Happy Birthday to Atlas Marble & Tile – 30 Years in the Making
Let’s take a journey back to three decades ago, to 1993. Yup, it might seem like yesterday, but that was 30 years ago. You know, when the X-Files first aired on TV, the first Jurassic Park movie was released, and Snoop Dog debuted his first album. It also marks the year Atlas Marble & Tile opened its doors for the first time. Happy Birthday to us!
For this occasion, we decided to take a little trip back in time to reminisce about the start. John Childs, the owner, also sat down to do a Q&A.
How Atlas Got Its Start
The owner, John Childs, was born and raised in Maryland. He graduated from AACC and the University of Baltimore with a business degree. Tile is a versatile material and, as John likes to call it, “fashion for your home.” With new products coming out every year, the tile industry continues to have tremendous potential for growth and is constantly changing.
John decided the Severna Park/Arnold area was the perfect place for a tile specialty store. So he used his business and home improvement background to start a tile company that would have lots of options and a personal, local touch. Now, just what to name his new business?
When Atlas Marble & Tile was born, businesses relied heavily on word of mouth and the yellow pages. Let’s remember, this was the world of pagers and pay phones. Now it’s the internet and cell phones! So, with the yellow pages as a primary form of advertising, having a name that fell at the beginning of the alphabet was a major plus. Therefore, it needed to start with an ‘A’ to make sure the company’s name stayed at the top of the list. Eventually, John landed on Atlas. It is the name of a Greek mythology god that holds up the world. It is a symbol of strength. It was a perfect representation.
From there, Atlas Marble & Tile began in one suite of a commercial building in Arnold, Maryland. It was small, but it was a start. Now 30 years later, the company has expanded to seven suites! Still, at the same location, Atlas keeps growing and offers hundreds of in-stock tile selections.
Q&A With The Owner, John
True to his roots, John Childs lives in Severna Park, Maryland, with his wife and two kids. To John, business is about family and giving his customers the attention they deserve for their projects. He attributes a lot of Atlas’ success to never compromising on customer service.
Atlas still has and will continue to have real people from Maryland, answering the phones and helping the customers. Customer Service has gone out of style in many businesses. But not at Atlas.”
Reflecting on the past three decades of business, we had some questions for John about how the company has stayed true to its core mission and values yet remains flexible to expand and shift when needed.
Q: If you had to advise your younger self now, what would you tell him?
A: Stay the course, you are doing the right thing, and it will turn out fantastic! Stop worrying and stop drinking so much caffeine.
Q: What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
A: It is being free to do what I think is right. It is also great to be part of our customers’ happiness and success with their home remodeling projects.
Q: What hobbies or other interests do you have?
A: My biggest love is family, especially Jennifer, my beautiful wife. I also enjoy playing guitar with my band, Red Betty and The Ruckus, reading books… Sci-fi, Biographies, mostly… working out at the gym, and spending time with my two cats, Francine and Pixie.
Q: Tell us a funny or memorable moment in running your business.
A: After closing one night. There were two of us left in the building. The other person left, turned off all the lights, and set the alarm. They didn’t realize I was still in the building even though their car was parked right next to mine in the lot! Well, he didn’t notice and drove away. I tried to make some ninja moves and sneak past the motion detector to disarm our alarm system. It was mission impossible! But not starring Tom Cruise.
The alarm was screaming loudly, and I couldn’t get the alarm to stop. Eventually, I did, but I had to call the Alarm company to stop the Police from coming. Imagine getting arrested for breaking into your own business. Ha! I am sure there is a valuable lesson here. I just don’t know what it is.
Q: Anything else you want to share with our customers?
A: Thank You! I have enjoyed almost every day of the first 30 years of Atlas Marble & Tile. I will continue as long as I can.
Join Us For Our Happy Birthday Celebration at Atlas
Atlas considers a person’s home one of their most valuable assets, and the team finds it rewarding to assist people in making their homes their havens. Be it working with them directly or with the contractor of their choice. With the tile industry constantly changing, we want one thing to remain the same – quality relationships. So don’t just take our word for it. Here are the words of a long-time customer wishing us a happy birthday:
Congratulations Atlas tile for thirty years of exceptional service! Atlas Tile has been a partner of Consynigy Custom Builders for many years. I met John and his team as a referral from a customer when I was just a guy with a pickup truck. The staff at Atlas treated me like just another customer…. That is to say, they helped me with everything and went above and beyond to help me provide the best service I could for my customers. We have all changed over the years but their core values have not changed. I can always count on Atlas to provide top notch service and always an excellent product. Consynigy and Atlas have worked together for close to half of its life and I hope to continue for 30 more years! – Troy Chagnon
Thank you, Troy! Join Atlas Tile & Marble in celebrating our birthday on Thursday, May 18th, from 3 pm to 6 pm. We will be treating our clients to some swag and more. Please stop by and wish us a happy birthday. You can learn more about this event by following us on Facebook.