Beauty, depth and richness are three qualities Mat Rogers, owner of Flying Turtle Cast Concrete, strives to achieve with every decorative concrete piece he produces. “Our concrete begins with a love affair with the beauty of concrete,” he says. “That beauty is a principle that pervades all of our work in terms of the fit, the finish and technical expertise. The expertise we bring to our work is at a very high level in terms of how our stuff fits together, our craftsmanship and the quality of the coatings and sealers we use.”
Flying Turtle, located in Modesto, Calif., has been in business since 1998. Originally, Rogers was a design build general contractor, and he believes design is one of the most distinguishing aspects of the company. “One of the reasons people call us is they want a feel, a certain quality,” Rogers says. “We offer a sophisticated design sensibility, a willingness to work with people on that and to embrace that as a part of what this material is about.”
Rogers began the company offering decorative services such as countertops and fireplaces and has remained a specialist of precast concrete. With seven employees, 80 percent of the business is residential and 20 percent is commercial. The main service area of Flying Turtle is northern California, but Rogers has worked on jobs from Hawaii to New York.
He recently finished a large project consisting of countertops and showers for an upscale home in Kona, Hawaii. “Most of the countertops and showers on the project were done in a ground concrete that showed varying size of aggregates like a river flow of rocks flowing through a black color and taupe color,” he says. “I flew there and measured, and when I came back we made everything. Then, we wrapped it and boxed it up in 3,000-pound boxes and shipped it to Hawaii.” It took 11 days for the shipment to arrive, and two weeks after they were crated up Rogers returned to Hawaii and installed the pieces.
A new age of marketing
A combination of working through its clientele and using social media marketing and e-blasts has had positive effects on the company’s business. “We aim to knock it out of the park with each client to win him in ways where we over deliver, and they feel like they are really important getting something that is really extraordinary,” Rogers says. “We are able to do an e-blast in which they are usually happy to provide a testimonial. Our work has become something we require to celebrate and communicate as we are doing it. As we’re working, we’re running around with cameras anticipating a testimonial from our client that will go out in an e-blast.”
Rogers is always looking for new techniques. Currently, he is exploring the use of fabric transfers and glass, illuminating glass, backlighting glass and fiber-optics. “We started recently to use fabric as a means of achieving a textural affect on a couple of fireplace projects in a bar,” Rogers says. “You’re pouring against some kind of silky fabric, and after we get the product released we are able to rub, in this case, a metallic powder into the low spots in the fabric form to create a fabric-metallic affect.”
The work completed by Flying Turtle is without boundaries. “We will flex and take on things our competitors often won’t do,” Rogers says. “We are known for having the ability to get any color. We’re not limited in terms of what we are willing to try.”