Local business owners and mother-daughter team Jill and Sierra Flores talked for years about starting a family business. They were looking for one they could be passionate about that would also incorporate their talents and most importantly create a legacy for Sierra to carry on in the future. After doing a lot of research they discovered the ideal company in the Closet Factory. It was unique because it was a franchise with a reputation for excellence nationally and many of its local owners were legacies made up of families running the business together and passing it down.
“There is something special about multi-generational family-owned businesses where parents work side-by-side with their children to create a legacy for future generations,” says Jill.
This mother-daughter team brings friendly enthusiasm and warmth to everything they do. With a long career in real estate and property management, Jill oversees the business side, while Sierra is the Lead Designer overseeing a team of eight. The business is rounded out by an in-house team of carpenters who custom-make all the wood pieces in their shop and installers who complete projects.
Customer Service and Craftsmanship
Closet Factory designers are problem solvers who help people organize their space with inspiration and clarity, and are the first to meet with clients to evaluate their needs and vision. Projects range from closet design to pantries, home offices, entertainment centers, wall beds, garage organization, wine rooms, and more, using a wide range of materials from basic white melamine to fully stained hardwood. If clients are unsure where to begin, designers come with an idea book of past projects to help them envision the possibilities. This hands-on approach ensures client’s expectations are fully realized.
Take a look inside the Closet Factory onsite workshop and you will see the care and dedication of the expert carpenters that goes into every project. Jill says she loves it when people have a great but unusual idea. She brings it to the operations manager, who has over thirty years of experience in custom cabinetry, and he always says, yes we can do it!
Recently a family had extra space in their home and wanted to create a wine nook from scratch. The team listened to their needs, created a one-of-a-kind design, and then let the workshop do its magic by customizing it. The family was thrilled with the results.
Popular Projects &Trends Now
Sierra says one of the most popular projects right now is entertainment centers, where families spend most of
their leisure time.
“A beautiful centerpiece entertainment wall with custom-built cabinets and storage can be a stunning focal point of a room and really transform it,” says Sierra.
Unique projects like wine bars, bourbon rooms, and showpiece wine storage closets give a modern vibe where people can hang out with friends and family in their homes. Closet projects range from giant high-budget closets with glass cabinetry, islands, and custom lighting to a simple closet with one or two custom elements that set it apart.
The team also reinvents pantries by getting rid of the builder-installed wire racks and adding transformative adjustable shelves, spice racks, and baskets. When it comes to color trends, Sierra says that while they see a lot of classic whites there is a shift toward bold colors like blues and greens with younger clientele.
On Being a Woman-Owned Business
Jill and Sierra love owning a business, working together, and creating a legacy for their family. They are passionate about being a woman-owned enterprise. As a way to celebrate this, they are getting ready to launch a podcast called Closets and Cocktails where they will discuss what it is like to own a business as well as interior design tips and trends.
Jill and Sierra both agree giving back to the community is an essential part of their business and they were excited to share the news that the Closet Factory’s national non-profit called Closet Factory Cares is initiating a new program called Bags for Kids. At no cost to clients, with each new project, they will donate a special bag for foster children in Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, and Clay County. The high-quality travel bag is filled with items they can use to go to a new home.
The ultimate goal for these ladies is to make life better for clients. When a project is complete, instead of a jumbled mess or a bland wall, the new space feels structured, stylish, and truly special with the power to replace stress with peace and function. Closet Factory Jacksonville has been in business since May of 2022. With Jill and Sierra Flores at the helm, they are well on the way to reaching their long-term goal of becoming the number-one name in quality custom closet design in North Florida. Both Sierra and Jill agree the sky is the limit when it comes to the future.
Phill and Rafaela Raposo, owners of River Stonework believe spending as much time as possible outside, enjoying the fresh air, cooking, entertaining, and being together with friends epitomizes the good life in northern St. Johns.
Their locally-owned company seeks to provide homeowners with the chance to create their own dream backyard oasis using a combination of paver patios, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, screen enclosures, and pergolas. They have also added concrete coating to their repertoire of services.
Exquisite craftsmanship is visible in every aspect of a design by River Stonework. But what exactly goes into each project? In this issue, River Stonework offers our readers a birds-eye view of a project and the transformation of one backyard.
Phases of a Project
They begin each project by visiting the home to see the space and listening closely to the client to learn their ideas. Phill and Rafaela then work with their team of certified outdoor living designers to create a 3d design to help the client envision what the space will look like when completed.
Once the client is satisfied with the design, installation begins. Everything is incorporated by River Stonework; design, installation, equipment, and materials including appliances, granite countertops, marble, and pavers. They have three in-house crews, each made up of one manager and three supervisors, and their installers. Throughout this process, the team is available to answer any questions and deal with unexpected issues.
Country Club Vibe
The family wanted a stunning outdoor space makeover to complement a new pool installed by Breakwater Pools. The backyard is roughly sixteen-hundred square feet of living space.
The concept was country club meets outdoor living room, combined with an existing exterior kitchen and dining space. They wanted a place where the kids could congregate with friends, and they could enjoy cookouts, swimming, and entertaining with neighbors and family.
The vibe they were going for was high-end, streamlined, light, and bright. For their color scheme, they chose a lot of greenery, coupled with whites and pale silvery grays,
A full overhaul of the ground-level space was key to the project. Large gray-white Italian marble with seamless square edges and coping in the same stone was used for the decking. A beautiful stone fireplace anchors one corner with a backdrop of tall graceful palms. A turf grass accent surrounds the pool, underneath which is a drainage system. The brilliant blue tilework along the edge of the pool was also designed and installed by River Stonework. Plans are in place to add an aluminum pergola later.
The project timeframe was two months to install the pool and a mere two weeks to install the decking.
Seeing is Believing
River Stonework’s artistry speaks for itself as reflected by this amazing project. Homeowners who wish to upgrade their backyard for their own enjoyment and to increase their home’s value should consider choosing a company like River Stonework with an impeccable reputation for excellence, and a quality guarantee. They have received numerous accolades, including being chosen twice as the favorite hardscape company by Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorites, and have been nominated as one of the best outdoor living companies in Florida.
Phill says River Stonework has built everything on its craftsmanship and its reputation. “We do not subcontract our workers. We are 100% reliable and accountable for any project that holds our signature. We are one of the only companies in this industry that gives a 5-year warranty on paver installation and 3 years on screen enclosure installation as well as pergolas and gazebos.”
As the saying goes, ‘Seeing is Believing’. To learn more about River Stonework and to view additional projects visit www.riverstonework.com or visit their Facebook or Instagram.
This Spring Take Your Home Improvements
Local Authors & Experts for St. Johns Magazine