Elkay USA—makers of the magnificent kitchen sink—invited a few of us from the world of home improvement and social media on a factory tour of their Chicago facility. Their vessels for kitchen, bath and beyond arrive in their factory as impossibly heavy rolls of stainless steel and leave there the hub of your home. I recommend them. Why?
Note: MyFixitUpLife partnered with Elkay on this blog. The opinions here are 100% ours and uninfluenced by Elkay USA.
Awesome, awesome, awesome sinks.
And, this 8 1/2 x 11-inch sign.
Let’s start with the kitchen sink. You can make the case that it’s literally the hub of our homes—and like breathing, I never really thought about it like this—it starts and ends our meals. It serves as an anchor point for life experiences. I never bathed one of my infant children there (I don’t think) but I have had 10,000 conversations standing at one washing dishes or cutting up fruit for smoothies. And, to quote a James Taylor song I sung to my daughter a million times, I have “10,000 more to go.” At least I hope I do. They’re young and growing up so fast.
But why am I telling you this about a factory tour (see quick Facebook video)? Shouldn’t this be some recap of product and process?
The tour was amazing, by the way. Elkay USA is a global company anchored near Chicago in a building brimming with tons of stainless steel. For example I literally love the Crosstown sink, made there. The angled ‘creases’ in this vessel’s sound-insulated, 15-gauge stainless would lure my eye every time I stepped up and turned on the faucet (Elkay makes elegant faucets too—from pull-down sprayer types to pot-fillers to commercial-esque sprayers). The eased corners are easily cleaned, too which means I arrive at a work of art every time I see it.
On the other end from smooth sleekness is Elkay’s full-tilt custom set-up.
Doing an outdoor kitchen? Elkay can make you not only the kitchen sink, but the entire, totally custom counter with the sink seamless with the surface. Oh, how do I love this?
Integrate the sink, counter, cooler and other features into a single piece of stainless steel. Run it straight, turn corners, whatevs. With Elkay’s custom work you can color outside the lines in your design.
It’s not just the kitchen sink, either—indoors or out. It’s the versatility of creative design and craftsmanship we saw—made by real people who go home at night and take their kids to little league games—that enables you to think and do differently in your kitchen design. Like who wouldn’t want Elkay’s meandering hammered copper Mystic in a bar or island situation?
With smart mounting options and dazzling finishes to choose from, I don’t even have an island and I want this sink. It’d rock a man cave too.
And while we didn’t see the Quartz Luxe line of sinks being made, they are a sight to behold and I’d be remiss if I didn’t gush here. The color choices are just deep, like captivatingly deep. Shapes, size choices, versatility and a beauty that makes a visit to the sink more experience than chore.
But back to the people thing.
We had PR pros on the tour with us. We had execs. But perhaps most notably we had a mountain of a man who moved to Chicago from Mississippi when he was a boy, some 40 years ago. He got a job on the factory floor and has been there ever since. Because he wants to be there.
He walked us around, spoke eloquently and with a little lilt you don’t hear in hard-talking Chicago. He showed us around a place that he spent more decades in than some on the tour had been alive.
Because I am a horrible person, I forget his name. But I’ll never forget him.
And, despite all the much-needed work of branding and business that help all companies (including me and Theresa) thrive and compete, the accidental discovery of a printer-paper sign with some of the loftiest—and most practical—ideals made the messaging ring true to me.
You can’t run from who you are. And you can’t hide it. So you might as well be good people. That, to me, is an ‘honorable endeavor’ palpable from top-to-bottom at Elkay. From people to product, these are not hollow words.
Buy the sink for the sink. Feel good because you bought it from people who strive for nothing less than ‘forever’. How cool is that?!
Now here’s a terrible photo.
I tried to capture the might and power of this place and only ended up with a blurry photo of me and some plumbing. OK, Matrix-level plumbing, but still, plumbing.