In the era of online shopping, sites like Pinterest and Houzz for home design inspiration, and the shrinking landscape of retail brick and mortar stores, Doug Stein of Kashian Bros Flooring recently made the bold decision to open a second location in Lake Forest.
“This remains a business and an industry in which it is simply not easy to purchase products online,” says Stein, president of the business. “That’s why offering our customers not one, but two showrooms in which they can come in and truly get a feel for the products is so very important to us.”
Stein is referring to Kashian Bros first showroom in Wilmette, which has been in existence for 109 years—and counting. He selected Lake Forest for his second location for several reasons.
Stein calls Lake Forest home with wife Jean, and when he heard that longtime owner Mark Spielman of Deerpath Carpet & Rug was retiring, it presented him with the perfect opportunity to expand Kashian Bros products, service, and reputation up the North Shore to Lake Forest.
“One of the great things about the flooring business is that it’s a very local business,” explains Stein. “People walk in and know our salespeople,
and the opportunity to continue that sort of relationship and tradition in a new location has been very exciting for us.”
It’s that same focus on relationships and superior products and service that has defined Kashian Bros’ longevity over the years. But there’s more to it than this. It’s not that Kashian Bros has endured because of its years in business, but almost in spite of its long history. The fact is that many “mom and pop” businesses often falter because they fail to innovate and evolve with the times. Doug Stein, on the other hand, has always been innovating, looking forward, and trying new things that are literally on the cutting edge.
Case in point. Stein pioneered dust-free re-sanding in 2004. Kashian Bros’ Dust Free Atomic Dust Containment System has been a game changer for homeowners wanting to refinish hardwood floors without the mess and inconvenience. Stein also recently introduced a new stain product that contains zero VOC chemicals. He invested in the technology and training for two years to fine tune the process before bringing it to market.
“We are on a never ending quest for new products and new technologies,” explains Stein, who is known to scour the globe for new and better products. “We are constantly staying on top of this ever-changing industry.”
As another example, Kashian Bros will soon be introducing its own line of handmade Amish-made cabinets made by a local Midwest craftsman. This latest product line dovetails perfectly with Kashian Bros’ new Lake Forest location.
“We expanded the lower level in the Lake Forest store and are also now offering a number of new products that as a business we didn’t have in the past, such as cabinets and countertops,” Stein adds.
The new location is a resource center with trained designers at the ready to assist customers in planning a room or a space and selecting actual samples to take home.
“Each staff member is highly trained in all areas, working together as a team, and sharing information daily,” Stein says. “Finding the best resources for each customer is what we really do.” He adds that he wants people to find something beautiful and functional close to home, without going to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
Because essentially, for Kashian Bros and for Doug Stein, it always comes back to his customers receiving unsurpassed customer service and the highest quality products and installation—from one generation to the next.
“Every single day, we will have a customer walk in and tell us that their parents have bought products from us or their grandparents bought their carpet from us,” Stein says. “And that’s what it’s all about. We are not here just trying to close a sale. We are here to continue on a tradition.”
Kashian Bros Flooring is located at 838 N. Western Avenue in Lake Forest and 1107 Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette, 847-251-1200, kashianbros.com.