When Bill Phillips wanted a career change, he looked for a business he could call his own.
An IT professional by training, he learned that Countersync, originally started in 2002, was for sale. He purchased the company 2 1/2 years ago and recently moved it from the corner of Jones and 13th streets to 2014 Westside Court off River Watch Parkway in Augusta.
Countersync specializes in solid-surface countertops for the home and office. The business sells DuPont Corian and LG Hi-Macs brands.
Before entering the world of countertops, Phillips worked in corporate IT for 33 years, at Cummins Mid-South and J. Ray McDermott in New Orleans and The Babcock & Wilcox Co. and Augusta Sportswear in Augusta.
Phillips said he wanted to get out of the “IT rat race” of answering e-mails at all times of the day.
“It’s a big change. I’m a new small business owner,” Phillips said. “I enjoy coming to work every day. There are certainly challenges and opportunities out there, and we’re not where we want to be. But we’re going in the right direction. The future is before us.”
Countersync’s clients include Doctors Hospital, Evans Stadium Cinemas and owners of homes, houseboats and motor homes. The business has six employees.
Phillips offers a benefits plan for his employees. “I think that’s important for us as a company,” Phillips said. “I want this to be a good career and a good opportunity for employees. I want us all to be successful in this.”
Phillips said he offers quality products. Solid-surface countertops are made primarily of bauxite clay, aluminum and acrylic.
“Most of these products are made in the U.S.,” Phillips said. “The biggest difference in our product and a stone product is that it’s nonporous – meaning that if you put a piece of chicken on this countertop, pick it up and wipe it off, it’s gone. There are lots of options that are hard to do with a stone-type product.”
Solid-surface countertops come in many colors and patterns. They are durable, stain resistant, repairable and allow the buyer to integrate features such as drain boards, he said.
“There’s more craftsmanship involved. It’s more than a slab with a hole in it,” Phillips said. “It’s almost woodworking. We can do turns, corners, radiuses and edges.”
While the business is focused on countertops, it recently joined with Sullivan Cabinets in Lexington, S.C., to offer Marsh Cabinets.
“Many times, when people come to the door, they want the cabinet and the countertop, so that’s why we’re able to now offer that,” Phillips said.
He believes there is a lot of potential for the business in the shower market. The store will soon carry showers with a solid-surface pan, floor and wall and no grout or tile lines.
Phillips decided to move to the new location because he needed more space for the showroom and more parking.
He said he loves working with his diverse customer base.
“I think our reputation is certainly growing. I believe we are doing the right things,” he said.