When Rex Glass & Mirror first opened in Peters Township in 1958, they had no idea how large they’d grow. Now opening their fourth location—and flagship showroom—at Jackson’s Pointe in Zelienople, the company has expanded to meet the needs of its customers, including an increasing number in the North Hills.
“We’re not only on our fourth location, but also on our fourth generation,” said COO John Kimicata of the company originally started by Joseph Rectenwald Sr. and three of his sons. “We turned our original location into a small shop and showroom, and built our current production facility and showroom in Kennedy Township in 1997. We added our Ellsworth Avenue store in the late 2000s, and with our newest showroom outside of Cranberry, we’ll be able to better serve the northern market.”
“We have grown organically over the last 63 years, growing along with Pittsburgh,” added Production Manager Sandy Rectenwald, the founder’s great-granddaughter. “We still have 10 family members working in the company as well as a couple of lead glaziers who have been here 35-plus years—it’s a real family atmosphere, and we’re proud that our name is still associated with good work and honesty.”
Rex Glass & Mirror offers both residential and commercial customers a wide range of products from shower doors to mirrors, to art glass, tabletops, replacement window glass, storefront and office fronts, and more.
“We do a little bit of everything from simple shower doors to the fanciest, most complicated art glass projects,” said Kimicata. “We’ve earned a reputation for being up to any challenge. If you have a tough project, we’ll be the ones who figure out how to make it happen.”
“Our new showroom provides an opportunity for customers to see almost everything you can imagine, from very reasonably priced framed sliders to an awesome $12,000 shower that’s over the top,” said Rectenwald. “We hear from a lot of our customers that they had no idea so many beautiful projects were possible.”
Extensive Inventory, Expert Advice
Whether customers know what they have in mind or need advice on projects and products, Rex Glass & Mirror’s showrooms provide a wealth of ideas. Not only does each showroom have a wide range of products, but experiential layouts allow customers to see what actual rooms look like with the products installed.
“In a mock kitchen, for example, customers can see a painted backsplash and the cabinet glass types we carry, or see a mocked-up bar with glass shelves and mirrors,” said Kimicata. “We provide real-life examples of what the rooms will look like so they can visualize the products in their own spaces.
“We always hear, ‘I didn’t know you could do X or Y with glass,’” he added. “And that’s what we’re striving for—to show them all of the different options available.”
These options include products featuring the company’s own proprietary coating product that can be applied to glass to make it lower maintenance, and replacement window glass with low-E technology to improve energy efficiency.
Rex Glass staff is also on-hand to help those who may need guidance on a project.
“Some people come in with architectural plans where an architect or interior designer has everything worked out and we just need to fill in the blanks, and other people walk in not sure about what they want to do,” said Kimicata. “We work with customers every step of the way to help them get their project to completion.”
Kimicata credits the staff—both inside and outside the office—for the company’s ability to meet customers’ needs.
“Our glaziers in the field are a big part of what makes us successful; they are able to execute what we’re proposing to do from the sales end,” he explained. “We’ve had people who have worked with us for 10, 20, even 30 years, and they are craftsmen who produce high quality work all of the time.”
“We learned from my grandfather and my dad, who ran Rex Glass for 30 years, that the company is all about its people,” added Rectenwald. “We try very hard to take care of our people, sharing the profits and the insurance safety bonus at the end of every year. And most positions start at double the minimum wage.”
While materials shortages and transportation gridlock have caused issues in construction worldwide, Kimicata says that the company has still been able to keep most wait times to a minimum. “We work tirelessly with our suppliers across the country to keep projects on schedule,” he said. “Even when we’re dealing with specialty products, our goal is to find them as quickly as possible for our customers to eliminate project fatigue.”
According to Rectenwald, it all comes down to customer service.
“We hold ourselves accountable to call back customers within 24 hours,” she said. “We answer the phone by the third ring; we don’t have an answering service or automated system—if you call us, you get a human sitting in one of our offices. We try to turn most customer projects around in a three-week time frame; even given this past year’s materials delays, we’ve stayed very close to that.”
“We’ve always believed in taking care of the customer and doing the right thing—even things as simple as showing up when we say we will and being responsive to customer calls,” said Kimicata. “Our goal is to provide a well-crafted product in a timely fashion to ensure happy customers. That’s how we’ve lasted for so many years.”
To learn more, visit www.rexglass.com.