Location and Service Distinguish Showroom

MURRELLS INLET, SC— The business slogan “location, location, location,” is nearly as familiar as how you get to Carnegie Hall – in fact, John Skeppstrom wants his firm’s showroom to be even easier to find.

Skeppstrom, who serves as v.p./sales and marketing for West Columbia, SC-based Cregger Company, recently led a grassroots branding initiative for the firm that landed it a prime location for its newest venture.

Found on one of South Carolina’s most prominent stretches of highway, Highway 17 bypass here in Murrells Inlet, the 3,200-sq.-ft. space, dubbed “Design On Tap,” was discovered early enough that Cregger Company was the first tenant in the space. While this allowed the firm to use the showroom as a highly visible branding platform, it also came with challenges, Skeppstrom notes.

“When we began, the floors were still dirt and there was no sheetrock in the studs,” he says.

While Skeppstrom coordinated most of the showroom’s design work, a collaborative effort was needed to create the final product: a spa experience that goes beyond any normal bathroom, he says.

“We have a working shower with nine large, wall-mounted heads and nine functioning, ceiling-mounted heads. It also features a working luxury glass steam shower with a 24" multi-function Hansgrohe built-in Rainshower head, body sprays, personal shower, fiber-optic lighting and stereo speakers,” Skeppstrom adds. The showroom also features working towel warming drawers and a floor tile warming system, among others.

For Skeppstrom and the staff, the culmination of his vision was a grand opening cocktail reception.

Over 200 guests were present to welcome the newest addition to Cregger Company, with an attendance list ranging from home builders to architects to associates from the company.

An Interactive Experience

With a large water heater on the premises, everything in the showroom is fully functional. Visitors are quickly introduced to available product as both a selection center and an integrated product design concept are present. In the bath areas, products are grouped into suites and vignettes along with accessories and working lighting.

In the kitchen, the possibilities are laid out in plain view. From an island with African Iroko wood that displays a fireclay farmhouse sink to a contemporary island topped with black granite and nothing but zero-radius sinks on display, “the ideas and combinations stop with the client’s imagination,” Skeppstrom says.

The showroom also features faucet options grouped together, offering brand names such as Rohl, Perrin & Rowe and TOTO USA, as well as products from Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath and BainUltra, among others.

Customization for All

While the company doesn’t actually design kitchens “in-house,” the staff does help clients choose faucets, bath furniture, fixtures and decorative hardware from architectural drawings.

After the selections are made, the company arrives at the job site to help check in the material and make certain that the correct fixtures and faucets arrive. As a traditional wholesale plumbing distributor, the firm is able to easily bring in plumbing contractors.

Design on Tap

According to Skeppstrom, the showroom reflects the clean, traditional style that has become increasingly popular in the surrounding area.

The concept is “Design on Tap,” or the ability for consumers to interact with any products in the showroom live and hands-on. To that end, the company works with the widest variety of manufacturers and builders available to tailor-make products for its clients.

For clients building their dream home, one of the key ideas being embraced is one of accessibility for the future. With this concept in mind, the company supplies raised-height water closet bowls, lever handles and accessible tubs with walk-in doors. Being eco-friendly, too, Cregger is a TOTO distributor offering a full line of water-saving water closets.

Cregger Company has designated its target market as “anyone involved in designing, building or remodeling high-end homes along the Carolina coasts,” Skeppstrom continues.

To expand its appeal, the firm plans on sending out fliers and postcards, advertising in local and regional magazines, joining the local home builders association and becoming more involved in its local AIA and ASID groups.