One of the parts I love most about what I do is meeting new people. I was recently ‘sent’ to visit a new plumbing showroom for a client. I find we get further, faster, together, when we work with people, the people we are working with, have relationships with. Relationships matter. So when they exist, I go with the flow of of them. This one particular project…wow…it’s ALL relationships. And I feel super lucky to be the newest member of this team! The builder on a certain project has a relationship with a certain plumbing wholesaler, who along with his wife, recently opened a gorgeous showroom. In one short phone call about a plumbing rough for a whole house, (which I was happy to bang out via email, in a half hour or less), Lee Hecht’s (of Able Plumbing Supply Co) enthusiasm for his wife, for her work, and for their showroom, had me hooked. He really wanted me to come see their showroom. I had already made my selections (I don’t love schlepping out to the burbs)…but for the love of work, finding amazing home finishes, and meeting fun new people…OK, I’m in. What’s more fun than new amazing people and a gorgeous space field trip, to check out over-the-top fixtures? Right?
Truth be told, it was in fact the funnest whole-house plumbing rough laid-out ever. We sat in their conference room, laughed our tushes off, and balanced a strict budget with gorgeous picks. And then all the stuff. There’s all the stuff, all the rough, that makes all that beautiful plumbing work from behind the walls. Boring. But necessary. And in the end, we toasted with a glass of wine. Don’t ask me what time of day that was, it was happy hour somewhere. And because of FLOW, someone’s bath will look not unlike this:
Rachel and Lee were just so professional, so on point, so hard-working, and so fun, that I went back to them for my own house. I had done my own rough and had chosen my own fixtures for all my baths long before meeting them. But right now, right this hot minute, I needed 2 sinks and 2 faucets for my kitchen. MY KITCHEN. My kitchen is kind of my personal church. And, long deep breath…while managing a tight budget for my own home…so hard…just so freaking hard...I also wanted gorgeous. I just love to fall in love with fixtures. So on basically 5 minutes’ notice, when an electrician cancelled an appointment Thursday afternoon, I hopped in the car with Conner, our TME in-house videographer and on-demand photographer, who has the best attitude and is always up for an adventure and a field trip, (and who knows that the fun is better had if you don’t shoot pics of me…just the stuff) etc.,….And off we went, to end Rachel’s day at FLOW!
I was meant to be a fish. I’m a water sign. There’s just pure joy in water. Can you see it in my hands?
FLOW Kitchen and Bath Design Studio is in Glenside, PA. You can follow them on FB and the Grams. People come from far to see them. I pretend that a 30-minute schlep to the burbs is a thing, but honestly, people are traveling from all over the country to see this 9-month-old working showroom. Yup. Working. You can turn everything on and real water actually comes out of it! You can test everything!!! AMAZING!!! And they control all of it through iPads. How cool is that? I mean seriously? I have a feeling my kids would bathe far more frequently if they could queue up a shower/bath from their iPads. Just saying…this is a model we might consider for home, too.
Plumbing nerds unite! And people who need to see things work…just go. It’s so fun. They will turn on all the fun for you too! Lights, Water, Steam…all of it!!! Yasss!!!
Tell Me this Woman Doesn’t LOVE Her Job?
And what’s better than that?
Rachel Lucks-Hecht was a teacher and school administrator on Long Island. (That’s in NY for those of you not from here, and pronounced locally as one word.) She ignored Lee Hecht’s(her now hubs) first seven attempts to contact her through JDate, because he wasn’t local to her, “you live too far away,” she said. Lee…that same man who convinced me to come to see their showroom in 30 seconds or less…know what he did? He persisted. And he just went to Long Island every weekend until he won her love! Thirteen months later, they were married (and back in Philly…go Lee!). I love happy endings! Now they have twin four-year-old boys, an amazing nanny named Anita, they honor date night with dinners and concerts — like JT most recently, and Pink as a recent favorite! (Her first answer was The National, and then she put a hard stop and said, “no, PINK. Absolutely PINK was my recent favorite”. It was like the 2018 version of my 1990 Paula Abdul concert experience.) Do we all now understand and appreciate Rachel? Yup.
They are workaholics, and they balance that with life and family with the help of their amazing, super-flexible nanny, Anita, and their staff at FLOW, especially Carol and Robert, who help them keep their balance, and manage the FLOW of everyday life with twins, two businesses, and a healthy marriage in tow.
They know how to make time count, and how to live life. They are doing it! And I just think they are amazing!
Girl Boss’s advice for women in traditional male jobs:
“Speak up! Be confident! Go out on a limb, take the risks!”
She actually said something else too…but is it blog-appropriate? Oh, who cares about appropriate? She may have also said, “You need to grow some ____(not trees) to succeed in these businesses.” Sing it sister.
“Don’t take anything too seriously. Enjoy the crazy, enjoy the silly, go with the flow of it all! We’re late for school every – single – day, because we can be, for now. NOW is what matters. Live in the moment. Always!”
“There are bad days and challenges always: challenges at home, challenges in life, challenges at work: install issues, extensions on faucets, orders, decisions, coordination, technical information in 4th languages being communicated to 4th parties. We get through it. We get through it because we take the extra kid hugs in the morning, appreciate the team, work together, love what we do, and can’t wait to get home to our guys every night.”
She’s proud to have knocked-it-out-of-the-park with their working design studio, it’s a labor of love well-realized! They are also Elite Caesar Stone reps, and supply lighting, you know, just for kicks.
My observation? It’s in large part Rachel’s fun-loving sense of humor that keeps it all together. She is my new Instagram Idol: her and her well-dressed Barbie Doll vignettes (I’m not joking, get on the Grams to see them) throughout her showroom. OMG. Just follow her for fun! If for no other reason b/c this guy and I have the same taste in pants. So there’s that. See, S, I’m fashionable even when un-showered and half-dressed. My field trip to places that make showers counts as having taken one, yes?
FLOW has the local if not national exclusive on so many amazing brands: Franz Viegener, Wetstyle, Hastings, Milldue, Americh, Watermark, Fantini, Waterstone, Vola, Vanico…the list goes on. And so do the options, many of which have such a great ‘green/environmentally friendly/solid business with a global purpose’ story behind them. Ask. Ask where it’s from and who is making it and how and why. The stories are amazing. I promise you.
And they’ll show you. And that is just an amazing experience, to be able to test product and make real decisions about what really matters. It’s amazing. It really helps concrete a decision on where you spend it.
OK. You get it. I’m in love with Rachel, and with FLOW. It’s my newest happy place and she’s my newest MFF. Mom Friends. We collect those like arcade tickets here at TME, and value them in ways that can’t be measured.
My default rough, for managing a budget and getting a great finish is Delta Trinsic. Specifically these:
Plumbing fixtures and fun people make me happy. They were my recovery from a crappy Wednesday. I hope they bring you joy too. Thank you for staying a little late for us Rachel!!! I can’t wait for my French sink to fingers crossed…arrive on French time. xoxo A