Former Janitor Gets His Start With Concrete Staining
Cary Grant has had an interesting life and he admits that his name, the same as the classic Hollywood icon, has always been an icebreaker. When he was 19, he moved from Texas to Las Vegas and got caught up in the drug scene, but managed to get that behind him. Now 25 years later at age 44, he’s proud of his work and his successful 15-year-old company, Floor Seasons.
Although he still has long hair and is heavily tattooed, he says when he’s respectful to people — using the ‘yes, sirs’ and ‘no, ma’ams’ he grew up saying in Texas — his clients understand his passion for concrete floors and his perceived flaws melt away.
“My background is very tumultuous, and that’s partly why I take so many risks with concrete,” Grant says. “I’ve made it this far, and if I make a mistake, I know that somehow I can fix it.”
Even the name of the business was a fresh start. After getting clean, he carried around a medallion that had the four seasons on it, with the idea that each new season would be better. “The name Floor Seasons is just what I needed,” he says. Julie, co-owner of Floor Seasons and Grant’s former wife, sat up in bed in the middle of the night, and named the company in a flash of inspiration.
A passion is born
Cary Grant got his start in concrete while working as a janitor, stripping and waxing floors. His boss at the time tended to get bored and would send him to some offbeat training, including marble shaving school. One time this boss told Grant they were going to do concrete staining.
“I said, ‘OK, Ron, you’re bored again. Just pay me my hourly wage and let’s do this crazy thing you want to try now,’” Grant recalls. “He said it was going to be the coolest new flooring out there soon and I didn’t comprehend what was fixing to happen. The second I started doing it, I fell in love with concrete staining and it definitely became my passion.”
Grant’s specialty lies not only in artistic concrete staining, but in skillful saw cutting. He and his boss worked out a deal with tract home builders where he would go into under-construction homes and practice using a peanut grinder with a 4-inch diamond blade on concrete floors that would be covered up. “I would practice Ls, plus signs and circles, just learning how to create different things, and then they would put carpet over it and no one would ever see what I did,” he says.
A shooting star
Soon, Grant wanted to experiment more than his boss did, so he went off on his own. “I had become obsessed, which made it very difficult to have a boss,” Grant says with a laugh. “I wanted to go crazy doing one-of-a-kind floors, which later became the trademarked tagline of Floor Seasons, ‘Art You Can Walk On.’”
After leaving Ron, Grant started a new company with a business partner. This partner, though, stole money, didn’t pay suppliers and promised floors he couldn’t deliver. As a result of this painful period, Grant went into business with his then-girlfriend and later, wife, Julie, and they remain co-owners today although they are no longer married. “I know that I would not have a business if it wasn’t for the constant care of Julie,” he says. “If the office isn’t handling the ins and outs of paperwork, it’s all for naught.”
Early on, Grant recalls that people told him he should offer services beyond staining such as stamping, epoxy and Kool Deck. “In my arrogance I refused to listen to them,” he notes. “In hindsight, I wish I had diversified after the first five years. Now we’re doing every kind of epoxy, including chip systems and metallic epoxy, where I am feeling like I’m on the leading edge again.”
Comfortable in his role
Grant has expanded his business into the booming Colorado market and is planning to move to Colorado when business can sustain him there. “When I’m in Las Vegas, I’m unable to focus and give 100 percent to Colorado and when I’m in Colorado, the same applies to Las Vegas,” he says. “I’m figuring out how to balance both.”
He recently completed a clean and seal with the Harley Davidson logo for a showroom floor. He’s proud of it because the logo is 20-by-180 feet, and it’s near the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign that everyone wants to have their picture taken with.
The biggest job of his career was a 43,000-square-foot staining job for Glazier’s Food Marketplace. “I’m super proud of that because when I started doing this, 500 square feet was a big deal to me. If I’m doing an innovative one-of-a-kind floor I still sometimes say to clients, ‘I’m not sure if I can pull this off’,” he says with a laugh. “And, if I’m unable, I will grind it off and start again.
“More times than not, they say, ‘I trust you because you are honest enough to tell me that.’ I know that people enjoy the passion and integrity my team brings to the table each time we’re hired, and that’s why my portfolio looks as good as it does.”