Thank you for learning more about Design Mart. You'll find some recent information about an industry class we recently welcomed, as well as general company info (below). Please email or call us if you'd like to know more.
Tracing Design Mart's Roots: Summer Road Trip Includes Barre, Vermont
Design Mart traces its roots back to Spain at a time when Spanish dictator Francisco Franco saw thousands of citizens flee the censorship, coercion, imprisonment, concentration camps, forced labor, and heavy prison sentences, which characterized his regime.
Mike and his sons, Christopher and Nicholas, stand in from of the house built by Luis Pena.
Among those entering the country via Ellis Island were the Penas, who went on to settle in Barre, Vermont. It was in Barre that Luis Pena went to work in Barre's granite industry. He and his wife Madelina, built a home, and raised five girls. One of them, Josephine, graduated from Spalding High School prior to her death at age 22.
The former Spalding High School is now a beautiful museum in downtown Barre.
As pneumatic tools and sandblast came into use, granite dust took its toll on many sculptors. As Luis lay dying in Barre's sanitorium with silicosis and tuberculosis he joined together two pieces of maple wood and worked with a pocket knife, a piece of broken glass and a nail, to create a frame for Josephine's diplomma. Jospephine Pena's diploma remains inside the frame that was hand carved by Luis and is still on display at the home of Joe (Luis' grandson) and Katherine Fernandez in Elberton, Georgia. (At the bottom left corner is the signature of Deane C. Davis, who later served as Governor of Vermont.)
At about the same time, John Fernandez and his two brothers, Angel and Salustiano had left Spain for Cuba, and after learning of Barre's granite industry they made their way north.
At the former Jones Brothers Company, and at Barre's WW I memorial.
Luis, John, Angel and Salustiano worked at Jones Brothers Granite Company where they crafted monuments that can be found in Barre's Hope and Elmwood Cemeteries.
Then and now...at Hope Cemetery.
After meeting Luis' daughter, Julia, John married her and moved south to Elberton, Georgia, as did John's brothers. They all went to work in Elberton's granite industry, and founded Victory Granite Company. John and Julia had four children, Manuel, Louise, Joe and John. The three brothers all worked in Elberton's granite industry, and in 1968, Joe founded Design Mart after working at Coggins Industries and Premier Designs.
A monument to Barre's immigrant craftsmen. The Barre Granite Association.
Joe Fernandez and his older son, Mike, continue Design Mart today - supplying thousands of monument retailers with brochures, catalogs, web sites, online sales and design tools, custom memorial artwork, and precut stencil.
[This summer, Mike and his wife Cynthia, and their sons, Christopher and Nicholas, included Barre on a summer road trip. Their visits included the Jones Brothers plant; the house built by Luis Pena; Hope Cemetery; Spalding High School where Mike's great-aunt, Josephine, graduated; the World War I Memorial "Youth Triumphant"; and the Barre Granite Association.]
News From Design Mart:
Design Mart D-92 Featured in Summer 2012 Graniteer Magazine
News From Design Mart:
Design Mart Design Featured in Summer 2012 Graniteer Magazine
Design Mart was featured in the Summer 2012 issue of the Elberton Granite Association's Graniteer magazine. While thousands of monument retailers count on Design Mart for brochures, catalogs and online services for design concepts, we don't always get to see the finished monuments. Thanks go out to Jennifer Roe of Green County Monument Company who sent in this photo of D1511 from our recently published Loving Memories catalog. This new, contemporary series, features 68 monument designs in a variety of granite colors. In this image you will see how the monument rendering appears in our Online Catalog.
And in this photo you can see how it was personalized with a different granite color and vase.
News From Design Mart:
Design Mart Welcomes 2011 EGA Class
Design Mart recently welcomed students from the Elberton Granite Association's "Monument Retailers Basic" course. This year's class was 17 members strong, with students from 11 different states. While a few of the students were from relatively new companies, many of the students we saw were from companies we've known for years. These companies and students are to be commended for spending their valuable time to learn more about memorialization and how they can effectively guide families and build more meaningful memorials.
In the photo on the left Mike Fernandez of Design Mart is explaining symbolism on one of Elmhurst Cemetery's older monuments from the 1800s. In the photo on the right, he talks to the class about symbolism and sales strategy as the students watch while a monument is designed using DMart's Online Monument Designer.
The class also got a look at more than 30 monument pamphlets, catalogs and CDs available to retailers as well as a preview of custom art created by the studio. Students were able to see how photos, rubbings and faxes can be turned into CAD files for restoring or duplicating monuments as well as customizing new ones.
News From Design Mart:
Design Mart Hosts 2010 EGA Class
(Left) Mike shows an example of a Maltese Cross used in a CSA plaque, and discusses the modern use of this symbol of protection in fire department emblems. (Right) the group learns about different dating systems used for some Jewish monuments and another type of dating used on some Masonic monuments, as shown here.
(Left) The group learns about symbolism and sales strategy, and then watches as a monument is designed using DMart's Online Monument Designer (Right).
The Elberton Granite Association recently hosted a seminar for more than 20 monument retailers from across the US, according to Bill Hood of the EGA.
“We conduct many of the seminar sessions in our classroom space at the EGA,” Bill said. “But it is very important that the students branch out and see how our members work for them.”
This year Design Mart was asked to present a class on memorial symbolism and how symbolism can be used to create and sell unique and meaningful memorials, according to Mike Fernandez of Design Mart.
“We covered some basic sales strategies, and used our Legacies In Stone book,” Mike said. “This is a book we wrote several years ago, and it has been a valuable symbolism guide and sales tool for many monument companies, cemeteries, and funeral homes.”
By using Legacies In Stone, students in the class learned that there are many options, beyond basic roses, that can be used in monument design.
“It was rewarding to see them discover new symbols to use in sales and design,” Mike said. “Symbols are not new to the monument business, but most of the students had not been exposed to many basic carvings and their symbolic meaning – such as wheat, grapes, dogwood, acanthus, ivy and others.”
The visit to Design Mart ended with a demonstration of Design Mart's new Online Monument Designer, and participants saw a demonstration of how easy it is to create unique designs using some of the symbolism they had just learned.
After lunch the class reconvened at Elberton's historic Elmhurst Cemetery where Mike took the group on a tour that looked at some older monuments and symbols that were used to create unique and personal messages about the faith, family and professions of some of the founding fathers of Elberton, Georgia.
For more information on Legacies In Stone please visit www.designmart.com/site/sales, and scroll down to Legacies In Stone. Books are $34.95 plus $8.79 s&h and may be ordered online at www.designmart.com/site/order-form For more information on browsing monuments in the Online Catalog or designing monuments with the Online Monument Designer please visit www.designmart.com/site/onlinecatalog . You can also call 800-736-7455 or email email@example.com to receive a user name and password for a free trial.
Welcome to Design Mart
When Design Mart opened in 1968 the industry still relied heavily on glossy design prints. As sales strategies changed, Design Mart saw a need for brochures to generate interest for monument companies - and matching sales books to close the sale.
As marketing continues to change, Design Mart has seen the need for CAD drawings and Online Monument Design capability as well as Online Monument Catalogs. If you've never tried our customized brochures, catalogs or online services we hope you'll contact us today for free samples, free demo CAD files, info and a free trial of our Online Monument Catalogs and Monument Designer. Visit us at www.designmart.com or give us a call at 800-736-7455. We look forward to hearing from you.
Design Mart is located at 132 College Avenue, Elberton, Georgia, 30635.
You can reach us by phone at 706-283-6503 or 800-736-7455 or fax at 706-283-4986.
You can visit us on the web at www.designmart.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are members of several monument industry organizations: Elberton Granite Association, International Cremation, Cemetery and Funeral Association, and Monument Builders of North America.
Design Mart was started by Joe Fernandez in 1968, and it was purchased by Mike Fernandez in 1995.
We have an extensive collection of monument designs dating back to the early 1900s. These designs include various McNeel, Coggins and Comolli books as well as the entire Memorial Design Studio collection, created by the late Andy Dude, which was purchased by Design Mart in the late 90s.
Our new offices were built in 1999 when Highways 17 and 72 were widened and required our three old houses to be moved. We often host classes and instructional CAD seminars, and we have a large viewing area for all of our sales brochures, catalogs and software.