J & J offers answer to stone product demands

Published 12:54 am Sunday, September 16, 2007

After working with other companies’ products for the last five years, Vidalia businessman Marc Archer decided it was time to open his own natural stone store.

Archer, the owner of J & J Flooring and J & J Carpet Outlet in Vidalia, recently opened J & J Natural Stone on U.S. 84 West.

“It’s a natural tie-in to our business,” Archer said. “We had a high demand from our customers, from people who were tired of having to go out of town for stone products.”

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The new business offers natural stone products such as marble, granite and limestone, as well as man made stones like ceasarstone and silestone.

Many area people were having out-of-town companies install the stonework in their homes and businesses, but they were not always satisfied, Archer said.

“The service was just not adequate,” he said.

Though he had the idea to open a stone product store several years ago, Archer said he was hesitant because stonework requires some expertise.

“You need the right person to run the business, who knows how to install everything properly,” he said. “I didn’t want to offer a product if we couldn’t handle it properly.

The answer to that problem came in the form of Tate Lipscomb, J & J Natural Stone’s manager.

Lipscomb had been working in the stone business for several years, and he was interested in moving to the area, Archer said.

Lipscomb, a native of Natchez, had been working in Jackson.

“I talked with Marc (Archer) some about running the store, and we worked it out where I could come back here,” Lipscomb said.

The new store has three employees including Lipscomb, and has been fairly busy since it opened two weeks ago, he said.

“We’ve already worked on two installation jobs, and we have three more lined up,” he said.

The J and J flooring empire began in 1977 when Harold Archer — Marc’s father — started the J and J Flooring.

Marc started working at the business in 1979, and bought it from his father in 1992. Twelve years later, he opened the J and J Carpet Warehouse.

“My dad was a big influence on me,” Archer said. “He taught me the value of hard work.”

That philosophy is what has driven his business, Archer said.

“We believe in servicing our customers,” he said. “I believe we offer the best service in the area — if there is something wrong with our flooring, we will come and fix it with no charge, and I am accessible to my customers seven days a week.”

Archer also credited his wife Tara for some of his success.

“She has offered me a lot of ideas from a woman’s perspective,” he said. “About 90 percent of the business is women’s choice and selection.”

Men are worried about the bottom line and will agree with what their wives choose if it is reasonably priced, Archer said.

“J and J has the buying power to offer our customers a better value,” he said. “That value certainly has to do with money, but it also has to do with service.”

J and J Natural Stone is located at 5222 U.S. 84 west.