Beauty from Ashes

Phoenix Surfaces provides quality stone for quality homes

Article by Savannah Vasquez

Photography by Alyssa Turner Photography

Originally published in Destin City Lifestyle

Sometimes life gives you lemons, and other times it throws stones at you; that’s where Angela Rissi got the idea for her custom countertop company Phoenix Surfaces. Her motto is, ‘When life throws stones, we make countertops!’ 

“Phoenix means, rising from the ashes, and I went through a hardship in my life that I never thought I was going to go through,” Angela said. “I was devastated, but I realized who I was, and I decided to do what I knew how to do with stone, and that’s how the name and the business came about.” 

Angela, born to a large, loving, loud, and always laughing family in Brazil. In 1990, Angela came to the United States with many dreams and aspirations in her luggage. From working in the cleaning industry, volunteering at the American Red Cross, and taking cosmetology classes to co-founding the Brazilian Catholic community of Worcester, MA and working in a hair salon; she has done it all.

Angela has been in the custom countertop business for 18 years and she knows her stone. From granite and marble to quartzite and quartz, she knows where each slab comes from and how it’s produced.  

“A lot of people don’t realize that it’s a long and hard process for that stone to come into your house,” she said. “Most of the natural stone comes from Brazil. They literally explode the mountain, cut the slab, polish the slab, ship it overseas, cut it again, give it a final polish, and bring to your house.” 

When it comes to her favorite material for a home, Angela said her passion is the pure natural stone.   

“What I like about natural stone is that it is like a fingerprint, it will never be the same twice,” she said. “Mother nature makes the best art. We sell countertops, but I always tell my customers that we are putting a piece of art in the kitchen, bathroom or fireplace.” 

If there is one thing Angela is more passionate about than creating beautiful countertops, it’s her sons; Vinny and Felipe. Both are now living in California, following their own passions into their careers, and Angela said she couldn’t be prouder.  

“I have two beautiful boys, they are my pride,” she said. “One thing that makes me happy is seeing that my boys grew to become good human beings. My oldest is working in T.V. production, and my younger son is a musician. Even though they are adults now, they know if they need me, I will be on the next flight I can get.” 

Now an empty nester, Angela said she puts her time and energy into her business. Her dedication to quality workmanship and customer service shows, as her clients refer her to their friends time and again.  

At Phoenix Surfaces, the customers are like family, and some of the employees are quite literally family. Angela is so proud of her team. Each one of them play an important role.

“Everyone on our team is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about what we do and will be happy to guide you in selecting the right stone for your countertops," Anglea said. "Choosing countertops is something very personal. We sell all countertops that we can make from slabs, but I always want to be true to myself and my customers. I want to make sure you make a selection based on what you love and what you can afford. I love what I do, it’s really my passion.” 

"I always want to be true to myself and my customers. I want to make sure you make a selection based on what you love and what you can afford," said Angela Rissi. 

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