Decorative concrete goes beyond a gussied-up section of sidewalk. Just ask Michelle Radley and Jeff Kudrick, the owners of JM Lifestyles, a premiere concrete design studio in Randolph, New Jersey. They understand the versatility of concrete like few manufacturers in the industry. They are also artists who know craftsmanship and aesthetics.
“When Jeff and I started in 2008, we didn’t have a product line. We just knew we were going to do decorative concrete,” says Michelle. “At that time people didn’t know what concrete countertops were, so it was really the birth of a new concept.”
Customer Education is Key
Often, people were confused about what their products would look like. “They’d imagine sidewalks on table legs in their kitchen,” Michelle jokes. But with Michelle’s banking and product background and Jeff’s building and contracting experience, they had the essentials to build a solid business.
From there, the design studio and subsequent product manufacturing facility— was born. Customer education is at the core of their business.
“In the beginning, we always had our iPhones handy to help potential customers visualize the possibilities that decorative concrete offered but we also needed to train employees on its intricacies, qualities, and benefits,” says Michelle.
As the concrete design industry has grown, so has JM Lifestyles. The business outgrew the original 2,000 square-foot studio and now occupies a 25,000 square-foot space. The concrete JM Lifestyles sells today is composed of different binders and minerals content, which is why every piece they make is one of a kind.
‘Wood Without the Worry’
The company specializes in a sustainable concrete composite called WoodForm Concrete, which has the look and feel of wood with the resilience of concrete.
“It’s a labor of love because it’s hard and dirty and messy,” says Jeff. “But we love working with clients to create their dream product. We also love pushing the limits and opening their eyes to new materials that can be both beautiful and innovative.”
The team is always excited to watch people’s reactions when they realize that a beautiful butcher block counter is actually concrete. “Wood without the worry,” Michelle calls it.
Their work has been recognized and showcased on TV and in the press, including Architectural Digest, Design NJ and Scientific American.
JM Lifestyles Partners with Concora
When quality building product manufacturers partner with Concora, their customers benefit. JM Lifestyles already had a beautifully designed website, but they needed additional functionality to reach more commercial customers and increase product specifications. That’s why they chose Concora software and services to amplify their website’s power, adding 3D BIM content and access to the robust technical data that architects, engineers, contractors and designers need during the specification process.
“We want Concora to add that commercial aspect of the specifier experience, so that they will have a place to distill our products’ information … and make it easier for them to find,” says Michelle.
In addition to technical documentation, the new functionality generates a digital submittal and allows JM Lifestyles to showcase past projects and popular products that their target audience can appreciate. This makes it easier to specify with greater success and to quickly identify and filter the products that best suit their projects.
In the digital age, having a robust website with downloadable submittals and reliable product specs is expected. This was true before the pandemic, but it’s even more valuable today. With the uncertainty of in-person meetings and physical showrooms, a manufacturer’s online presence serves as the primary (if not only) source of information for customers. No one wants to waste time digging through disorganized or hard-to-find content, and specifiers are no different. Fortunately, Concora’s deep understanding of a specifier’s journey drives the technology and innovation.
To learn more about JM Lifestyles, visit www.jmlifestyles.com.