gmhTODAY 25 gmhTODAY April May 2019 - Page 50

ANN MARIE MCCAULEY Lazy Suzan Designs he colorful, eye-catching van zipping around town sporting the slogan ”Turn your kitchen around” is a familiar sight for many South County residents. The driver of that van is Ann Marie McCauley, 47, owner and operator of Lazy Suzan Designs, a kitchen remodeling design company located in Gilroy. In 2005, McCauley felt the best way to utilize her artistic design talents was to offer clients a unique aspect of the kitchen design business, a mobile showroom. “I felt it would be much lower over- head to do a mobile showroom and I would have more access to the client’s home,” McCauley said. “The van is completely outfitted with door styles, and cabinets in different finishes, so when I go to someone’s house I can bring the samples in and they can see the colors.That way there are no misunderstandings.” McCauley also offers her clients an entire kitchen display at Superior Stone in Gilroy, one of the many local vendors she utilizes through her business. In addition to convenience, McCauley offers potential clients a free consultation, because for her it’s all about making that special connection. “That’s extremely important to me, because I want to love what I do, and I want to be able to give as much as I can, so I need to work with the right people,” McCauley said. According to past client and Gilroy resident, Melanie Troini, it’s a winning strategy. Troini worked with McCauley five years ago on her kitchen remodel and she’s very happy she did. 50 “I’m still excited to go into my kitchen. She made sure it was what I wanted,” Troini said. “She was really very patient and really listened to what I had to say. She really wanted me happy, and I think she feels that way with everybody.” Michelle Conrotto, another happy customer, agrees with Troini. “Oh my gosh, she’s just so creative and helped me just literally turn my kitchen around, turned it into a new showplace,” Conrotto said. That special connection is equally important in regard to her contractors, who McCauley feels are crucial to her work. She has every confidence that each of her 30 vendors provides the respect her clients deserve and the quality they expect. “We’re all continuously working as a team, there’s a lot of loyalty, and there’s a lot of loyalty to the clients,” McCauley said. Tony Hubner and his wife Cheryl found McCauley’s contractors very responsive to their needs. “We had an excellent experience working with her and the cadre of people who she recommended for the counters, the backsplash, the floors and the appliances,” Hubner said. The level of trust established between McCauley and her band of contractors is something she feels is unique to the city of Gilroy. LAZY SUZAN DESIGNS Monday thru Saturday by appointment only. For a free in-home consultation, call: 408-848-5956, or go to: GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN april/may 2019 “I love doing it that way because everyone is accountable,” McCauley said. With a workload of 80 kitchen remodels per year ranging from mobile homes to grand estates, McCauley is extremely reliant on her team. “I feel like I am just paper and wood without the contractor,” McCauley said. As passionate as she is about the people she works for, and with, McCauley is equally passionate about her husband Kevin, a native Gilroyian, and their eight-year-old daughter, Ripley. Although McCauley was born in Massachusetts, raised in Florida, and attended college in Providence, Rhode Island, she thinks of Gilroy as home for her and her family. McCauley has made a true connection as well with her commu- nity. For over nine years she’s contrib- uted her time and financial resources to the Gilroy Compassion Center, which has allowed her to gain first- hand experience of the community’s continuing homeless situation. Through that experience McCauley made a startling discovery. “They’re really strong, good people, and there’s a lot of people who are homeless who are working, who are going to school with our kids. It’s not the stereotype,” McCauley said. The realization she gained led to a commitment, one she’s been true to since 2010. For each of her remodels McCauley donates a minimum of one hundred dollars to the Center. “If they need extra things I try to help too,” she said. DESIGNS T Written By Kimberly Ewertz