When it comes to cemetery monuments, Phil Soboleski has found that a lot of conversations start the same way.
"'How much is this going to cost?' It's all about the cost. I don't believe in that," said Soboleski, who supplies wholesalers with finished granite memorials.
"I want people to come in and tell me about their loved one. They don't have to text me. They don't have to email me. Just grab a beer and give me the long version," Soboleski said. "Talk to me about your father, your grandfather, your brother, your sister. And let's design something."
That personal approach is part of the reason Soboleski doesn't have a website - that and, until he recently began exploring retail sale, he realized having one might be counterintuitive.
"If I tried to crossover and sell retail, I would cannibalize my wholesale business," Soboleski said.
So, he's kept a low profile, building on years of experience working directly with quarries to harvest granite that will be made into grave markers, benches and other memorials.
The process goes something like this:
A quarry blasts a slab of granite out of the ground. That slab is lifted onto a flatbed and shipped to a sawmill, where it's ground into "monument thickness slabs," known to laypeople as pieces of granite four, six, eight and 10 inches wide. The slabs are polished, front and back, and then cut into basic shapes.
Soboleski sells basic square and rectangle memorials but he also, pun intended, has carved out a niche designing markers with statues of golfers and firefighters shaped from the rock. One monument was even made into the shape of a guitar.
"We actually put steel strings and steel frets on it," Soboleski said.
It's all part of Soboleski's attempt to create something personal, something beautiful to honor the people we love.
"A person's life needs to be marked," he said.
If you would like to suggest a business to be featured in the Business Spotlight, send an email to email@example.com or call (262) 446-6643
JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Rainbow's End Granite, 7847 Harwood Ave.
PHONE: (414) 607-9100
OWNER: Phil Soboleski
TYPE OF BUSINESS: granite monument wholesale supplier
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "Just grab a beer and give me the long version."
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Business Spotlight: Face time is the best time for photographer Stephanie Bartz
- Dog trainer finds it's people who need aid
- Business Spotlight: Russ Drover finds beauty in the original
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: When he left the corporate world, he made new arrangements
- Business Spotlight: For Ruckus & Glee toy store in Wauwatosa, it's all about play
- Block Legal Services opens in Wauwatosa
- Business Spotlight: Guitarist Kirk Tatnall plays — and passes it along
- Business Spotlight: Seeking contact with life, Tom Gill found drumming
- Business Spotlight: Jonathon Leubner heard music calling and followed it
- Business Spotlight: Ray's takes its music, and its wine, seriously
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: From a personal quest to a rug store in Tosa
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Bavaria, relatively new, harkens to the old world
- Business Spotlight: From 'bowling ball' to fitness trainer, Tony Becker's been there
- Business Spotlight: Incentive Gallery, without inventory, delivers the perfect thing
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Cafe Blue takes pleasure in providing simple pleasures
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Alicia Haugen, mom and designer, got into social media early
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: At Hoppe Tree Service, listening may be the most important thing
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Chiropractor says it's not just about the spine
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Daly's is helping to bring the fountain pen back
- Business Spotlight: Spring is here and gardens are blooming