Friday, May 21, 2010

Dunwoody Artisans at Precision Custom Metals proud of work at U.S. Capitol & National Gallery of Art

Julia & Vincent Annaloro of Precision Custom Metals

My good friends Julia & Vincent Annaloro of Dunwoody are artisans & craftsmen who have just one goal in their business model, and that is to... build cool stuff and lately they have done just that.  Last week the couple were recognized by an interview with Dunwoody's own Amy Otto on the Atlanta Business Radio network and below was an nice article from The Crier written by Fran Memberg.

The year-old U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington houses museum-quality displays and historic artifacts, including the original plaster model for the Capitol dome’s exterior crowing feature, the bronze Statue of Freedom, created by American sculptor Thomas Crawford in 1858.

Step inside one of the center’s two theaters, each decorated to evoke either the House or Senate chamber, and you’ll find decorative accents designed, manufactured and installed by Precision Custom Metals, a Tucker-based company owned by Dunwoody residents Vincent and Julia Annaloro. The project, which included bronze handrails, decorative wall ornamentation and floor trim, was one of the finishing touches completed just before the center opened in December 2008.

The Annaloros founded their company in 1997 and outgrew three smaller shops before moving to the Tucker location. Their work is recognized locally, nationally and internationally. When the contractor for the Capitol Visitor Center needed someone to design the theater decorations, Precision was approached about doing the job.

“They had heard about us,” said Vincent, who explained that much of their business is derived from client or contractor referral.

Working on a government project requires security clearance and vetting by the Department of Defense, Vincent said. They have completed six other government contracts and are bidding on two others. Precision has also completed several non-government projects in the greater Washington area and is now working on an historic restoration of window grills and doors for the National Gallery of Art in the nation’s capital.

Precision engineers, fabricates and installs monumental stairs and rails, handrails, decorative screens, canopies, lighting, water features and other custom design accents in stainless steel, steel, brass, bronze, glass and aluminum. Most of their work is for commercial or government clients but they do residential projects as well.

The company tackles work no one else wants to do, according to Vincent, who says many other metalworkers shy away from the potential liability of installing heavy decorative pieces.

“I learned about metalworking in high school welding (class) and developed my passion for metal working as a welder after high school,” said Vincent, a Louisiana native. “The level of craftsmanship taught in yesterday’s trade schools and apprenticeships has been all but lost in today’s quick-fix high tech world.”

The Annaloros team up to use their individual strengths to run their business. After years of running the Precision shop, along with engineering, designing and soliciting new work, Vincent now focuses on sales, engineering and design. Julia, a native of California, creates custom metal etching designs from the skills she gained by earning her bachelor’s degree in studio arts along with communications.

“I don’t do much with the engineering and design of the projects - I leave that to the metal experts. Mostly I deal with the daily operations of running the business, marketing branding, accountability and follow-ups,” said Julia.

“I’m so glad she’s on board. We’ve grown beyond one person running the whole business,” said Vincent.

They also strike a balance between business and family. They have one grown son and two daughters who attend Dunwoody public schools.

“I remember when (the company was) much smaller and I used to bring the baby into the office and make all my phone calls during naptime. Today, what’s nice about working with my husband is that we know when the other had a hard day or good day. There are so many opportunities to be proud of each other during the day,” Julia said.

“The balance of running a company and a family is tough for any working parent. One nice thing about having our own business is being able to work a flexible schedule which allows me to pick up the children from school,” she added.

On March 9, Precision learned it had won the Ernest Weimann Top Job Silver Awards for Outstanding Craftsmanship in the Art/Sculpture category, presented by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Association, for the third year in a row - some added bling for what Vincent calls a building project’s “jewelry” that his company produces.

No comments: