A STANDARD SET IN STONE

BY RICK VILLA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

In custom homes, nothing is more elegant or adds more character than natural stone. In recent years, the number of stone distributors in DFW has doubled. Among all the masses, finding that perfect slab proves more and more difficult. Rising above all the confusion, a true gem has emerged: Zodiac Stone.

With over 50 years of combined experience, Zodiac Stone specializes in stocking the world’s finest natural stone. When asked what attracts him to this competitive landscape, co-owner John Mitchell says: “The hunt for the natural stone. This business is infectious; it gets in your blood. It’s high risk, high reward. We know our clients have a lot of options when it comes to purchasing natural stone. That is why we, literally, travel the extra mile to give them a product offering they could never find anywhere else.”

A large part of what sets Zodiac apart is its relationship with quarry owners and manufacturers. One such relationship is with Granitos Zucchi. Zucchi strengthens Zodiac’s reputation by supplying it with luxury marbles and coveted quartzite, such as Alexandrita. These materials and others like it are wildly popular with buyers. Like Zodiac, Zucchi prides itself on sourcing and offering the finest stone materials available.

“Zucchi has a rich heritage, is constantly innovating and invests millions in manufacturing stone,” Mitchell states. “Partners like Zucchi help separate us from other stone distributors. Our clients have grown accustomed to the way we think about our industry. Whether it is marble, quartzite or granite, they know when they walk into our warehouse they are in for a different type of buying experience. Unlike our competitors, our belief is that we are in the fashion industry, the ‘color business.’ We pay attention to trends even outside of our industry. This keeps us on the forefront of offering new products and the latest trends. I would rather be out of stock than have the wrong color tone.”

Zodiac knows itself and is aware of its identity in the market. “Too often we see that our competitors are trying to be all things to all people. The stone doesn’t discover itself, cut itself, ship itself or sell itself. For us, we hone our focus in on having the right rocks and the right people,” Mitchell explains.

Over the years, Mitchell has learned the key to success lies in his ability to align his clients’ needs with the reality of what Mother Nature can offer. This is why Zodiac goes to great lengths to inform, educate and explain each of the steps in the procurement and manufacturing process. From sourcing to installing, Zodiac wants its clients to be well informed. “We believe the more we involve our clients the better their experience will be,” Mitchell says. “Trust is key to our relationships and a must in how we operate our business.”

It is easy to understand how this modest stone distributor has been able to make such a great name for itself in a short period of time. Zodiac Stone is literally a gem and maybe DFW’s best kept secret among more discriminating clients of stone.

Rick Villa is a freelance writer based in Dallas.