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Yesterday doesn’t count

image Gary Raesz, owner of Raesz Custom Floors & Lighting

AUSTIN - Born, bred and Austin lover Gary Raesz has witnessed the ebb and flow of the Capitol City during his time. As namesake of Raesz Custom Floors & Lighting, Raesz has weathered the dot.com bust of the 2000s and has played an integral role in building Austin up.




    “We’ve done some of the finest high-rise condos downtown,” he said. Not to mention banks, schools, high-end homes, country clubs, medical facilities, public buildings, etc.
    Raesz could rest on his laurels but does not. “Whatever we did yesterday was yesterday,” he said. “Today is a new day.” In other words, if Raesz Custom Floors & Lighting gave great customer service on Tuesday, that doesn’t mean a thing to a new customer on Wednesday. Raesz likens it to a music concert-goer: that person expects the performer to have his/her A Game on when he goes to the show.
    “Floors have changed so much over the years,” Raesz said. He remembers when carpet and vinyl tile was the rage. “Now, the number one item in any home is hardwood floors,” he observed. Case in point is a home in El Paso his company recently did that was 19,000sf of hardwood flooring.
    “The tile industry had to change gears because it lost so much business to the wood people,” he said. Raesz travels all over the globe for the best wood products. “We bring in the finest French woods you can imagine,” he proudly stated.
    Vinyl composition tile has been replaced by luxury/plank tile. People still desire hardwood as their first choice.
    Raesz got his start in the flooring industry right out of high school. When the company in which he was working went under in 1989, Raesz said, “I decided I want to do it myself” and formed Raesz Custom Floors & Lighting.
    A very good thing to happen to not only his business but all of Austin around that time was a tiny little new company called Dell Computer. Raesz is clear when he credits Michael Dell’s company with having a major impact on Austin.
    “The big boom happened when Michael Dell got going after the ‘80s bust,” he said. “All the houses we were doing, they were working for Michael Dell. The big high-end homes were because of Michael Dell. Austin is what it is because of that gentleman, hands down.”
    After Dell’s appearance in Austin, other software and computer-related jobs came in. And once moving to Austin, Raesz said, the city’s charm, ambiance, rolling hills,
culture (food and music, etc.) have caused many folks to make it their new home.
    Raesz not only has an uptown showroom - “We have the finest studio in the United States” - he is also a distributor of flooring products all over the country. And, he is the largest antler/deer lighting seller in Texas.
    Raesz invites one and all to come by his Custom Floors & Lighting facility. “It’s a jaw-dropping experience to see what we do,” he said.
    One thing that has helped Raesz and his team (some of whom have been with him his whole time) is a lesson he learned while playing football at Crocket High School: read, recognize and react. By doing this, they are prepared when a surprise happens and can act accordingly.
    Raesz has seen plenty of yesterdays but is excited about all the tomorrows. “I’m going to stay in this business” he said. “They’re going to have to carry me out. This is my passion.”
    The bottom line, however, isn’t the bottom line on the ledger. It’s taking care of the customer in such a way that is a win-win for both parties.
    “It’s not about the success we have,” Raesz said, “but about the lives we have impacted through success. That’s what it’s all about.”
    Looks like Austin will have a lot more good tomorrows. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Raesz concluded.
    Raesz Custom Floors & Lighting is a commercial and residential floor and light contractor in Austin. -dsz

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Author Info
Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net