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Q&A with TruStile President and CEO Scott Schmid
At a special Glenview Haus event co-hosted by Luxe Magazine, TruStile President and CEO Scott Schmid made an inspiring presentation about custom doors as the next interior design transformation. Afterward, Glenview Haus sat down with Scott for a further look into the TruStile brand and its core mission. It turns out that TruStile and Glenview Haus are on the same page; both believe that it’s high time that custom doors had their moment.
Glenview Haus: So, what’s your background, Scott? How did you get into doors?
Scott: I actually worked for one of the very first companies to provide high-speed internet. Back in…you’re too young, probably, to remember, but believe it or not…
GH: I remember the dial-up days. Painful.
Scott: So we took that company public and then I did some other high-tech stuff. But I wanted to get into something a little more tangible and real, so we found TruStile. We felt like the basic concept that they had which was high-quality and high-variety was something that you could really turn into something. So that’s how I got here. I thought, “This is an interesting category. I think we might really be able to do something here.”
GH: Your presentation this evening was fantastic. Do you often seek out these opportunities to educate your most important customers directly?
Scott: We do. Because of our message and our strategy, architects and the design community are our most important constituents. Builders are really important, too. But architects and designers are the most important for us because the message resonates with them. So we look for every opportunity to get in front of architects and designers and tell the story.
GH: TruStile offers endless styles and a variety of construction methods for different applications. What is it that all TruStile doors have in common?
Scott: They’re all true stile and rail doors. That means they are made the traditional way that architectural doors are made with individual stiles, rails, and panels. They’re all made to be assembled so that they are architecturally correct and of the highest quality.
GH: How can architecturally driven doors transform a space?
Scott: I go to lots of nice houses. I travel all over the country and I get to see a lot of nice houses. Generally, I put the doors in three categories.
The first category of doors are ones that actually detract from the overall quality of the house. And this happens far too often. We’ll go into an extremely high-end home that has a really nice kitchen, granite counter tops, nice cabinets, and a beautiful master bathroom. But there are core molded doors everywhere inside, and the doors are the worst thing in the house. They detract from the house.
The second category of doors are those that neither improve or detract from the look of the house. These are one or two panels, square step flat panel doors. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t make anything better.
The third category of doors are the ones that really transform a house. That happens when each opening is thought of as a design opportunity.
You wouldn’t pick the same light fixture and put it in every single room. It’s the same with doors. Think about what you’re trying to do in the room in the design. Where is the door? How is it interacting with the room? The rooms around it? What features are going to enhance that room? Maybe it’s a glass door. Maybe it’s a stain grade door. Maybe a certain panel of sticking. Paint it a certain color. That’s how it can transform an entire room.
The doors can be an element where people are like, “Wow. These things are unbelievable.” It’s still pretty uncommon for somebody to walk into a house and see a really well thought through set of doors that are really well designed. When it happens, it makes a huge impact on people.
GH: Maybe it’s time for doors to have a moment, right?
Scott: Yes, I think so.
GH: What do you think of the space here at Glenview Haus?
Scott: I think what Glenview Haus is doing here is really unique and it’s really important. They are selling doors to interior designers the way that furniture companies sell furniture to interior designers. And nobody has tried to [show] doors . . . in the way that they [are]. I think that’s really great. It’s very unique and the expo is terrific, and there’s nobody else doing it.
GH: Last question: If you could be any door, what would you be?
Scott: I would be a wire-brushed, white oak, plank door. Devilishly handsome.