Editor’s note: The following is another in a series of profiles highlighting the winners of this year’sNFTStyling Excellence Awards. Entries were judged earlier this year by showgoers at Surfaces and by readers online. A complete list of winners is available in the April issue ofNFT.
Gary Hernandez, Jr., president of Empire Mouldings, says he is “very happy,” “very pleased” and “surprised” that his company won aNational Floor TrendsStyling Excellence Award for its Flexitions flexible mouldings. He says he was happy and pleased because he believes Flexitions is worth being singled out. He adds he was surprised because his product was competing directly with major manufacturer Faus for the award.
“We were up against the Faus Group, so when we won, we were ecstatic, we were thrilled,” he says. “We think we have a great niche product for solving certain problems and headaches. We’re glad people took notice of it and took the time to vote for us.”
According to Hernandez, the idea for the line arose from the pleas of frustrated contractors and installers. Their question to him: “Why isn’t there an easier way to install mouldings around an arch or an S-shape?” Calling on the chemistry expertise of his father Gary Hernandez, Sr., who is also the CEO of Empire Mouldings, the company ironed out a way to make durable mouldings that can be twisted and bent as needed.
“It came from requests within the industry, from guys who have been in the business for decades,” Hernandez notes. “We thought, ‘How has nobody in the industry yet created something like this?’ So we did it ourselves.”