Cerames

Weronika Kaczanowska talks about Cerames

Written by Julietta Torbus

The Creames company is not only products, it is above all enthusiasts who are willing to share their knowledge and propose the best solutions. One of the very important links in Cerames is Weronika Kaczanowska, who takes care of the proper functioning of the company, professional contact with the customer and supervises the warehouse. Weronika has agreed to answer a few questions about her activities at Cerames and will reveal a few details about how the company operates „from the kitchen”.

What position do you hold and how many years have you worked at Cerames?

I am an office manager and supervise the Cerames office and shop. In principle, it is difficult to determine the exact scope of my duties, I am responsible for delegating tasks, contacting key customers, supervising the implementation of tasks and so called „catching all the important things behind the tail” 😉 I have been working in the company for 3 years.

Did you look for a job related to your interests or was the employer decided by fate?

I have always liked to deal with unusual things, I appreciate aesthetics and I like people who think outside the box. The Cerames offer attracts exceptional clients, these are people who expect more from interior design products than just functionality and good price. Therefore, although I am not an artistic soul and interior design is not my passion in the strict sense of the word, I liked the opportunity to work in a company that brings selected handicrafts from the furthest corners of the world. I knew that it would be a challenge worth trying to meet. Cerames is made up of people with passion, and with such a team it is simply pleasant to work.

What knowledge did you need to acquire in order to perform your duties competently?

Team management and customer contact were not new to me, but I had to learn the specifics of the products and how to work with craftsmen from far away countries. The biggest challenge for me was the technical data, which I simply have no head for 😉

Is knowledge of the art in general useful at Cerames?

Such knowledge is always useful, if only to better understand the space around us. Contrary to what many people think, art is a continuum, here nothing appears out of nowhere. To fully appreciate contemporary artistic products, it is good to know their genesis.
For example, the Cerames offer includes floor mosaics by Gorseciki, which are a faithful copy of tiles from the interwar period. This is our own design, we tried to reflect the shape, colours and appearance of the original corsets as faithfully as possible.
Without knowledge of their origin and use, it would have been impossible. Our corsets correspond so faithfully to the originals that they are suitable for replenishing cavities in antique floors, we cooperate on such projects with art conservators.

What products are in the Cerames offer, what is the flagship assortment?

The Cerames range includes a variety of original interior furnishings from all over the world, but the flagship product is handmade and decorated washbasins and tiles from Mexico. The Mexican art of firing and decorating ceramics from the Hidalgo region is still popular all over the world. We work with craftsmen in Mexico who traditionally make ceramic wall tiles. Each tile and each washbasin is unique, because although the patterns are repeated, manual workmanship excludes the possibility of faithful repetition.

The situation of our second „flagship”, i.e. cement tiles, which we import from the best factories in Europe and Asia, is a bit different. We have the most popular designs available from stock in Polish warehouse, but if someone can wait and would like to get a product that is as customised as possible, we are able to produce cement tiles in an almost infinite number of colour and pattern variants.

Can you indicate bestsellers in the shop?

Mexican patchwork goes around like fresh buns 🙂 Due to the long production and delivery process, we start working on the next order as soon as we receive the delivery from Mexico, and some designs are still missing!
Moroccan ceramics also deserve special attention. Unlike Mexican ceramics, it has more subdued colours and for many customers it is a safer choice. Moroccan tiles have a timeless oriental style, which perfectly fits in with modern interiors.

Recently Cerames has changed its location. What influenced this decision?

We are growing, and therefore our needs, including those for premises, are growing 😉 And seriously, we wanted to create a real showroom. Although the internet remains the main channel of our sales, we wanted to meet the expectations of those customers who prefer to see the goods before buying them live.
Now the conditions for this are more comfortable.

What products are on permanent display in the company?

In the new living room we have, for example, in the kitchen an area above the worktop lined with a dedicated Mexican Mariposa patchwork. Finally, you can see how fantastic the effect this gives 🙂 One of our hand-forged copper lamps hangs above the kitchen table. Immediately after entering, you will notice a wall lined entirely with five different Mexican patchworks. Apart from that, we have 4 displays with cement tiles (which does not exhaust even some of the designs available in our offer). The whole 6.5 m wall is occupied by 3 shelves set with exemplary models of Mexican and Moroccan washbasins, underneath them we show beautiful Iznik wall tiles and opposite there is an island with washbasins from Polish artists. If we add 5×5 cm framed patchworks, ceramic accessories and a sample mixer, we get an approximate picture of our permanent exhibition 🙂

If a product from the offer is temporarily unavailable, how long does it take to download the ordered product and what is the procedure?

Everything depends on the type of product. Some things, e.g. Polish artistic washbasins, Bolesławiec or a significant part of cement tiles are available in limited quantities and custom production is the default procedure. Then the customer simply places an order on the Cerames website, where information about the expected delivery time is displayed.
The situation is slightly different for custom-made Mexican goods, such as copper bathtubs. This is a product so exclusive and niche that each order is realized after the detailed conditions are agreed with the customer.
It should be remembered that our assortment is made by craft or simply by hand, so the time of realization of products on order is quite long. I am always sorry when I hear disappointment in the voice of a customer who already has an agreed crew to finish the house and it turns out that the product of his dreams would have to wait longer than the time provided for the whole renovation. Therefore, on the occasion of our conversation, I appeal to everyone interested in our products: Do not wait until the last minute with your order! 🙂

Customers generally praise Cerames employees for their professional advice. How have you managed to bring together employees with knowledge in such a niche area?

The Cerames team is made up of people who have gained previous experience in very different industries. What unites them all is an open mind, the ability to quickly combine facts and use the acquired knowledge in a creative way. In our industry, this is essential, because both the assortment and the customers we have a remarkable range 🙂

Very demanding customers come to the shop. What help can they count on? Do you help in the selection of products? Do you suggest colours, application of products?

None of our team is an interior designer by education, and our offer does not include professional advice. But each customer, if they wish, can hear the seller’s personal opinion about the chosen colour or composition. However, we never impose ourselves with our preferences.
This is different when it comes to questions about the practical application of products. Here we can draw on the experience of our previous customers, the knowledge gained from manufacturers and advise on the optimal choice.

Will customers get information about the installation, the installation of the purchased products in the shop?

Yes, it is in our interest to provide as much information as possible for the satisfactory use of our products. While the installation of wash basins does not require detailed explanations, the installation and impregnation of cement tiles is so important that every customer receives a special brochure with instructions for purchase.

How does Cerames work with design offices and interior design companies?

We work with partners who promote unique solutions in interior design and ensure the highest quality of products offered to customers. As part of B2B cooperation we offer financial benefits, but also tools for professionals, e.g. tile laying simulator together with visualizations or quick calculation calculator.
We provide care and support for our specialists as well as downloadable materials, e.g. photos and 3D objects of our products.

Does the assembly of products offered by Cerames require specialist knowledge, training?

Absolutely not, every finishing specialist can handle the assembly of our products. As I said before, we add instructions to products requiring special treatment.

Will the shop staff advise on how to keep the products clean and maintain them?

Yes, of course. We want our products to serve our customers for as long as possible, so we offer advice on maintenance and care.

Our frequent customers are people from the celebrity world. Do they have any special requirements or questions?

We have as much kindness and attention to every customer as we do not divide people into known and unknown. However, there are many faces popular in the media who are interested in our products. These are often people for whom a house is a showcase and the interior design must be worked out down to the smallest detail. I remember, for example, the lady who chose the cement tiles for the colour of the plate she brought with her design.

What do you think was the most unusual order from Cerames?

The term „unusual” may have negative connotations, I prefer to talk about challenging orders. One such order was the production in Mexico of a dozen or so washbasins and TOALET with the same design, for a client who was decorating a hotel in the Philippines.

I also remember ordering special marble washbasins for the Hammam bathhouse.

On the basis of the project agreed with the client and our partner in Turkey, we managed to create a new product, which became a permanent feature of the Cerames range.

Was there an order that the company did not manage to fulfil?

Unfortunately, such orders also happen. The most common obstacle to the realization of an order is too little time. We are not always able to adjust the dimensions of the product, and such enquiries sometimes arise.
Good communication is key, we never deceive customers with promises that we will not be able to fulfill. That is why we sometimes have to give up on fulfilling an order if we know that we will not be able to meet all the customer’s expectations. This is what honesty requires, I believe that customers appreciate it and maybe they will come back to us in some time with another order.

We assume that you have an unlimited budget. You are currently equipping your newly purchased flat or house. What products would you choose from the Cerames range and why?

Surely a place of honour in my bathroom would be occupied by a hand-wrought-iron, copper bathtub on its feet. Our Gloria is simply beautiful! Anyway, she already has the status of a star, because she performed in a television show 😉 I would choose an artistic tabletop washbasin, perhaps one of the ones made by Polish artists, or one made of fossilised wood, and I would make a cement tile carpet on the floor.

I would find a special place in my house for tiles with La Catrina, probably the best known Mexican symbol.
La Catrina is not without reason called the First Lady of Mexico. The motif of a costume in a beautiful dress and hat was created in the second half of the 19th century by the cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada and popularised by Diego Rivera, the artist and husband of Frida Kahlo. La Catrina is an ornament, a joke, perfectly reflecting the way Mexicans perceive death, towards which everyone becomes equal. Cerames offers beautiful convex patchworks with a La Catrina motif, and I can tell you that in time we will also have ceramic, handmade statues of Mrs. Death for sale. I can’t wait 🙂

Apart from its symbolic value, La Catrina’s motif is simply beautiful. Everyone who wants to have an avant-garde interior, distinguished by omnipresent minimalism, or maybe a little bit provocative, will find a place for a sexy lady of skeletons 😉

Weronika, thank you very much for your comprehensive answers and your time.

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Julietta Torbus

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