Why it Matters
Mountain Marble has recently received a great honor. We’ve been accredited by the Marble Institute of America (MIA), a one hundred year old professional organization with an international membership, recognized as the “authoritative source of information on standards of natural stone workmanship and practice and the suitable application of natural stone products”.
There are only about 100 stone fabricators in the country who have earned this accreditation—only four in North Carolina. And only Mountain Marble in Western North Carolina.
We’ve been working toward this for over a year. It’s a rigorous qualification process that involved documenting the quality of our workmanship and the integrity of our business practices, having a voluntary inspection by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), completing a five-hour, 200 question exam and having a representative of the MIA do a site visit to substantiate everything that we’d submitted and see our operations first hand.
Why did we put ourselves through this? Because we’re proud of the work we do and the excellence of our craft. We’re in an environment where it’s not enough for us to tell clients how good we are. You need an unbiased opinion. There’s no opinion more important than that of the international governing body of an industry.
When I came up in the marble industry, marble masons were the venerated masters, the Prima Donnas of the building trades. They worked the most luxurious material—the hardest material to work—to the finest tolerance of any material on any job. There was great pride in the craft. To call yourself a marble mason required a seven-year apprenticeship.
The Marble Institute of America serves as the standard bearer and the developer of new standards. I felt it was important for us to join the elite group of fabricators who understand that we’re not choosing, personally, what standards we’re going to work to; we’re working to the industry accepted standards, as a minimum.
Many people think that after you pick the material, the only remaining issue is price. They’re missing 50% of the equation. Craftsmanship matters, as does working with a legitimate business that will stand behind what they do.
Stonework is an ancient and noble craft. We’re proud to be at the vanguard of this important industry movement to preserve and encourage a standard of excellence. We’re delighted to be recognized for our commitment to that ideal.