Artists taking hard approach to business
J&MLifestyles in Randolph use concrete as a medium
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Business name : J&M Lifestyles LLC, 215 Route 10 E., Building 3 Unit 3, Randolph
Phone: (973) 668-5057
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday
Web site: www.jmlifestyles.com
Michelle Radley and Jeff Kudrick are a pair of artists producing “functional art” using concrete as a medium. Their products include bar tops, countertops, vanities, sinks, shower surrounds, wall panels and unique furniture.
Why do clients choose you: “We are a custom, high-end fabricator and we are getting a lot of inquiries for our products because they will last,” said Radley, who is president of the firm. “What is different about concrete is that it is totally design specific and customizable.”
“We give the client something they can appreciate,” said Kudrick who serves as product manager and who won two top prizes at a recent trade show. “Concrete can take any form. It’s very high strength and you can mix in various stones. It’s very versatile.”
“By the time someone comes to us they have already chosen concrete as their medium. They want something they just don’t see out there, so why not take it a step further and give them what they really want,” Radley added. “We give everyone a chance to let their imaginations run and don’t place any limits on them.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job: “Finding people who appreciate what we do,” Kudrick said. “We deal with a lot of artisans. Nothing is mass-produced here. When you find someone who understands what goes into our work, that’s what makes it worthwhile.”
Cost: “It depends on many factors but generally the price runs between $100 and $120 per square foot,” Kudrick said.
What is the most unique piece you’ve done: “It would have to be an artistic interpretation of the Chrysler building into a coffee table,” Radley said. “My great grandfather was in the sheet-metal union and he put the eagle heads up on the building itself.
“Inspired by my family’s connection with the building’s history, coupled with a love for art deco and its architecture, we created a table that encompasses our ability to use concrete, optics, wood, metal and glass. It took about a year from design to fabrication to get all the pieces of the table perfected.”
Advice for entrepreneurs: “Be prepared for a lot of learning curves and be prepared to work a lot of hours. If you don’t love it, don’t bother,” said Kudrick.
“Jeff is half-artist and half-engineer,” Radley said. “That’s a good combination. If you are going to have a partner, make sure his skills complement your own.”