An Allied Brass Family Affair!
For Shoba, Allied Brass is literally a family affair - her husband Pete is the long-time shop manager for our factory assembly operations. In fact, Pete was with Allied Brass employees from the time the company was purchased. He and Shoba relocated from New York to Louisa, VA.
Does Customer Service Keep You Busy?
Oh yes it does, Shoba says.
At one time, Allied Brass was primarily a wholesaler to other businesses. That changed a few years ago when it was decided to focus the website on individual customers.
Carolina Crystal Collection towel bars.
The B2B arm is still active, but much of the customer service is with individuals. This includes handling phone calls, emails, and notifications from our Facebook page. Shoba is also the contact point for updating the website.
The most common question she gets from customers is about products' durability. "They really will last a lifetime," Shoba says, especially compared to lower cost and lower-quality items.
"Even our finishes will stay fresh for years, as long as people follow instructions and don't use sprays or abrasives to clean them. I've had calls from people who used Windex to clean their brass, which eroded the finish."
✔ "Unless you ordered an unlaquered finish, soap and water is all you need to clean Allied Brass hardware."
"Only unlacquered brass needs intensive cleaning," she notes. (Here's our post on how to clean brass.)
The pandemic has caused problems with timely shipment, Shoba admits. "We had plenty of inventory early in the COVID pandemic, so we didn't have many delays in 2020.
"But since then, we have been affected by supply chain shortages like everyone else. It takes longer to get materials in for assembling and finishing products. Shippers and delivery services have faced challenges as well."
Repeat Customers Often Shop for Kitchen Hardware
"We're so lucky that we have our loyal customers who keep coming back," Shoba notes. "Most of them are buying kitchen hardware. Knobs and pulls for cabinet doors and drawers are most popular."
That's not surprising, as many people who worked from home during the height of the pandemic (and many still do) decided to remodel or at least redecorate.
Well, people have to do something with all extra time they aren't commuting!
Yes, Allied Brass Employees Have Favorite Collections
Her favorite piece is the Dottingham oval tilt mirror. She has one in every bathroom in her home. "It's an unusual shape to see for a mirror," Shoba notes.
You'll find a 36" double Dottingham towel bar (also available in 18," 24", and 30") and robe hooks in Shoba's guest bathroom. She's particularly fond of her Waverly Place glass shelf with towel bar in her own bathroom:
Shoba likes a polished chrome finish, which has held up very well. "We've been here for 15 years," she says, "and the Allied Brass pieces still look brand-new!"