The youngest of four, Sonia know’s how to handle her brothers, perhaps lesson’s learnt well from their mum, yes, I’m sure of it. Girls rule and Sonia does it superbly!
Now, this chick get’s it done… and with a smile. Her bubbly personality and ability to manage staff and customers is second to none. Her name is Sonia Ruffin, the youngest of four siblings that make the TILE junket family. Only recently has she rejoined the family business, and wow am I glad she got the job! A truly great chick who makes all welcome when visiting our showroom and nothing is too much trouble.
Let me introduce Sonia, aka Son, Sonny and Sis…
Tell us a bit about your background – what path led you to joining the family business and what you do now?
I’m so blessed to be working with my brothers; I’ve previously worked in the ‘family business’ (Suregrip Ceramics) and gained a lot of experience within the tile industry and in business in general. Being the youngest of my siblings, I’ve witnessed all my brothers follow in my father’s foot steps from working as his ‘lacky’ on weekends during their school years, to working in tile showrooms and as professional tilers themselves. As much as I tried to avoid it, I ended up following the same path and have never looked back.
How do you find working with your older siblings – is there rivalry or is it all just ‘winning’?
Previously working in the business, when I was younger, it was much harder to separate family and business, but our relationships throughout our childhood, with our parents and one another have always been strong – yeah we argue and fight, but we always end on a good note and ‘never go to bed angry’; we learnt that from a young age and I believe that’s helped us remain strong during tough times.
I was working as a dental nurse which I enjoyed, but missed seeing the family on a daily basis and being involved in the business. The opportunity arose to rejoin the business again so I took it with both hands. Now with Mum and Dad tiling together and another brother tiling on his own, they pop in all the time and of course I spend pretty much everyday with Gerrard and Pat (directors) – I love life! I go to work happy, and I leave happy, sometimes drained after a hectic day and then reality hits that all the hard work is for all of us and it’s inspiring to be in this and WINNING together as a fam.
Above: Sonia with her bros Pat & Gebsy (Gerrard)
What does a typical day at work involve for you and what do you hear from customers when they visit the showroom?
I love my job; it’s great, I hear client stories about their new builds or renovations, whilst witnessing them be inspired by our showroom and designers. I schedule client appointments with our design team, assist in social media marketing and act as client liaison. I am the customer’s first point of contact when calling or visiting TILE junket and I’ll even make you a cuppa when you visit!
In your opinion, what is unique to TILE junket, what do you think sets the business apart from others in a similar industry?
Our designers have searched the globe to find amazing tiles and I believe that’s what has made our showroom unique. TILE junket has tiles from all over the world, different styles and trends. The design team have so much knowledge regarding all aspects of building and decorating, and it’s inspiring for me as ‘client relations’ to hear such wonderful feedback from clients about the service and products we provide. Our clients always say they love not having to travel to Melbourne to find different, unique and spectacular tiles – I believe we’re a little gem right here in Geelong.
Who or what inspires you in your every day life?
I love to travel and learn about different cultures. Just recently my brother Pat and I travelled through Vietnam and Cambodia and the culture was phenomenal, the architecture, designs and trends in that part of the world was awesome to see. We were often caught taking photos of floors with amazing and original patterned tiles which are now trending again in a big way.
Above: Sonia & Pat at Ta Prohm, Angkor, Cambodia
Above: Patterned floor tiles, photos taken on Sonia’s travels
What are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to travelling again on another big trip – travelling around and meeting people from all over the world and seeing the way they live is so much fun and sometimes makes you really appreciate how blessed we are to call this amazing part of the world home.
By Hayley Norman
Need help selection your tiles and colour scheme? Call Sonia on 5222 6066 and she will schedule you in for a complimentary CONCEPT CONSULT appointment with one of TILE junket’s designers. It’s easy, no pressure, no obligations, just results you’ll love.