We had the good fortune of connecting with Evan Cohen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Evan, what matters most to you?
Integrity is at the core of how I live my life. Whether in business, at home, with friends or around complete strangers, doing the right thing at all times is the way I live my life. I have always believed that there are plenty of ways to get what you want out of life, and usually you have to give up something to get there. Life is all about compromising, and although we want our cake and to eat it as well, this is not always possible. I have chosen in my life, to do the right thing always, and whatever happens is meant to be. You will not find me letting up on my integrity to make more money or to get something that has to be done in a way that I could not be proud about. As a young child, I witnessed countless thefts, whether at my home or at my fathers place of business. These experiences always made me upset and I found myself taking a personal oath to never betray others and to treat them the way I want to be treated. This to me was the greatest foundation that I could build my business off of. To this day, our company’s mission statement is: “To provide creative solutions and memorable experiences through HONEST partnerships”. Every week, we discuss how we used each of these points in the business and we recognize people who hold strong and true to these values. The most beautiful thing about living a life of integrity, is that you never have to look over your shoulder or behind you as you walk through life. You never have the weight looming over your head about if someone will figure out what you did. You get to walk through this life with your head held high and facing forward the whole time. This is a lesson that I teach my kids, daily, as well as everyone at the company. I know that I may not be able to change everyone who lacks integrity in life, but as long as I can help change some people, then having and living a life of integrity is even more worthwhile.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is unique in many ways. Much like the hard work that goes into the R&D in that smart phone you carry and use daily, which helps minimize future challenges, we have put in the time and effort to identify and resolve issues that many people would face, if we had not done the hard work up front. We are a hard surface importer and distributor, primarily for countertops, walls and floors, although we consider ourselves a service company that just happens to sell hard surfaces. When someone is buying their hard surfaces from us, they can rest assure that we have done the research, testing and everything needed to ensure that we are delivering only the finest products that are made to last. When I first envisioned the company, I thought the name Quality Marble & Granite would be a great way to describe succinctly, that our product is a quality product. Ironically, on our initial order of stone, I was faced with a huge challenge that could have broken down the company, at the very beginning. I made a big investment in inventory, to get our doors open and enter our market. When the product arrived in 6 large shipping containers, i soon came to realize that the products that I ordered was not what they shipped. In fact, the so-called “quality” products that I was aiming for, was anything but quality. We were faced with having to somehow sell seriously damaged stone. This went completely against my value of providing a quality product that I can be proud of. I had to get creative and find the places that would be able to work with the products we got faced with, to which I was able to do and rebuild our initial investment and make a wiser decision the next time. Since then, we have build a phenomenal name for ourselves in the Inland Empire in regards to our quality of product, our exquisite service and our ability to help others find a product that will support what their lifestyle demands and something that myself and everyone who I get to work with, can be proud to sell, each and every day.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would suggest restaurants like Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills, Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, The Ivy on Robertson, Nate n Al’s for a classic Deli style restaurant. Avra Estiatorio in Beverly Hills. For a taste of something decadent, check out Sprinkles for a cupcake delight. Take a stroll down Rodeo Drive, Check out the Beverly Hills sign and the Hollywood sign to prove that they were really there. Taking a stroll through Hollywood Blvd (Avenue of the stars) and stop by the Wax Museum for some good photo ops. Swindle your way into the Magic Castle for some mind altering magic tricks. Check out the original Laugh Factory on Sunset Blvd, where many of the famous comedians started their careers. Check out The Abbey (gay or straight) for a wild time and lots of drinks flowing. Also for a good day, check out Disneyland, Universal Studios, Santa Monica (downtown and the pier) For some culture, check out the Getty Museum
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My success is something that I have to look at my Father and Mother and the way they influenced my life, from the very beginning. From a very early age, my father, Harrie, taught me all about what having a strong work ethic is all about. He would have me working at his company at the age of 7 and always provided me the lessons in life for hard work and dedication. To this day, I still find myself discussing business with my father. I would recognize my mother, Mindy, for instilling a high level of integrity in me my whole life. She always taught me right from wrong, with patience and class. She is a big part of why I am the man that I am today. Even today, as a man in my early 40’s I will find myself reaching out to my mother when I am dealing with a tough situation, and she seems to always ask the right questions and help me recognize the right path.