The former Shipley’s Office Supply & Furniture location, which then briefly became W.B. Mason before closing, wasn’t empty long. Norwalk Tile and Marble opened a subdivision of the decorative custom designs business — Norwalk Interiors showroom.
The showroom is expected to officially open at the downtown Norwalk location, 10 N. Foster St., in about a month.
The showroom will offer a selection of tiles, marbles, carpets, hardwood floorings, vinyls, window treatments such as blinds and other design needs.
Owner Darrell Abner has been in the tiling business since about 1987 working for various companies and the area union before, along with his wife Liz, he decided to start his own business in the field in 1992. There’s been no looking back since then as the company grew, coming to be known for its quality work.
“This was the first show room we’ve had in several years,” Liz Abner said. “We used to have one about 15 or more years ago, but then we decided to do more commercial business than residential and that had us traveling a lot. Now that we’ve stopped traveling as much out of town or state and are back in the community, we’ve had a lot of our previous customers hounding us to get a show room again. This just worked out.”
Norwalk Tile and Marble housed their former showrooms in what is now Bob Evans and another on St. Mary’s Street.
The couple decided to expand their business beyond the tile and marble for their “higher-end clientele” that were interested in the other interior design needs.
“It’s mostly going to be current customers, there might be other people that just stop by,” Abner said.
“Mostly, though it’ll be clients and customers coming in (who) are already coming to us to see what we have and get ideas. They’ll be able to have more of a wide selection, but of course it’ll still be mostly tile — ceramics, porcelain, stone — but they’ll have the opportunity to get more.”
Abner said she believes keeping the it a family business has helped them to be successful, especially as they prepare their oldest two sons, Jason and Matthew, to take over the business.
“Darrell is pretty handy dandy in all sorts of construction type stuff and he’s learned a lot with estimating and that side of thing, all of which he’s passing on to our sons now,” she said.
The Abners’ youngest son, nephew and Darrell’s brother also help keep the business family-owned and operated.
“Experience and knowledge and reputation — all these years that’s what’s makes a difference,” she added.
In other business happenings...
Top honors for area destinations
Three destinations in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region recently earned national recognition for being the best of the best.
Port Clinton was named as one of the “Top 10 Most Affordable Lake Towns in 2018” by Realtor.com, while Cedar Point’s Lighthouse Point was named as the “Best RV Park” in Ohio by Reader’s Digest. Put-in-Bay also was named as the “Best Kept Secret” in Ohio by Reader’s Digest and the “Prettiest Town in Ohio” by ArchitecturalDigest.com.
According to Realtor.com, the “Top 10 Most Affordable Lake Towns” list was based on “places where there are plenty of well-priced and available homes, where property values are rising (so snagging a home will be a good investment) and there are plenty of fun things to do on or around the water.” Port Clinton was chosen due to its prime location on one of the Great Lakes, the influx of visitors during the summer, and wide variety of locally-owned shops, restaurants and more.
Across the bay in Sandusky, Cedar Point’s recently-expanded Lighthouse Point was named as the “Best RV Park” in Ohio, by Reader’s Digest. Located just steps away from Cedar Point, Cedar Point Shores and the mile-long Cedar Point Beach, Lighthouse Point features 120 full hook-up RV campsites, waterfront cottages, cabins and more. This year, the park introduced 25 new RV sites, complete with amenities such as a fire pit, Adirondack chairs, glider swing and more.
Put-in-Bay earned its accolades as “Best Kept Secret” and “Prettiest Town in Ohio” for its wide variety of family-friendly activities, local restaurants, history and more. This year, visitors can get a bird’s-eye view of the island thanks to the reopening of the observation deck of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.
Ohio in top 10 for student debt
With college students preparing for the fall semester and 10.7 percent of all student loans being 90 or more days delinquent or in default as of the first quarter of 2018, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2018’s states with the most and least student debt.
To determine the states that are friendliest toward student-loan debtors, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics. The data set ranges from average student debt to unemployment rate among the population aged 25 to 34 to share of students with past-due loan balances.
Ohio consistently placed in the top 15 states for each category and is the state with the fifth-highest student debt, following behind South Dakota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire). Below are some of Ohio’s scores from WalletHub’s full report:
Student debt in Ohio (1=most; 25=average.)
14th – Avg. student debt
9th – Proportion of students with debt
10th – Student debt as percent of income (Adjusted for cost of living)
13th – Unemployment rate of population aged 25 to 34
13th – Percent of student loans past due or in default
11th – Percent of student-loan borrowers aged 50 or older
15th – Availability of student jobs
19th – Availability of paid internships
26th – Grant growth
Employees for emergency response
COLUMBUS — CitizenAID of North America placed nearly 200 public treatment kits at John Glenn Columbus International Airport and Rickenbacker International Airport through its partnership with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.
Airport employees also have access to citizenAID’s online training courses to learn how to use the medical equipment found in the specialized wall cases to treat wounded people before help arrives. Additionally, citizenAID's free mobile app is advertised to airport visitors so that they too can learn how to use these life-saving kits. The courses and app were designed by emergency response experts with decades of experience.
“With citizenAID’s treatment kits and online training, we can help ensure that airport employees and visitors are equipped to react calmly and effectively in case of an emergency,” airport emergency preparedness coordinator JR Thomas said.
If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email it to [email protected]ctor.com.