Central Arizona Supply’s Jeremy Smith talks about the company’s new Phoenix showroom.

Jeremy Smith at The Studio, which held its grand opening in May. Photo courtesy of Central Arizona Supply

The Studio at Central Arizona Supplyhas seven showrooms spanning from Scottsdale, Ariz., to Las Vegas. The company’s newest showroom, located in the central Phoenix corridor, presents a mixture of cutting-edge décor and hands-on functionality for customers. Showroom DirectorJeremy Smith, the driving force behind the project, recently chatted with Supply House Times about the ins and outs of the 10,000-sq.-ft. facility.

Supply House Times: You've had your eye on the Phoenix area for awhile. What is desirable about this location?

JS:We have wanted to open something in Phoenix proper for quite a few years. The light rail (train system) was constructed here about five years ago. That has helped to push more people back into the city center, which has created more remodeling and infill projects. Central Arizona Supply is geared toward the remodeling business with our diverse inventory.

What was one of your main goals with the showroom?

JS:The idea was to have a natural showroom where all the products speak for themselves. If you have a vignette, is someone going to say, “Oh my gosh! I love all of this. I want everything here?” It usually never happens. The idea is you can move anything you want. You can go grab a sink off the wall and bring it to the faucet you want. We have individual hardware on Plexiglass. We have created a library of sorts.

You come from a retail background. How did that influence the look of the showroom?

JS:My philosophy is a showroom should be mobile. Nothing bolted to the ground or too permanent. The layout of this store will change at least once a year. We get a lot of builders and designers coming in on a consistent basis. People will come in and things will be in different places, which will allow people to see things they may have never seen before. I also wanted the showroom to feel like home. I didn’t want florescent lights or bright spotlights. I wanted things to be inviting and warm. It’s elegant, but not stuffy.

You went back to your hometown in Illinois to get materials for the counter architecture?

JS:We have a large showroom counter with an architectural wave coming up over it, which is made of barn wood. I went back to where our family is from in Illinois (Camp Point) and my uncle and I tore down a barn that was about to fall down. I love making old things become new in a contemporary way.

You give a lot of credit to your peers in this industry in helping you with this project…

JS:A lot of vendors from Luxury Products Group (Central Arizona Supply is a member) have supported me. It’s expensive to do a showroom and Phoenix was not unaffected by the economic downturn. No way would I have been able to do something like this without the support of this group. Being able to talk to others in our group and get ideas, you can’t buy advice like that.