Opening doors of opportunity
Being your own boss and running your own business is an opportunity not many people have or are even willing to take. It requires much time, effort and capital to get a start-up company off the ground. These challenges did not hinder Belle Morales’ decision to open a local office of The Sliding Door Company (TSDC), which is based in North America.
Within months of incorporating Sliding Doors Asia Pacific, Inc., Morales who serves as company president was able to seal a deal with Okada Manila, the integrated resort in Entertainment City, Paranaque.
“When we opened the business in the Philippines, they found us. They had been having a difficult time finding interior sliding doors with a slim profile to be used as partition between the bathroom and the bedroom in the guest rooms,” Morales said.
When people think of sliding doors, they often picture doors that separate the indoors from the outdoors–like those that lead from the dining room to the garden or from the family den to the deck. TSDC specializes in interior sliding doors.
“Three months after our first presentation to Okada, we signed the contract. It was such a great opportunity to work with them, and we are proud to say that we delivered customized doors consisting of almost 2,000 panels in 60 days,” she said.
When Morales speaks, one can sense her excitement in the brand. “We offer premium quality doors and services. Our prices are not expensive for the value that clients get.”
She learned about and later worked at TSDC after close to 20 years in the US. In early 2015, during one of her visits to Manila, she was enticed to invest in a condominium by a property developer in BGC. She began to earnestly to design the unit while n vacation but soon discovered a gap in the local interior design market.
“I realized that TSDC’s system and interior door solutions do not exist in the Philippines. When I returned to the US, I met with the founder of TSDC and that’s how the idea of bringing the products to Asia came about. I felt this adrenalin rush; I couldn’t wait to bring the doors to Asia start in the Philippines so Filipinos could finally experience versatile sliding doors they could push with their pinky finger,” she said.
Unlike other sliding doors that often get stuck after a few years of use, the TSDC systems are “smart” and easy to use.
“Since the requirements in the US are so high for certain applications, it was easy to build the products for the Philippines. All our products have ADA compliance, the American counterpart of the Philippines’ PWD (persons with disabilities) compliance. The glass panels used are safety glasses and are customized,” she said.
The panels as well as all of TSDC’s products are LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical green maintenance solutions. Some of their sliding doors include open air systems, telescopic kits, barn doors and pocket doors–all of which were initially not available locally.
“The US market is so spoiled with high quality products. Some of the moving parts of our sliding door systems are warranted for life which is unheard of but we have it. I would like the same to happen in the Philippine market,” Morales said.
At the moment, the Sliding Doors Asia Pacific showroom is in Makati (7373 Bakawan Street) but there are plans to expand and open showrooms in Cebu or Davao. “From there, we will extend our presence in the region with showrooms in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Vietnam–areas where there is a construction boom.”
Visit: www.slidingdoor.com.ph and/or call 0917-720-1032.
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LinkedIn: The Sliding Door Company Asia Pacific
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