IRON-WILLED

BY RICK VILLA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

In just 17 years’ time, it’s easy to see why Elegante Iron has become such a reputed fixture in the world of wrought iron: The work speaks for itself. Elegante is the name, and the company’s dedication to elegance is clear; 146 DSD the design and production of smart, refined custom doors, lighting solutions and railings, start to finish, is really the game. Without a doubt, owner Jenny Sandlin’s sustained success is not accidental. When asked why, she is quick to explain the answer is not one size fits all. “Our quality and craftsmanship, plus the functionality and durability of our products, as well as our customer service and impeccable reputation, are what set us apart,” she says.

The artisans and master craftsmen at Elegante Iron are all factory trained and have been with the company for years. This helps the business reduce the need to outsource work while maximizing earning potential and maintaining overhead. By keeping everything in-house, not only can the company make sure a client’s vision for a project is fully realized and hands on, but it can offer additional measures for quality control and attention to detail.

“If I had to choose one aspect that affects everything else, I would say it is our attention to detail throughout the creative process,” Sandlin says. “This attention to detail from the design process to construction and installation is why our products have become the first choice for high-end custom builders who put quality and durability first.”

Sandlin goes on to explain the company’s production and installation process: “We service the units from beginning to end. We deliver and install the products at the job sites. We then carefully cover the units to prevent damages during construction. At the end of the construction phase, we will make a return visit to glaze, weather-strip and touch up, if necessary. Upon installation, we make sure that the final product in the home represents the quality that we stand for.”

The team’s skill and experience has made it possible for the company to expand beyond just new homes. This is where Elegante’s ability to adapt and refine really shines. Existing homes hold a lot of memories, and the team is able to work with families to bring updated designs to their homes’ entryways.

The years of top-rated customer service have given Elegante an A+ rating with the BBB for the last 17 years, and it is also a member in good standing with the HBA and other local institutions in the industry.

Founded on September 5, 2001, just days away from a turning point in American history, Elegante Iron started with a vision to provide highend, quality products to Dallas luxury homebuilders. “We were only six days away from 9/11, one of the most turbulent, horrific events in recent history,” Sandlin says. “I remember the appointments that I had set up that day, who I saw and the reactions of my clients as the news came in that we were under attack.”

It was a difficult time to start a business, but Sandlin knew she had to push through. Her relentless perseverance paid off. “With only one computer, one file cabinet and working out of my home—no catalog, no business plan, no product to show my builders—I sold $90,000 and had the funding I needed to set up my business,” Sandlin proudly remembers.

When asked about the future of Elegante, Sandlin is quick to mention the Lexington line, and her sleek, modern lighting solutions. “The Lexington line features beautifully crafted, simple divided light units that offer precision and skilled craftsmanship while providing unparalleled functionality,” she says. “Simple, clean lanterns or a chic chandelier for your overhang is a foolproof recipe for smart and simple sophistication for your curb appeal.”

The transitional, strong, contemporary lines of the Lexington series is what most interior designers, architects and homeowners want to complement the clean, minimal look that is often sought after by younger professionals building their first custom homes or the full spectrum of individuals with an inherent eye for design or appreciation for art.

Elegante clearly has no plans to slow down. The company continues to create fine handcrafted products while working hard to maintain its family-friendly atmosphere. “Many of our customers know how hands-on and passionate I am about my work, but many do not realize that we are a small family-run business,” Sandlin says. “While we have grown over the years and experience more success year after year, we have chosen to never let go of the core values that helped to get us here: being honest, following through with what you say, and always putting God and family first.”

Rick Villa is a freelance writer based in Dallas.