In The Spotlight

Ferguson Kitchen Bath & Lighting receives national recognition.

The women who make up the Ferguson Kitchen Bath & Lighting team in Clive know what it’s like to be Davids in a world of Goliaths. Part of a chain of 1,400 Ferguson locations nationwide, the Clive location isn’t the largest in square footage. It doesn’t have the biggest group of team members.

But the Clive location is in the spotlight as the only Ferguson showroom to be recognized by Lighting and Decor magazine. And it is the only lighting showroom in the country to win the 2017 Showroom of the Year Award in its sales division.

“I kept seeing the announcements about the deadline for entries, and I just thought, ‘Why not try? We do great work,’” says Amber Pirillo, showroom consultant.

It is a small showroom when it comes to square footage; however, the Clive Ferguson location consistently performs at the top of the list for its market size. Pirillo says that has a lot to do with the expertise of the staff—Pirillo, Amy Kimberley, and Jessica Richardson.

“We are not your average ‘showroom consultants,’” Pirillo explains. “We are project managers, designers, trendsetters, and sometimes miracle workers. Amy has almost 25 years’ experience in the industry working with lighting and plumbing. Jessica’s family has been in the plumbing industry all her life. And I have a background in design, including kitchen and bath design. So no matter what a client needs, we’ve got the expertise to create the perfect design.”

That was one reason Pirillo took the leap and entered the Lighting and Decor competition earlier this year. “The application process was really unique,” she says. “They evaluated the entries not just on sales or numbers. They asked about community involvement, sales team experience, how we work with clients. It was a time-consuming application process.”

The community involvement aspect of the application was unique, and the Ferguson team has been especially proud of its work in that area. Rather than sell or auction off discontinued or display items, the Clive showroom donates them to Habitat for Humanity’s reStore.

“We’re proud that the donations we make help provide housing in our community for families in need,” Pirillo says.

Pirillo says she was thrilled to make it through to the final round but thought the odds might be against winning the top award. “There are so many incredible people in this business, and the judges were evaluating more than just our sales success,” she explains. “We just didn’t know how the final decision would go.”

To top it off, the awards ceremony was scheduled to take place at the annual Lightovation—Dallas International Lighting Show in June, the same time the Ferguson team was scheduled to complete the location’s annual inventory.

“The company sent a local showroom consultant in our place so there would be Ferguson representative there. And the three of us stayed in Iowa to do inventory,” Pirillo says.

Kimberley adds, “Inventory’s a big job, and we had to be here for that. But the awards ceremony was live-streamed, so we took a break from counting to watch the announcement.”

“We were all huddled around the computer screen watching,” laughs Pirillo. “When they announced our name, we were screaming and laughing. There were even some tears. It was incredible.”

According to Lighting and Decor magazine, one Showroom of the Year was named in each of three dollar-volume categories. Finalists from all categories were eligible for three specialty awards as well. The Clive Ferguson showroom received the Showroom of the Year award for the midrange category, Revenue Under $5 Million.

The Clive Ferguson team members are proud of the recognition, which reinforces that they’re doing their jobs well. They insist that the only change they’ll make going forward is in growth.

“Change ignites creativity and allows for innovation,” Pirillo says. “It’s a good thing. In five years, I think our showroom will expand both in size and reputability in the lighting industry. We’ll continue to grow stronger as a team and strive to be the best we’ve ever been.”

Clive’s location may not be the biggest lighting showroom in the country, but the team members know how to reach their goals. And they have the award to prove it.