Meet lead showroom consultant, avid reader, gardener and scrapbook enthusiast, Susan Uken, Ferguson Plumbing, Sioux Falls SD
She brings you… a keen eye for design and 15 years experience in the plumbing business. Sue honed her design sense in her first career as a florist, working as a showroom consultant for a national silk flower wholesaler. When she spotted an opportunity in a similar capacity at a plumbing showroom, she thought “why not, my dad was a commercial plumber so by osmosis I should know something.” Turned out, she did! And Dad, who had all girls, is proud to have one of them following in his footsteps.
She specializes… in medium to high-end new homes within a 100-mile radius of the showroom, often working with people drawn to the area by the booming medical community. Builders or plumbers send their clients to her to select plumbing fixtures and fittings, as well as lighting.
She invites you… to visit the showroom, get a feel for it and look at a few products. Then make an appointment to come in with your plans and make selections, which generally takes about two hours, depending on your project.
She cares… about getting to know you and your lifestyle. She’ll find out how you live, your favorite style, what feeling you’d like to evoke in your new home, and how you want your personality to be reflected there. “Once I get to know you, then we can decide what direction to go in.”
She knows… the master shower is very important, especially to guys. “Here’s where plumbing gets to be very personal. We learn so many things about you, like how you use your shower. Do you jump in, get clean and get out, or use it for relaxing? Then we can determine whether you need a rain shower, hand shower, body sprays and so forth. We get technical so you don’t have to. We spec the right valves, pipes and so forth for your project.”
She recommends… starting the decision-making with the faucet. “Everything falls into place from there. It dictates the shower, type of sink and so forth.”
She understands… the hardest thing for people is visualizing the end results. Here’s where her design flair comes into play. “I’ve always been a creative person. If you tell me about your bathroom, the color of flooring and cabinets, a picture pops ups in my head. I can suggest things you might not have thought of. Helping people realize their dreams is the fun part of my job.”
She worries… about people believing they are getting a better deal on the Internet. “Think about it. What happens when this big semi pulls up? How are you going to get a tub off the truck? The driver’s not going to do it. Do you have a pallet jack? A forklift? What happens when you uncrate it and it’s damaged? We coordinate ordering, getting the product shipped and delivered, and handle any problems that might come up such as damages and returns.”
She’s also seen people order tub/shower faucets but forget the valve or trim. “Now your good deal is not that great of a deal.”
Fitzgerald Collection from DXV by American Standard Golden Era Movement
She loves… the DXV Golden Era Design Movement for its thoughtful refined look. Her eye for design is particularly drawn to the vintage flair of the Fitzgerald Collection.
St. George Freestanding Tub from DXV by American Standard Classic Movement
Another favorite is the St. George freestanding soaking tub with deck because it’s “not fussy but totally traditional. I’m doing a wonderful project with it now that also includes two St. George console lavs side-by-side and a beautiful marble shower with Ashbee faucets. “I like the nice, clean straight lines of the Classic Design Movement.”
She also loves… reading, gardening and scrap booking. She credits her 92-year-old grandmother with turning her onto the author Janet Evanovich.
And she’s looking forward…. to the new Ferguson showroom debuting soon. “It will be double the size with a whole new look and new DXV vignettes.”