On par with global brands and on top of business back home

It’s a well-known fact that Home Studio was built to solve a pain point that, for founder Grant Lim, literally hits close to home: While working on a family project, his search for high-quality tiles locally had been a frustrating one. Finally, he turned his sights to Italian suppliers, taking the initiative to contact them himself. He parlayed that initiative to entrepreneurship, and decided to source tiles from overseas not only for his own house, but for smaller residential projects.

Grant Lim of Home Studio Shares His Success Story

Traveling for business was a must back then, and it still is: Lim crosses continents to Europe at least twice a year to attend international fairs—he hasn’t missed Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan and Cersaie in Bologna in over a decade—to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry and scout out new brands to collaborate with. He also makes side trips to the showrooms and warehouses of Home Studio’s suppliers to check the quality of their materials and make sure he and his partners stay on the same page.

The business is left in the capable hands of his team during these trips, but even when Lim isn’t at Home Studio’s San Juan headquarters, he certainly makes his presence felt: He stays in the loop using apps like Viber, with which he exchanges files and messages between his partners and employees for real-time feedback. “I am very much hands-on but I have learned to delegate. [But] I insist on knowing what is going on and I do not want to be kept in the dark,” he says. “I stay connected no matter what. That’s key for me.” This perfectionist streak isn’t just for productivity’s sake—he’s driven to make the most out of meetings and messages with other people, he says, because “I don’t take their time for granted.”

Grant Lim of Home Studio

The business was founded in the thick of the nineties—now seen as some bygone era defined by fax machines and dial-up Internet—but communication is, and always has been, essential to stay competitive in his field, because so many of Home Studio’s partners are global brands whose founders also do a lot of globetrotting. “Technology has gotten us this far and it’s impossible to imagine a world without it now,” Lim says. “It’s crazy to think how attached people are to their gadgets now, and 23 years ago cellphones didn’t even exist.” 

Home Studio Inc. has come a long way since its days dealing solely in tiles. In 2011, it expanded its catalogue to include products for other living spaces, like light fixtures, furniture, and mattresses. And in the near future, Lim plans to add fabrics and home accessories to the mix. “I want to be able to provide whatever a home might need. A one-stop shop, if you will. That has always been the mission,” he says. “Passion is vital because if you’re excited then you’re more productive and it shows in the results.”

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