Breaking Plates to Build a Community

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KP Tiles, a well established mosaic tile supply company started by breaking plates for pique-assiette mosaic tile work. They now are well established on the Internet and are expanding to a walk-in retail store and tile showroom, as well as mosaic classes staffed by artists recognized locally and even nationally.

KP Tiles ( has grown by becoming a one-stop shopping network that serves the needs of designers, artists, teachers, students, suppliers, and others that in one way or another are involved with mosaic art and installation. Mosaic tile supplies are not easily acquired in one place or cheaply, which is surprising given the popularity of the medium. Mosaic tiles are used in a variety of progressive ways for interior design because they are functional and at the same time lend themselves to creative expression.

Kristen Phillips started KP Tiles because she found it difficult to find affordable materials and services for her mosaic art and crafts projects. She says, “When I did find what I needed, supplies were often limited and I found myself trying to outbid other people on e-bay, but it was really difficult to get the mosaic tile I wanted cheaply, so I started to make my own.”

That was a wise decision because Kristen was soon selling batches of tile made from broken plates, and it was difficult to keep up with demand. As her tile business grew, interested surfers who browsed the KP Tiles website asked Kristen questions about where to find other materials and products for their mosaic projects, such as uncut tiles, unique or unusual tiles, and mosaic surfaces ready for tile and grout work like mirrors and tables. “Browsers of my website made it clear they were passionate about their mosaic projects and I was amazed by the diversity of my customers and their needs.” As a result, Kristen developed relationships with tile distributors, product vendors, artists, equipment manufacturers, and anyone else connected to mosaic art and installation to better serve her customers.

Eventually, Kristen moved her household operation into a warehouse at 1832 Star Batt Drive in Rochester Hills, MI, where she continued the process of expansion with her husband Paul Phillips. At the time, extra space was needed to store the growing line of products at KP Tiles in addition to the tile itself, such as mosaic tools, grout, and even a workshop complete with kiln and woodworking equipment to manufacture a variety of mosaic products and accessories.

Now, KP Tiles is expanding again to offer more products and services to artists, designers, and even newcomers who are just beginning to dabble in mosaic art and installation. Kristen has acquired more warehouse and office space to offer a showroom and provide arts classes staffed by artists recognized locally and even nationally. Kristen says, “Our showroom will present mosaic tile in a variety of interesting displays, such as wall mountings and even areas with a fireplace, kitchen, and bathroom all done in mosaic tile offered by KP Tiles.”

KP Tiles is truly a one-stop shopping network that will help build the mosaic art and installation community by serving the diverse needs of its members. KP Tiles offers materials for all types of mosaic projects, classes for anyone interested in mosaic art, and even mosaic installation by Paul Phillips. KP Tiles is a growing business that connects artists, designers, and anyone else interest in mosaic art and installation with one another while they work on their projects and promote their businesses.

5KP Tiles is officially more than an internet business when it opens its doors to the public on May 2, 2005. Kristen says, “We will be more accessible to our customers in metropolitan Detroit and we are excited about meeting many of the people served by KP Tiles over the years.”


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