1.How did Vargas Tile come to be established?
Vargas Tile Company was founded by our parents, Roberts and Martha Vargas, in 1961. Our dad was a woodworker and opened up a cabinet shop at the original location at 340 Paseo del Pueblo Sur. One thing led to another and pretty soon Vargas Paint Pot was open for business. Over the years, we sold carpet, furniture, draperies, art supplies, wallpaper and, of course, tile. We became simply Vargas Company about 1977.
2.What are the major changes in the business since its founding?
The biggest change would be that we sold our paint store in 2006. The paint and tile have been our mainstay over all the years. We had toyed with the idea of selling either one or the other and finally decided it would be the paint. People still call or stop by and ask paint-related advice from us on a daily basis. We are always happy to share what we’ve learned over the years.
3.What is the specialty of Vargas Tile?
Our specialty is the “Saltillo” and “Talavera” tile that we keep in stock. Currently, we are well stocked on both. New patterns and colors come in all the time and so do other items, like mirrors, sinks, murals, etc. We are also well stocked on all the accompanying trim pieces. Although it is difficult to stock everything when there are literally hundreds of patterns, we love working with our clients to come up with a design that is uniquely their own. That is another specialty we offer: unparalleled service in helping our clients love their selection.
4.What do you like most about the business?
The people we work with. We have met so many wonderful people over the years and have made many lasting friendships with our customers. We have lots of repeat customers and it is fun to catch up on things when we haven’t seen a person in a few years. And, of course, our merchandise. When we get shipments from Mexico, it’s like Christmas! So many new and different patterns and other totally unexpected items that are so unique. We recently got some turtles made out of rocks and they are adorable.
5.Are there several family members involved in the business?
Yes, Viviana is the one who mainly runs the store nowadays. Christine comes in a day or two a week and Patricia is the bookkeeper. Viviana’s son, Anthony, is a regular, too, and he is an awesome installer as well. If his clients allow him to go off on his own, his installations have an artistic flair that is hard to define.