Over the years I’ve racked up hundreds (perhaps thousands) of hours trolling the aisles of home shows, design shows and decor shows. While I do enjoy a good day out with my family, staring at all things home-related, I have to admit that very few things excite me anymore. It’s not that I don’t enjoy seeing a new product or a better service, it’s just so rare to find something that is so truly innovative that I am actually excited.
That changed this weekend. Despite the frigid temperatures in the Greater Toronto Area, my family and I ventured out to the GTA Home & Reno Show and as we strolled the aisles (playing more gatekeeper to my kids than anything else), I was struck by the beauty of one vendor’s display: petrified wood-stone sinks.
It’s the first time in years that I actually stopped to talk to the vendors. Julian Hlywa and his partner Deepak Paradkar didn’t start their careers as salesman. Julian is a custom homebuilder and Deepak is a lawyer. But these two professionals decided to team up and start a business importing these beautifully unique sinks to Canada under a year ago. They leased some warehouse space in Mississauga, trucked in 160 pieces and created a website. With little advertising and lots of word of mouth, they’re now down to half their original supply. “The product is just flying off the shelf,” says Julian. Deepak adds, “we really did end up running before we could walk with this venture.”
It’s little wonder. The pieces are absolutely stunning—and pictures just don’t bring the intricate blend of colours and the natural curvature of each unique piece. Perhaps that’s why one of their biggest steps is to get people to pay them a visit (either at a home show booth or in their open-to-the-public warehouse).
But like all uniquely beautiful home decor items, don’t expect the prices to be cheap. You may be able to find a small sink for $200, but most start at $400 and go up. When I was at their booth a double sink that played on gold and brown hues was selling for $2,400, while a stunning (and I mean STUNNING) black sink—from a piece of wood that was caught in a forest fire before the petrification process took hold—was selling for just under $2,500. Installation for the pieces starts at $200.
And did I mention, pictures just don’t do it justice? If you get a chance check out Julian and Deepak’s store. Online you can find them at Prehistoricstoneworks.com or call them (1-888-779-8414) to get their showroom address (did I mention that they haven’t even had time to finish creating their website? Address is missing as are other sections, although they do offer a select sample of all the petrified wood products you can purchase and your options aren’t limited to sinks).