Do you want to know what makes us tick? Why we’ve become the Mexican tile experts? Do you want to see the faces behind the friendly voices you speak to at Rustico Tile & Stone? These are our people.
I started selling tile on eBay many moons ago. That little venture took off and (through the grace of God) brought us to our USA staff of 9 people and our Mexican producers, vendors, and logistics people of over 200. The catalyst for this growth has been nothing less than divine intervention, pursuit over obstacles, and a generous dose of humor. We’ve failed, we’ve succeeded, and we’ve grown to love our industry and our Rustico family.
The Important Questions
I asked a few of our full-time office staff these questions:
1. What is your favorite thing about working at Rustico?
2. What are your hobbies?
3. Where do you enjoy volunteering? (We offer each full-time member of our staff paid time off to volunteer in our community.)
See what we have to say.
Driver of Dreams Fulfillment
Meet Shelley. If you’ve purchased or plan on purchasing Saltillo tile, this is your girl! She’s been part of the Rustico family for over 2 1/2 years. Hands down, Shelley knows more about Saltillo tile than almost anyone in the country. She’s an expert when it comes to this product line. Shelley is a mama-bear figure in our office. She is good for a warm hug, a friendly chat, and has a deep commitment to our mission of caring for people and creating beautiful spaces.
Shelley’s Answers –
1. I like the small office vibe…. Doing work alongside Ray, Melanie, Martha, & Lisa. I love working with our customers. They get very excited about creating a specific look for their flooring. Because the construction process can be daunting and stressful, I do what I can to make their flooring process as comfortable as possible. And I’m delighted when our customers share photos of their finished project.
2. My hobbies include anything beachy and offshore fishing. I’m an AVID sports fan – Texas Aggies, Houston Texans, Houston Astros! And I enjoy cooking with my hubby.
3. When I volunteer, I enjoy serving at Texas Humane Heroes, Drive a Senior, and Habitat for Humanity.
Meet Martha. Martha has been with us for over a year. Martha plays the role of command central in our office. She creates the synergy that stems from all areas of our business – processes orders and payments, coordinates logistics, answers the “where’s my stuff” customer questions, and generally balances the challenges thrown at her by every single person in our office. She’s also our in-house expert for Cement tile. Her presence is felt sincerely and affectionately.
Martha’s Answers –
1. I like working at Rustico because it’s a small (family) company. For the most part, it’s a relaxed atmosphere. (That’s the for “most part” qualification, Martha.) And it’s a different line of work than anything I’ve ever done.
2. My hobbies include spending time with my family. I love watching movies and reading.
3. I enjoy volunteering at the Angel House Soup Kitchen in Austin. I would like to start volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center
Warlord of Masterminds & Head Chef
Meet Ray. Ray co-founded this company with me almost 15 years ago. We’ve been around the block together – in marriage, parenting, and as business partners. Ray is our backbone. He tackles the hard issues and runs our entire operation in Mexico. It’s because of Ray that we can manufacture and import our products from Mexico. Ray is the most generous person that I know. He would give anyone the shirt off his back. He has a deep love for the Lord which is demonstrated through his service to our staff, customers, and our community.
Ray’s Answers –
1. The best part about working at Rustico is working with my wife. (I did not prompt that answer!) Being from Mexico initially, it’s meaningful to work with and to provide work to our people in Mexico. I don’t go to sleep at night without considering it a humble blessing to provide employment for so many people there. Work is our mission field. And it’s a mutual fit – we create the demand for artisan products, and they make it. We can’t do it without one another.
2. I love fitness – especially CrossFit. I enjoy playing with my kids and boating on Lake Travis.
3. I enjoy volunteering at my church. Through our business, Melanie and I have been able to provide life-changing opportunities (extra work, housing, financial assistance) for people in need. We may not reach the masses, but we can reach one person at a time.
Ringleader of Toilet Cleaning & Deep Thoughts
Meet Melanie. That’s me! When I started selling tile on eBay, I had no idea how the cards would unfold. Over the years, Ray and I have been able to employ many people, we’ve gained great friends in the industry, and we’ve made nearly every mistake that’s possible to make. We learn from those mistakes and try to make our business better. While Ray handles the production and logistics side of our business, I’m tasked with marketing and sales distribution. I still clean the toilets on occasion too! We all do.
Melanie’s Answers –
1. I love the hands behind the work. There are hands of people that are the catalyst for beautiful architecture. Because all our products are handmade, I do my best to communicate the story of the hands in Mexico who have been following age-old artisan processes. We’ve improved our products and operations over the years, but we’ve maintained the integrity of the craftsmanship. And I love the people with whom I work every day.
2. My favorite hobby is spending time with my family. My kids are young enough to ‘want’ to play with me… so I’m relishing in that right now.
3. I actively volunteer at our church and through the Austin Dog Alliance. Max (below) and I are a certified therapy dog team. We read with kids in schools and visit residents of local assisted living centers. My kids join me with the assisted living visits which are a double treat for me
Chief of Cuddles & Bad Breath
Meet Max. You’ve seen him on multiple Instagram and Facebook posts. He’s been the resident caretaker in our office for 5 years. Max is a Bernese Mountain dog who comes to work every day. Should you be in the Austin area, stop by for a quick cuddle. His breath stinks, but he gives warm, friendly hugs. When someone is having a bad day, Max innately knows. He’s our in-house therapy dog and his favorite product here is our Cement Tile.
These are just a few of the Mexican tile experts that represent our company. Many others float in and out of our offices, warehouse, and factories. We consider each person – from sales, customer service, logistics, to production – as part of our Rustico family. God continues to bless us richly with our people.
Our office is located in Leander, Texas – just outside Austin. Consider this your personal invitation to pop in and say hello to the Mexican tile experts. If you need information about any of our products, give us a call or Request a Quote online.