my exceptional customer service or making the products too pricey for my customers. I pride myself on my knowledge and expertise, coupled with exceptional customer care. I’m most proud of my tenacity and starting over. It has not been easy. I’m proud of my little showroom and that I am independent from my prior boss!
What is the purpose of this loan?
The more vendor samples I have, the better showroom I have – which shows customers that I have a large selection to offer them. So, the loan will help me with this. I also need to advertise on Yelp, Facebook and other social media outlets, as well as flyers and mailers – all which cost money. I do believe that if I can get StoneHub more known- that I can prove to my customers my expertise and skills. The loan will help our family by decreasing the financial stress some of our family. It will decrease worry, so that I can focus on business development and growth!
Years in operation: 6 months – 1 year