Sandra Sokol and her husband, Mark, were looking for a business where they could use both of their individual skills. With her background in design and his in installation, Closets by Design was the perfect fit.
A franchise with 52 locations across the U.S. and Canada, Closets by Design has been in business since 1982. Through the last five years, they’ve been rated one of the top 100 franchises.
The Sokols have owned Closets by Design of Nashville for more than 14 years. Besides closets, they offer organizational designs for garages (including garage flooring), home offices, craft rooms, entertainment centers, laundry rooms, pantries and mudrooms.
“We do organization units for any space in your home,” Sandra says.
Their products are also somewhat different from their competitors. It’s a much more substantial product that is floor-based (instead of a wall-hung system that may look great at the time but may not function well or hold up years down the road.)
They put a huge focus on customer service. “We want to take care of our customers. If something isn’t perfect, we’ll fix it,” Sandra says. “We go out of our way to make sure, in the end, the customer is happy.” There is also a lifetime warranty.
Closets by Design does all of the installations, so it’s a one-stop-shop. When finished, the installers will clean and vacuum the space so it’s ready to be used immediately.
Recently, they designed and installed a functional and luxurious 10-by-10 master walk-in closet in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. The homeowners chose their "classic premium" package, which is a nice upgrade, in a caramel applewood grain. They put in a tilt-out hamper, lots of drawers, some long hang (which allows for dresses) and some double hang (which provides two tiers of clothing for shorter items), a tie rack, shelves for clothing, shoes and other items, and bridge shelves. This install took 1 1/2 days, but the amount of time can vary depending on what each client wants.
Other options are different types of shelving for shoes, like tilted shelves, and numerous drawer inserts, such as velvet and Lucite jewelry trays and sunglasses and watch trays. They can also install pin racks, belt racks, valet rods and all kinds of hooks for scarves, handbags, ball caps and even toys in a child’s closet. Flat walls and design walls can have accessories tucked into the grooves. Lighting can also be installed.
When a customer calls the office, they schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, which often takes place within 24 hours. The first thing a designer does is walk into the space with the customer to find out what is and isn't working and what to focus on.
“Our designers are well-trained to know what’s going to be the most functional design for the space, but they also base the design on what the customer’s interest and wants might be,” Sandra says.
They basically bring a showroom on wheels to the home, which consists of a mini closet, color samples and other types of samples and pictures. They start out with a great template, and customers can then add options from the a la carte menu. This way, they can pick and choose what is most important to them while staying within their budget.
In one sitting, which takes about 1 1/2 to two hours, they can design, measure and price the entire space. Once the plan is finalized and ready to go, an appointment can then be made for the installation date.
“What we want our customers to understand is that it’s not just a job for us,” Sandra says. “It really is something that we love doing, and we enjoy being in this business.”