Welp... times are a'changin' and the new normal may not feel normal at all. However, at AE -- our new normal is actually very familiar to us.
In 2013 when we opened our company, AE Recycled Granite was recycling, manufacturing and installing as we pioneered the industry of recycled granite in Southern Arizona.
It was a lot of divisions under one roof and made for some interesting scheduling to make sure it went down with no complications. However, we enjoyed the work and the challenge, it was fun to create something that no one had heard of and we enjoyed when our customers fell in love with their recycled granite project. It was satisfying to know that our hard work was bringing change in mountain sustainability.
It became clear to us over the years, that if we continued to grow at our current rate, having all that under one roof could become a logistical nightmare. So in 2018 we decided to separate our company into two companies and thus Recycled Granite Arizona was born.
We moved all the recycling and manufacturing into the Recycled Granite Arizona company and kept AE Recycled Granite as the installation division. It was a little weird at first to have one company purchase material from our other company, but it did simplify the books. Treating AE just like any other vender location made for clearcut divisions in what type of marketing each company needed to do. AE Recycled Granite stayed strong in customer relations by doing home shows. Recycled Granite Arizona started handling all educational opportunities, talks on sustainability, product development and wholesale sales. Our family picked which company they wanted to work at... if they liked talking to people and interacting with customers they seemed to gravitate towards AE since home shows and installs are all consumer focused. If they preferred a introvert lifestyle - they worked at Recycled Granite Arizona. Preferring to unload waste bins of stone and working a machine to manufacture our building materials.
Fast forward to 2020 and for the last few months nothing has been easy. As we all know, life in America has changed. After having the best first quarter in both of our company's history - January and February 2020 definitely broke records for us in terms of sales -- Covid hit and the economy took a dive as lock downs on nonessential businesses, quarantines and a huge stock market loss massively effected sales. We did what most small businesses did, complied with government suggestions and hunkered down to wait for the lockdowns to end and for business to resume. We figured with the shutdown schedule we would probably miss the spring home show, but our company was strong and we figured we could weather a single missed show. We changed our production hours, raised our AC temp to reduce costs and found many other ways, both big and small, to reduce our overhead for the short-term.
Now we're in August and after 4 months of continued economic fallout, we decided we needed to make permanent changes. With 3 trade shows cancelled now and the October Home Show in question the remainder of the year was suspect. In the last few months AE Recycled Granite and Recycled Granite Arizona were down about 80% in revenue so far for the year. To survive this year and not close completely like so many other small businesses are having to do, we needed to make some tough decisions. We had already trimmed the fat, so to speak. (As a small company you run lean anyways, but we had definitely removed anything unnecessary already.) The next solution for our family was to eliminate redundancy and that meant to recombine the two companies into one. We were bringing it all under one roof again.
Our new normal is actually the old style of company that we started with in 2013. AE Recycled Granite is once again in charge of recycling, manufacturing and installations. Even though it's necessary for the times, it's also making everything easy again. Recycled Granite Arizona will fade away, we'll eventually delete its website, email and phone number having everything forward to AE.
We love what we do and we definitely want to keep doing it. This was a hard decision, but it's the right one. It might seem like a step backwards, but its actually a step forward. As a combined unit, we will continue to save our mountains and provide customers with high rated installations of Recycled Granite building materials. We'll work with our wholesale vendors like, ProSource, G&G Tile and Arizona Grill & Hearth.
We're still the same family, with the same silly jokes, strong work ethic and desire to provide the best experience to those that work with us. The only difference most people will see - is that we're all wearing the same logo'd shirts again.
We're hoping things turn around this year, luckily we've been strong enough to weather this economic disruption so far. Just in case things continue to drag -- we're planning a big kick-off of several new product lines. We'll be adding new materials, such as wood, leather and metal products as well. All with a focus on sustainability and natural materials. Our family enjoys working with our hands and we certainly don't shy away from hard work, so this new direction is exciting. When we're not working at AE, we're typically woodworking, metalworking, etc. to relax. Yes, to our family, different work is relaxing.
We'll be making some exciting announcements in the next few weeks as we reveal the different stages of our company's metamorphosis. AE Recycled Granite might be growing and changing but we'll continue to provide high-quality building materials manufactured right here in Tucson. The Split Stone is perfect for fireplace remodels, BBQ and Kitchen Island wraps and for creating beautiful accent walls. Our installations are highly rated and many of our customers are repeat customers and routinely recommend us to their family and friends.
Thank you for supporting small business during this difficult time and thank you to all our customers,
The Entire AE Recycled Granite Family!
AE Recycled Granite serving Arizona with stone solutions for 7 years!
To find out how AE Recycled Granite got its name... check out About AE.