Allison Walton has done what many dream of doing: taking two things she is passionate about and making them a part of her job. She gets satisfaction from customer happiness as well as giving back to her community; more specifically, those struggling with mental health issues.
Walton of Legacy Tile LLC (legacytilellc.com) is from St. Petersburg, Fla. She focuses on residential construction, and more specifically high-end backsplash installation. She has been an NTCA member for just over a year and said she wouldn’t have become one had she not moved to Florida.
Walton’s tile business changed when she attended an NTCA training session for gauged porcelain tile panels and met NTCA members Shawn King and John Roberts. After the training, she stayed to help clean up – and left as an NTCA member.
King – of Shawn King, Inc., – recalled his first time meeting Walton: “After being introduced to Allison, I was immediately impressed with her knowledge of tile installations. I quickly found out that she’s a hard worker and takes constructive criticism like a champ while continuing to improve on her abilities,” he said.
“I am grateful for the connections, friendships, and opportunities [NTCA] continues to bring me,” she said.
She is very passionate about contributing to her customers’ satisfaction levels. “What sets me apart from other companies and installers in my area is my passion and dedication to the quality of install. I’m not willing to cut corners, I offer guarantees on the work, I am easy for homeowners to talk to, and I go above and beyond to make my customers happy,” she said.
What’s more, Walton thinks of herself as an artisan: “Every job is a work of art,” her website states.
Supporting and striving for wellness and balance
In addition to creating custom tile work for her customers, she also gives back to the community. A portion of all Walton’s sales goes back to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, a local non-profit organization that answers suicide hotlines, provides support to abuse survivors, assists in transportation for those with mental health problems, and “many other services that are close to my heart,”
One of Walton’s biggest struggles is avoiding burnout when it comes to tile setting. She said she has “ups and downs with motivation” and she and tile have a “love-hate relationship.”
However, she is very proud of being a tile contractor. “It brings me the freedom of working for myself, supporting my daughter, and getting to create for a living. I think that creation in any form is good for the soul,” she said.
Her goal for this year is to avoid burnout by combining her love of tile and her love of wellness. At this year’s Coverings, she enjoyed that wellness was incorporated into the event.
“I’m big into meditation and mental health. Give me a crystal and call me crazy but that sh*t works,” Walton said.
Later this year she has plans to release a yoga routine created especially for tile setters like herself, “to help all of us poor souls that are worn out after a day’s long work.”
Tile setting can be very hard on the body, especially being on hands and knees all day every day. Walton suggests, “We as an industry could all do a little better at taking care of ourselves. To all of you tough guys and girls out there, I encourage you to take time to pamper yourself.”
Amanda Mourelatos, daughter of John Mourelatos, Owner of Mourelatos Tile Pro, is a 19-year-old student in her second year at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., where she is majoring in journalism with a communications minor.