Lifestyle reached out to businesspeople all over South Florida—in categories ranging from retail and real estate to medical and automotive—and asked three questions: How did COVID-19 and the shutdown impact your business; how did you position your business in the interim; how will experiencing this unprecedented pandemic change the way you conduct business moving forward. Today, we check in with Scavolini USA, which has a showroom based in Coral Gables.
Creative director/brand ambassador, Scavolini USA
Business backstory: Scavolini USA is the sister company of Scavolini S.P.A., Italy’s largest manufacturer of kitchens, bathrooms and closets. Its Coral Gables showroom gives clients a unique opportunity to see selections and samples in person before they are built and imported.
The impact: “For the safety of our employees and our clients, we have temporarily closed our showroom in Coral Gables, as well as in New York City and Las Vegas. We’ve been unable to meet with clients in person, so we’ve pivoted our business to be completely digital at this time—with interactive online presentations and project walkthroughs.”
In the interim: “Our skilled team of designers has created an ‘at-home measuring guide’ to provide easy step-by-step directions for clients to get rough measurements that the team uses to build 3D design models of the client’s kitchen, bathroom, closet or wall unit. We are then using a variety of apps to connect with clients [virtually] and walk them through the renderings.”
The future: “This unprecedented time has highlighted the importance of human connection. Thanks to technology, we are able to continue connecting with clients and keep business running. But I believe that after this experience, a personal connection between our designers and our clients will be even more important than before. … For Scavolini, this personal connection is made through a client being able to feel a countertop’s texture, smell an Italian coffee served during a presentation, see the colors and reflections of cabinets and surfaces, hear the sound of mixed voices with good music in the background, and taste a croissant during a long meeting to perfect the project. This is what runs the business, and this is what human nature is about. It’s about an experience that relies on ‘primitive’ instincts that virtual reality can’t replace.”