PRECISE INSIGHTS: COREFIT ORTHOTICS®

Question: How should Corefit Orthotics® outfit their empty piece of prime real estate by a Santa Monica beach?

Answer: Fill it with sleek and engaging PreciseTM design elements that entice foot traffic and boost sales.

Read on to learn more about our work for the first retail location for a top provider of custom shoe inserts and meet Senior Designer Stephanie Spina to better understand what we do.

  

Transforming Your Life Through Your Feet

When the President of California Leather Jobbing approached Precise, he had a clear vision in mind. In order to bring that vision to life, Precise got to know the Corefit brand. And that’s exactly where we’re going to start – by diving into what makes Corefit tick.

Corefit Orthotics® has been doing its handcrafted thing since 1932. Their orthotics relieve lower back, knee, and foot pain to improve overall quality of life. Flat feet, too-high arches, and just plain old lack of proper support causes tendons and ligaments in the foot to fatigue over time. This in turn begins the “domino-effect of pain,” as Corefit describes it, wherein the body overcompensates for failing feet by overtaxing other limbs and muscles. This ultimately leads to prolonged aches that drain the body’s energy as a whole. Corefit®Self Moldable Shoe Inserts combat these symptoms at the source. Their website even aims for product transparency right off the bat by revealing their trade “secret”: “Orthotics and Arch Supports should be FIRM. If they’re jelly-like or soft, then that’s not SUPPORT. That’s cushioning [. . .].”

This approach holds the key to understanding Corefit Orthotics®, beyond color schemes and history lessons. Whatever Precise crafted needed to translate convenience and trust-worthy quality into a modern and inviting retail environment.

Precise Goes to the Beach

That’s where Precise stepped in (pun intended). Stephanie Spina, a talented Senior Designer, spearheaded the project in three stages: a window perf full of promise (i.e. “Coming Soon”), laying out and designing the space in its entirety, and providing signage for an outdoor show booth. Each stage involved a heavy stack of sign pages, which detailed everything from colors and materials to fabrication and installation instructions. Junior Designer Rob Sandoval provided assistance. Rob reports that Stephanie’s goal was to produce a smoothly transitioning project and – at the very end – an ecstatic client.

This required direct collaboration with the CLJ President, who Stephanie found open and decisive. The President was no hands-off leader; He was eager to see if we could turn his vision into a reality. Spoiler Alert: We can and we did.

Maria Pinho, our Lead Account Coordinator, revealed some of the President’s vision. He desired the Tesla showroom effect, i.e. a modern, museum-like space. The product needed to be showcased – even going so far as to be flashy – and Corefit’s work comprehensible. After all, this isn’t your standard “try-on” retailer.

By the end, our team had laid out the store with fresh décor and millwork including: wallpaper, shelves, cabinets, desks, banners, decorative pieces, lighting fixtures, display podiums, and various prints.

Fairytale Endings, Meet Interior Design

Stephanie and Rob were attentive to all facets of the CLJ President’s vision, so not only was the Corefit brand fully developed in the space, but Precise was proudly represented in our work.

INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS: HOSPITALITY

The What and the Why

Societal and cultural trends have a way of demanding change in the industries around them. The hospitality sector is no exception.

2018 has ushered forth a slew of new interior design trends for hotels, driving renovations and new building projects alike. These changes are derived largely from the interests of Gen-X and millennial guests, who also make up the majority of business travelers – a key demographic and source of revenue for hotels. The end goal remains consistent across sub-trends and influences: a unique, personalized, and memorable experience.

The following list details pivotal design trends, many of which will likely carry on well into the following years.

  1. The Tech-Savvy Demand Tech-Access

This one hardly comes as a surprise to the current consuming populace. With a large portion of work and play dependent on electronic devices, tech-savvy guests seek convenience and accessibility to stay plugged in. Plentiful outlets and USB charging ports must be present in each room. The trick for designers lies either in incorporating these elements visibly into standard features of the room, such as headboards, or hiding charging stations and outlets behind subtle covers in desks and nightstands.

This trend extends to the accessibility of multiple and various ports on display devices for guests. Digital entertainment is consumed on-demand and hotel amenities strive to match the convenience of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now. Any extra wires, however, should be concealed from immediate view by design teams.

Some good news for designers revolves around the newest technology to hit the hospitality scene. Smart hotels feature personalized tablets capable of adjusting everything from room temperature and lighting to food service orders. Apps like OpenKey offer a keyless/cardless solution to guestroom entry. Internet connectivity continues to develop as Li-Fi threatens to replace Wi-Fi with the ease and convenience of web access through lights. No extra wires and cords – just easy accessibility.

Smart hotels further strut their technological stuff by removing reception areas and replacing traditional processes with online and iPad check-in. This comes with the added benefit of additional lobby space for designers to play with. Extra space is then, of course, best utilized in showcasing various other trends.

  1. Communal Spaces

Millennials in particular love to take advantage of open, public spaces, which provide opportunities for both social connection and professional networking. This affects hotel spaces upfront as competitors vie for open concept lobbies that leave plenty of room for easy guest interactions. This marks a definitive shift away from strictly professional and functional to warm and inviting living spaces.

For designers, a balance between luxury and functionality must be struck to achieve truly dynamic co-living spaces. Lounge areas transform with the addition of workstations and office features while simultaneously maintaining an atmosphere of comfortable spaciousness (not to mention sofas).

  1. Millennials Called It – Less is More

Minimalism is on the rise in interior design. Communal spaces take precedence over guestrooms as the generations now dominating the travel-heavy demographic spend less and less time in their rented space. This in turn results in bare essential requirements in the guestroom itself over bonus luxury furniture. While guests now desire additional charging stations, they DON’T crave extra couches, closets, and dressers.

For hoteliers, this means downsized living spaces, which in turn creates the opportunity for more rooms per floor. Meanwhile, designers are tasked with finding solutions to maximizing a personalized feel in a decreased amount of space. Handmade elements in the décor, mix-and-match textures and patterns, and whimsical styles leave plenty of wiggle room for mashing minimal with unique. And don’t forget – monochrome and terracotta color palettes are biggies this year, as well as metallic elements.

  1. Biophilic Design

The theory of biophilia proposes that humans possess an innate tendency to seek out nature and other forms of life. And what better way to tap into environmental awareness and wellness trends than with the inclusion of nature and natural elements?

Designers can achieve true biophilic design by incorporating an abundance of plants, running water, and re-purposed wood, metals, and stone. To be more specific, natural architectural patterns, vertical and walled indoor-gardens, preserved moss panels, indoor waterfalls, wooden furnishings, and multilevel terraces have soared in popularity for hospitality-centered interiors.

Natural views, where accessible, do much of the work for designers with the simple addition of optimally placed windows. Hotels with stunning views, especially those over water, charge more per night for even an indirect exposure to nature, benefiting hoteliers with additional revenue right off the bat.

Guests want to see authentic green and the result for hotels who capitalize on this desire include better air quality, reduced stress, lower energy costs, and a surplus of favorable feedback from visitors. Communal spaces with an abundance of plant life see more foot traffic to boot. The positives far outweigh the additional upkeep plant life requires.

As an extension of biophilic design, energy conservation methods have been on the rise. Hotels that boast eco-friendly, sustainable practices ensure positive reception from guests. Natural light, solar panels, recycled and organic materials, and locally handcrafted furniture and décor all feed into an environmentally conscious atmosphere. These additions also provide further opportunity to showcase local artisans, which happens to be our next trend.

  1. Crafting a Localized Experience

Generic elements are being pushed out the door. Guests emphasize the value of “experiencing”  their travel destination over having access to luxury within it.

One way to achieve an immersive and personalized experience is by featuring local artists within lobby and hotel room designs. Showcasing local products and art exposes hotel visitors to the surrounding area in a unique and memorable way. This design tactic veers away from cookie-cutter recommendations and features. For urban-based businesses, there’s room to toss in graffiti and street art. The added personality of a spray-painted wall sets a scene far beyond the capabilities of standardized wallpaper.

One-of-a-kind pieces introduce an originality factor that are singularly unique to a specific location. The point here is local immersion, which in turn paves the way toward rave reviews and return customers.

INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS: MONOCHROME

The What and the Why

2018 has seen the rise of monochrome palettes. This stylistic choice layers shades of the same color for a calming, minimalist interior. The pay off for the sheer discipline this requires is an air of clean sophistication.

For Example

The Wireless Experience in Manahawkin, NJ dropped a multi-colored interior concept in favor of the timeless sophistication of monochrome. The multi-functionality of the neutral-toned palette leaves the business and owner comfortable room for sustained professionalism, no matter where their work leads.

The strict boundaries of a monochrome style still leave room for unique expression. Precise, the business behind the designs, incorporated complimentary decor that left a big impact on the space without detracting from a minimal feel. Bold, enlarged lettering covers the walls. Sleek, modern lighting fixtures both illuminate and impress from above. Wall-to-ceiling graphics sit comfortably within the guidelines of their palette, neither distracting nor forgettable. Every piece fits in its environment while retaining personality and creativity.

PRECISE INSIGHTS: ZONE DEFENSE, INC.

Precise tackles projects of all kinds: big, small, local, and national, from franchises to private businesses and singular spaces to expansive store floors. Another facet of our business, however, is collaboration. So when Zone Defense sought an extra hand on a millwork job at the Harborside office complex in Jersey City, Precise was more than happy to join in.

Read on to meet the President of Zone Defense and our very own Production Manager. And don’t forget to peek at those jaw-dropping finish photos. They truly demonstrate the value of professional dedication, if I do say so myself.

“A State-of-the-Art Quality & Client-Driven Business”

Zone Defense is a wood-working company, founded in 1942 in New Jersey and complete with a multi-generational family background. George Mandas stands as the forefront of the company today, having donned the presidential mantel back in 1990. Time has altered the age-old business aspirations for expansion. Under George’s presidency, Zone Defense actually scaled back. They turned their attention away from “more, more, more”. The focus instead moved toward increased variety and fresh challenges in their work and Tri-state client base.

This touches on what makes Zone Defense special, a unique snowflake in the bustling world of millwork, if you will. George explains that his business maintains an edge over the competition through “number one, our dedication and our involvement in the project”. Rather than sit back in his office, George becomes personally involved in every job. This, and an overall emphasis on quality, has earned Zone Defense a foundation of trust at the base of all their client relationships.

Creating a Space that Stops Visitors in their Tracks

As explained by George, the company produces far more than cabinets and desks. Their furnishings extend to teller lines, bandit barriers, and millwork (oh my!). With their ambitious will to overcome fresh challenges in mind, Zone Defense took on a highly complex and detailed project for Harborside in Jersey City. This project took millwork from their list of professional know-how and added an additional dash of creativity and “wow” factor to the mix.

That’s all a bit vague, I know, so allow me to elaborate. The job specifically required designing the ground-level entrance to a tenant space at Harborside. The client needed the design to leave a strong impression on visitors. George immediately set out with his team to plan a hallway they wouldn’t soon forget.

The only snag was he had to do it quickly. Tthe assignment grew into a rush job with a sort of soft opening party looming in the near future.

Joining Forces

As the project moved forward, George realized he needed to recruit extra hands to meet client deadlines and produce the quality Zone Defense prides itself on. He found that assistance in Precise, collaborating with our team on designs, mock-ups, engineering and technical planning, and physical manufacturing. It should come as no surprise that our two companies made an excellent team. Our Production Manager, Kevin Strohl, personally mirrored some of George’s top business values. When asked what his personal goals were for our work with Zone Defense, Kevin reported that he aimed for, “precision, time, and quality.” Match = made.

Both George and Kevin described the project as complex and highly detailed. Roughly 800 pieces of plywood, provided by Zone Defense, passed through the hands of both companies’ warehouse teams. The millwork design that would eventually cover an entire wall and most of the ceiling in the entrance hall included many, many pieces (as you can see above). Kevin described the project as “a massive puzzle”. He added with relief that the Precise engineering department did an excellent job, thus ensuring the process ran as smoothly as possible.

Kevin specifically credits Paul Clymer, an Engineer here at Precise, as an important piece of our success. George seconded that commendation with one of his own. Paul worked closely with George’s own drafting expert, Jeff, to make Zone Defense’s client’s dreams transform into tangible reality. Those nearly daily conversations contributed to the fantastic levels of communication that smoothed the way toward the job’s completion.

Don’t we all Love a Happy Ending?

Precise manufactured the ceiling and top section of the wall while Zone Defense handled all the rest. After Precise assisted with the delivery, Zone Defense spent 3 days straight installing the designs on-site. With hardly two hours of break time in-between, George and his team walked away from a fully completed plaza space, leaving their thrilled clientele behind.

And that, dear readers, concludes yet another professional venture.

 

PRECISE INSIGHTS: VERSATILE STRANDS SALON & SPA

Precise brings creative vision and bold design to every client, no matter the scale or project at hand. While we travel to and work with businesses all over the country, we love opportunities to focus on Lehigh Valley community brands. We got just that chance with Versatile Strands Salon & Spa in Bethlehem, PA. Read on to meet Rosie Rebimbas, hair stylist and business owner, as well as Maria Pinho from our own Precise family. Most importantly, get the scoop on a graphics and millwork experience closer to home.

Even a quick glance at Versatile Strands’ official Facebook page reveals much: a steady 5-star rating, over a thousand faithful followers, and more than two thousands samples of the professional team’s stunning results. For a better understanding of the business and the passion poured into their daily work, we reached out to the salon’s owner, Rosie Rebimbas.

First, Some Background

Just over a decade ago, Versatile Strands hit Bethlehem’s East 3rd Street with a bang. Rosie happily remarked that “time goes so fast when you love what you do”. That love is what led her down the path of cosmetology school, where she received her license in 1997. That’s 21 years of valuable experience, not counting the experience she gained in childhood. She told Precise that she styled her own hair as a young girl. She began self-training in her craft by practicing haircuts on her younger cousins. Laughing, she added, “Those poor boys”. Hey, they contributed to the noble cause of her styling dreams, so it all worked out for the best.

Spa – Salon – Skin Care Service

With so many customers leaving raving reviews online, we couldn’t help but ask Rosie what drives her business model and her team. She expresses pride not only in keeping up on the beauty industry’s latest trends, but also in a close-knit staff and the above-and-beyond service they’re able to provide together:

“Our main focus is to always stay on top of the latest trends and techniques. I have the most amazing girls on my team. We can truly say that we are sisters. What’s better than going to work every day to hang out with your best friends and make our guests beautiful all day? We don’t just give them great hair. When they visit, they get a whole experience – the crazy conversation, the roasting between each other, and free therapy sessions. It’s always a great time.”

As a woman who stands as a sister and a leader, Rosie even supports her staff beyond their present responsibilities. Naturally, she aspires to continue growing her business, but she aims to help her team grow as well. “Their talent is incredible and eventually I would love to have them become educators and chase their dreams,” she says.

How Precise Stepped In

Our Lead Account Coordinator, Maria Pinho, was more than happy to recommend Precise when her longtime friend sought to improve the ascetic of Versatile Strands. The project was smooth sailing on both ends, leaving an ecstatic Rosie with fully customized furnishings. Maria explained that the goal for this project was to capture a sense of high functionality in every piece.

The assigned team set to familiarizing themselves with the beauty industry to create both visual and functional representations of Rosie’s business concept in roughly one month’s time, from design through installation. Rosie expresses widespread satisfaction with our work. She says, “Our guests are in shock when they walk through our doors. The compliments are nonstop. I’m happy to say the salon’s design finally compliments our work.” Precise achieved convenience and an improved work flow to boot, with Rosie reporting that the new furnishings “[have] made our appointments run smoother and [they] gave the salon that industrial glam appearance we were looking for. Our expectations are beyond met”.

At Precise, we aim for bulls-eye accuracy when tackling our clients’ business space dreams; We wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less.

PRECISE INSIGHTS: GANDER OUTDOORS

Entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis, a partial owner of Precise, recently acquired Gander Outdoors and has thus marked an ambitious new stage of growth for the company. Now these two businesses – recognized separately for their intrinsic value by the same man – have joined forces to tackle the needs of the outdoorsman in all of us.

Read on for a peek at Gander Outdoors through the eyes of Manager John Keefe. Then, meet Junior Designer Stephanie Sam for some personal insight on our work in his store.

 

Presenting (Drum Roll Please) John Keefe

Gander Outdoors, as you might easily infer, is an outdoor retailer. Their locations are spread generously across the eastern half of the U.S.. We’re zeroing in on Greenfield, IN, and a new store that opened in March to an eager community of fellow Hoosiers. That brings us to John Keefe, who stepped into the world of Gander Outdoors retail management in September of 2017.

Despite joining the company after Marcus Lemonis added it to his illustrious collection of investments, John is savvy to the changes the Lemonis style of leadership brought with it. John notes that a refreshing dose of transparency trickles down from the top of the company. This creates an open and upfront atmosphere. It’s easy to imagine the trust and loyalty such practices inspire in an age of faceless, corporate machines.

 

 Welcome to Greenfield, Indiana

Far from the trappings of intense corporate landscapes, Gander’s Greenfield location finds itself nestled in a rural community, a detail John attributes to the unique experience their store has to offer. Their customers “were raised outdoors,” lending a more “down-home feel” to all interactions. As a member of the community, this manager knows his customers and staff personally. John claims this fuels his sense of pride in the store.

Greenfield’s Gander truly promotes an outdoor-friendly space filled with knowledgeable enthusiasts. John tells Precise, “If we sell it, my family and I are involved in it”. He drives that point home in the online introduction to his store:

“As Hoosiers we share common bonds: deer camps in November, miles and miles of mountain bike trails, and of course all the great bass and crappie fishing throughout the state. Some of my favorite memories are of spending time with friends and family doing these very things across our great state.”

 

Stephanie & The Precise Mission

Precise sought to capture this personable yet passionate atmosphere in our design and installation. According to John, we hit the nail on the head, beating the projected time frame to provide customers with the complete Gander experience by the grand opening. John claims these efforts paved the way for smoother customer traffic, as our team worked seamlessly around staff and customers from the soft opening on. (I’m just about done patting everyone on the back, I promise.)

This smoother traffic ties into the goals of one of our Junior Designers. Stephanie Sam explains that her job is to place the Precise-customized stencils, murals, and signs into the greater layout of individual stores. She does so with a direct and immediate purpose: to provide a way-finding guide for Gander’s customers.

Beyond a highly organized set-up, John notes that the stores look brighter, more open, and inviting to all. The graphics at Gander Outdoors steer away from the taxidermy of other outdoor franchises, but tell a better story. “It’s about several businesses here, not just one,” John explains. Stephanie agrees, going further to add that, “We try to capture what all those different brands and activities are about”. Her job, after all, is to arrange the graphics into coherent scenes.

While Stephanie doesn’t have John’s personal connection to Greenfield, she has become very familiar with Gander Outdoors. Individual stores may be unique, but they remain a cohesive piece of a greater company. She’s become well-practiced in finding that balance, claiming that she’s comfortable meeting the company’s expectations.

As Precise continues working with Gander Outdoors, we aim to leave every store as happy and satisfied as Greenfield, IN.

A CELEBRATION OF THE ARTS: MAYFAIR, 2018

Precise prides itself on a staff of individuals who draw creative inspiration from a wide range of backgrounds and influences. The MayFair Festival of the Arts host an expansive appreciation for all forms of expression. It stands as a weekend reminder of the diversity and creative ingenuity that drives us, along with the rest of the Lehigh Valley.

More than 30 years of tradition meets artistic evolution at the MayFair Festival of the Arts, this year to be held at Cedar Crest College. Featuring more than 100 local artisans, visitors will find sculpture, fine art, photography, jewelry, woodwork, pottery, and more to admire and even take home the final weekend of May.

And don’t worry if your stomach starts a-rumbling; Pairing art and cuisine will be a breeze with the slew of food vendors making a temporary home on campus.

 

Beyond the Artist Market

Vendor hotspot aside, a variety of live performances promises to delight visitors. Bands from the rocking Lucky 7 to the rhythmic Go Go Gadget will grace the RCN and St. Luke’s stages, not to mention multiple shows from mainstays like the Little Brass Band of the Lehigh Valley. If supporting our community’s schools is your game, the Dieruff High School Jazz Band will even be making an appearance.

For crowds with more than a musical inclination, Queen’s English will roam the Artist Market grounds for laughs. The Civic Theater will even be presenting Shrek Jr. You can find a handy schedule on the Cedar Crest College website for all the weekend’s performances, prepped and ready for your eager perusal.

A Cedar Crest Exclusive

As if art, music, theater, and food weren’t enough, the William F. Curtis Arboretum offers an experience unique to this year’s host. Arboretum walking tours will be given to the first 50 people to register each day. These tours will be given at the competitive price of $0 per entry. The campus arboretum boasts more than 150 tree species from around the world. Tours focus attention on the role of trees in both the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania’s history and environments. With immersion in nature providing a tried and true connection to creativity and artistic inspiration, it’s an event that offers much to casual artists and professionals alike.

And where would we be without our youth?

For our fellow worker bees looking for family fun in the spring, here’s one last tip: Keep those creative juices flowing with the whole family by taking advantage of Franki’s Fun Zone for Kids and the Kids’ Art Tent. For those unfamiliar, Franki stands as the official mascot of Cedar Crest College Athletics. He’s bringing inflatables, arts and crafts, pony rides, a rock wall, and more to the Lehigh Valley’s doorstep. Meanwhile, the Allentown’s very own Baum School of Arts will host kid projects Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 27th.

Don’t forget, all this entertainment, not to mention all the inspiration sure to follow you back to work on Monday, is free. So why miss it? I know I’ll be there.

NEW PROJECT FOR FORMER NFL CORNERBACK TY LAW

We are excited to be working with former NFL star Ty Law on his new Launch Trampoline Park.

Watch the NFL featured video on former NFL star Ty Law in his new career as owner and franchisor of Launch Trampoline Park. Life-After-Football-Ty-Law

PRECISE™ IS A LEHIGH VALLEY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR FINALIST

We are proud to announce that Precise™ is a finalist in the 2015 Lehigh Valley Business of the Year.

The stage is set to honor the outstanding companies and executives of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

The prestigious Business of the Year Awards are designed to give for-profit companies and executives the recognition they deserve for creating jobs, contributing to the community and bolstering the region economically.

To see the complete list of nominations please visit the lvb.com website.

The Profit Season 3 featured Precise™

We are featured on Season 3 of CNBC’s Nationally Syndicated Show “The Profit,” host and entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis. If you haven’t had a opportunity to see the show please feel free to watch the Precise™ episode now on CNBC’s website.