1750 Signal Point Rd., #6CCharleston, SC, 29412
After a bewitching visit to Charleston, Jersey-born brothers Steve and Tom Rogers, in want of our warmer weather and favorable business climate, left their respective Garden State jobs as a teacher and state trooper to start a California Closets franchise here in 1997. With construction experience courtesy of summer jobs, the two recognized a niche for custom-designed storage spaces from closets to home offices.
With another designer on board, Steve and Tom work with architects, designers, and contractors, though the franchise centers on in-home consultations with homeowners. Clients receive attentive, hands-on service from identifying goals to design illustrations to installation. While working with part-time residents, the team can be counted on to email pictures of progress and even provide labor including removing, storing, and then replacing clothing.
The James Island-based business focuses on customer service, recently winning the Best Franchise in a Small Market Award from the corporate office. Several factors distinguish California Closets from other outfitters, including complimentary design consult, and painstakingly detailed designs (which accounts for a client’s wardrobe contents, height, and even whether they’re right- or left-handed). He adds, “Our policy of no labor costs for ten years from installation allows us to keep serving clients when they need change or modifications and that’s gratifying.”
Q and A Section
Q: What’s the concept behind your store?
A: To provide a service that gives clients spaces that helps their lives function efficiently and can be adjusted to keep working for them as their life and needs change.
Q: What trends are you seeing in your market?
A: Closets are progressively becoming bigger and getting more attention, and there’s a demand for more function from them—wardrobe rooms with seating and adjacent laundry rooms are emerging in design. Floor plans are changing and master bedroom square footage is decreasing to accommodate these larger closets, which are now a differentiator in well-designed homes. Also the focus has shifted from sheer size to smart, efficient design. With the green movement, people want to get more out of a home rather than just get a bigger house.
Q: What’s the most important advice you could give someone interested in a custom closet?
A: Determine your goals and the end results you want from the space, determine a budget that makes sense for your home, and contact a professional who can help you interpret those goals into design within your budget. But keep in mind that this should be an investment; it’s not a throwaway product—it can be taken down and incorporated into a new design, a different space, or even another home.
Q: Everyone is cost-conscious these days. What budget-savvy tips can consumers use?
A: Keep the design simple; focus on shelving and hanging spaces rather than more expensive drawers and cabinets. Alternatively, you can design a space that covers your immediate needs, but can eventually accommodate those features you want and you can add them over time. If you want to design all the closets in your home, prioritize your needs and do what’s most important first and finish the others one at a time. You might also consider leaving out trim packages and decorative finishes.
Q: What do you see as an advantage of being part of a franchise?
A: Our corporate office is always on top of design trends and we reap those market research benefits with fresh ideas. Some of the new designs go way beyond the utilitarian—the recent Milan show inspired our Virtuoso line, which is innovative, stylish, and complements the contemporary and minimalist interiors we’re seeing more of.