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Awards and Articles 2015-2016

SUSAN JABLON AWARDED BEST OF HOUZZ

Susan Jablon of Binghamton, NY
Awarded Best Of Houzz 2016

Houzz

Over 35 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

Binghamton, NYJanuary 14, 2016 – Susan Jablon of Binghamton has won “Best Of Customer Service on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The upstate New York studio – known for its artistry and customization in the glass tile industry,  was chosen by the more than 35 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 35 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“We are thrilled to have been chosen as ‘Best of Houzz’ for customer service. Our mission is to provide the best service to our customers when it comes to their glass tile shopping experience.”

“Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Susan Jablon, voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Remodeling and Home Design

Follow Susan Jablon on Houzz.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com

 


 

WORK OF ART: Susan Jablon Mosaics honored for tenacity, innovation 

David Hill, dwhill@gannett.com | @NY_newsguy_Hill8:59 a.m. EDT May 6, 2016

via  Pressconnects.com

 

Company sells custom-designed tile mosaics

 

Susan Jablon Owner of Susan Jablon Mosaics in Binghamton, NY

A September day in 2011 could have been the end of business for Susan Jablon. Her company selling glass tile for mosaics and designs using them had been soaring in the 11 years since she started it. But on that day, Tropical Storm Lee dumped nearly a foot of rain on the Southern Tier, where the ground was still saturated from Hurricane Irene not two weeks before. River levels reached 17 feet above flood stage. Water was near the ceiling on the first level. But unlike many Southern Tier businesses flooded that day, Jablon couldn’t just put up a “closed for flood recovery” sign. Her customers ordered on the internet and didn’t know or care about floods in upstate New York.At the Vestal warehouse she rented, the floodwaters spread hydraulic fluid from the forklift all over everything, rendering nothing salvageable. Jablon had closed that day on a new building at 12 Alice St. in Binghamton’s industrial core. It was to be the new business’s home.

So she and her staff gathered on the second floor of the new building, which remained dry, and got to work filling orders. It’s what you do to keep a business going, and Jablon looks back now with satisfaction and some amazement.

“I bought the building the morning of the 2011 flood and it flooded,” she said. “So I was flooded and $200,000 in the hole 10 hours later.”

Now, Susan Jablon Mosaics Llc, remains not only a going concern but a thriving one. It was among concerns recognized this past week at a luncheon by the Syracuse division of the U.S. Small Business Administration. It has 10 employees working out of a nearly 100-year-old industrial building on Alice Street where well-fed cats have the run of the assembly room, and there is said to be an apparition with a resemblance to a leprechaun.

The SBA nomination was made by Joselyn Thornton, a certified business adviser at the Small Business Development Center at Binghamton University. Thornton said she was moved by Jablon’s resilience and tenacity in the face of the flood, as well as her innovation. Thornton noted also that Jablon’s company is the rare woman-owned manufacturing enterprise in the region.

“There is no impediment that she can’t somehow rise above and soar over,” Thornton said. “She has an uncanny ability to rise above any impediment, or go around it.”

 Rising above adversity and figuring it out on the fly is a central theme in Jablon’s business story. Another is love of creative design, coupled with pulling together disparate business skills.

Jablon had worked in employee benefits at Lourdes Hospital, then did advertising and public relations for Binghamton-based insurer Security Mutual. Then she became assistant manager at Barnes and Noble, where she honed her generalist skills so finely, she recalls, it was like earning an MBA.

“All about cost, all about efficiency all about manpower, all about everything – scheduling, everything.”

When she turned 50, she decided to make the leap out on her own, opening an art-based business teaching adults and children how to foster their own creativity through mosaics. The form lent itself to creativity without extensive technical skills. “You break it and you piece it together and they're really no rules and there’s really nothing you can do wrong. So you can be successful.”

Susan Jablon with her company's mesh mounting machine. The machine, which she traveled to Barcelona, Spain to purchase, lays tile onto sheets of mesh using a non-toxic glue.

As the business grew, Jablon found that to get supplies in sufficient quantities she would have to buy them from Chinese manufacturers in shipping-container bulk.

“You couldn’t buy a small amount. You had to buy container loads. So I bought five container loads. 40,000 square feet to a container.”

Jablon had so much tile she rented the Vestal property to store it all. It was far more than she could use, so she went on the internet advertising tile. It took off.

“It was 2003. It was very early on in the internet as we know it, the commercial internet. So there wasn’t much competition and nobody really knew what glass tile was. I was in love with glass tile. I’ve always been in love with glass.”

The tiles typically arrive from manufacturers fastened to plastic mesh. Most is shipped to a warehouse in New Jersey — not as flood-prone — with a truck carrying enough for about a week’s worth of operations to Binghamton at a time. Jablon and staff break the tile off and sort them by colors and size. Then the tiles are reassembled by hand onto plastic frames 12 inches by 12 inches in size following the company’s own designs or designs made by customers themselves using a custom-written software tool on the susanjablon.com website.

The panels are assembled upside-down and backward, because they’re then flipped over and reassembled on fresh mesh on a special machine Jablon found in Barcelona, Spain. They’re held on with special glue and heat-cured under the company’s own system that looks like an array of fast-food French fry lights  because that’s exactly what they are.

This whole system is original to the company, because Jablon found no one doing exactly the same thing. She had to figure out the process step by step and cobble together both equipment and process.

The squares are shipped with instructions on how to assemble them into whole mosaics on-site.

Robert Austin operates the mesh mounting machine at Susan Jablon Mosaics. The machine uses non-toxic glue to lay tile onto sheets of mesh.

 “We do a couple million dollars of business a year and we’re big stuff,” Jablon said. “But nobody does what we do because you’d have to be insane to do what we do, crazy to want to do it.”

Last week, Jennifer Barnaby was assembling a mosaic of graduated blue, black and purple rectangular tiles. She followed the pattern specified in a print-out of the customer’s order, picking tiles out of piles that look like towers of shiny hard candy, and placing them down in the frame. It’s Zen-like, she said.

The mosaics wind up in a variety of settings, from swimming-pool walls to kitchen backsplashes, to fireplace surrounds and whole rooms. One recent project evokes a Caribbean escape, sandy on the bottom and green and blue toward the ceiling. The company had a big role in the redevelopment of the Catskills’ Roxbury Motel, known for its eclectic and eccentric themed room designs.

Jablon also sells wholesale mosaics and has a wall full of sample cards for contractors to show clients. Her daughter Emily Jablon runs the related mosaic art studio, and is known around Binghamton for public installations.Jablon designs were on the set of the competitive cooking reality show “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Jablon looks back on the fall of 2011 with a mix of pride, amazement and fatigue. She credits the Small Business Administration with helping her through the tedious two-year application process for a $50,00 state disaster-recovery grant that helped get through the flood recovery. She also faced breast cancer in 2007 and a hip replacement in 2014. She also takes pride in nurturing the company.

“I have to use my creativity or I just get bored,” Jablon said. “I’m not interested in just running a business per se. It has to come from the energy of creativity. That’s what makes me get up in the morning.”

 


 

2016 Excellence in Small Business AwardMay 6, 2016

18th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards

Susan Jablon Mosaics, LLC

Binghamton, New York 

Selected by: NY SBDC Binghamton

Owner: Susan Jablon

Type of Business: Manufacturer of Mosaic Tile

Year Business Started: 2000

Susan Jablon Mosaics is a woman-owned business that manufactures custom mosaic glass tile. The company has a strong client base in the U.S. and internationally. Most of Jablon's 10 employees are designers and artists. To accommodate her growing business, in 2011 Susan purchased a vacant 35,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Binghamton, NY. Just as Susan was preparing to move into her new location, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee devastated the Southern Tier with unprecedented flooding. Through Susan's tenacity and dedication to her employees and customers, Susan Jablon Mosaics survived and is thriving today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finehomebuilding.com features Susan Jablon in their March 15, 2016 article "Truly Custom Tile Mosaics For Any Budget"