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Semper stone

image Pat Wilson, co-owner of Legends Architectural Stone (red shirt), with some of his ace team

HOUSTON - With the same tenacity and gung-ho-ness that he learned in the Marine Corps, Pat Wilson is making Legends Architectural Stone a major player in the Houston area - if not the entire U.S. - when it comes to delivering the goods.

 

 

 

 

    “I love the Corps,” Wilson said, of his 10 years of active duty. He would have gladly made the Marines his career if it didn’t mean spending too much time away from his new bride, Melissa. “I love my wife,” he added. “Nineteen years later, we’re still married.”
    After a brief stint in the insurance business, Wilson found out that wasn’t for him. The Northwest native would rather be outdoors and hands-on. With the partnership of fellow Marine-alum, Jimmie Morris, the pair started Legends Architectural Stone in July 2013.
    Being a new business owner had its challenges for Wilson, but, as he said, “Anyone who applies themselves and works hard can make it work.”
    Hard work and entrepreneurialism come naturally for Wilson. “I’ve been selling myself my whole life,” he said. From grass cutting to snow shoveling to washing cars, Wilson never has been shy about rolling up his sleeves and getting after it. “Sales to me comes very natural.”
    Six years later, the climb to success has been slow but constant. “It’s been a gradual and slow growth,” Wilson said. “It’s taken six years to get where we’re at.”
    Legends supplies every conceivable stone product to building contractors. “It’s a pretty competitive industry,” Wilson said. The difference is not in the actual product, but in how Wilson is able to relate to his clients.
    “I think it narrows down to customer service [and] interaction with your clients,” he said. “Being able to empathize with what they want” is critical to being known as a company that just doesn’t want to make a profit but wants to ensure every customer walks away with his needs met.
    Wilson gives the example of a homeowner who wants a certain stone for a certain look. “There’s a real emotional attachment to building a home,” he said.
    For both commercial and residential needs, Legends will deliver natural and manmade materials. Manmade is simply concrete poured into a mold and colored to produce the desired look. “Manmade stone can create texture and color that’s simply not available in [a given] market region,” Wilson said. Or, the ground simply doesn’t produce it.
    Legends Architectural Stone supplies materials to all 48 CONUS states. Why would a customer in, say, Michigan, go all the way to Texas for its stones? “Certain geographical regions produce certain colors,” Wilson explained.  A local quarry may not produce the rock the person wants. Via the magic of the Internet, the customer in Michigan can scour Legends’ website to see their products and order from them.
    Wilson says that having good relationships with quarries and suppliers is key to knowing what’s out there and available for him to acquire for their inventory.
    In terms of leadership for the company, Morris’ strengths are in the financial realm and big-picture planning, while Wilson focuses on operations and sales.
    “I was a very good leader when I was in the Marine Corps,” Wilson said. “I think I’m a pretty good leader now.” There are similarities to be being in the military and running a business: managing people and getting things done/meeting an objective.
    “Nothing’s ever mundane,” Wilson said of his work at Legends Architectural Stone. “It’s always changing. For the most part, it’s a new adventure every day.”
    The future looks bright for Wilson and his company. Legends may expand to other Texas markets. Maybe someday he’ll leave it to his kids. Ultimately, “I leave everything to God, honestly,” he said.
    Hard work and divine intervention - an unbeatable combination. Oorah!
    Legends Architectural Stone is a stone supplier in Houston. -dsz


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Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net