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New Age Decorative Concrete has come full circle as new owners Ashley and Chris Carlin take over the company from its founder.

The couple, who moved to New Iberia in 2013 with their two children from upstate New York so Chris, 40, could work at various mines in south Louisiana, including at Cote Blanche and Avery Island. They have since had two more children, and bought a house in 2016 as their children were approaching school age. Their three daughters are ages 11, 5, and 2 and their son is age 9.

The two had been doing other work such as home remodeling, custom epoxy countertops, and decorative concrete. A friend asked if they had tried Surecrete products for decorative concrete, and gave them the name and contact information of a local representative.

Chris and Ashley Carlin

Owners

That turned out to be the same person from whom they bought their house, Tommy Mier. “He had a decorative concrete business here, and we didn’t know that that’s what he did, except in our backyard, there were pictures online when we looked at the house, and then when we came here we saw lots of score marks and lots of different staining, and we went ‘Well what went on here?’ you know,” Ashley Carlin, 34, said. “But he had a decorative concrete business, I think it’s like 23 or 24 years old now, that he started. He grew it pretty big throughout the area. That turned out to be the same person from whom they bought their house, Tommy Mier. “He had a decorative concrete business here, and we didn’t know that that’s what he did, except in our backyard, there were pictures online when we looked at the house, and then when we came here we saw lots of score marks and lots of different staining, and we went ‘Well what went on here?’ you know,” Ashley Carlin, 34, said. “But he had a decorative concrete business, I think it’s like 23 or 24 years old now, that he started. He grew it pretty big throughout the area.

“So now here we are full circle. About a year ago he talked about retiring, and now we’ve also purchased his business from him. We’re bringing it back to New Iberia because that’s where we’re residing.” Mier has been a mentor and contact for them, she said, and has relationships with a lot of contractors throughout south Louisiana, so the couple feels they can take it to the next level. “My husband and I have talked a lot about the south is where it’s at,” she said. “That southern hospitality, everyone is so friendly, where up north everyone it seems like we’re always in a hurry.”

Decorative concrete is transforming existing concrete, like driveways or patios, through such things as staining, scoring, stamping or overlays, she said. Wood plank looks and tile designs are some of the popular options.

“My husband was one of the last people at Cargill on Avery Island, and then they shut it down,” Ashley Carlin said. The option to buy the decorative concrete business was on the table

“His last day was Nov. 15 (2021) at Cargill, and we looked at each other and said we don’t want to live with regret,” she said. “We decided we were going to go for it. You never know until you try.

“Even though it was a sad day — we always talked about the mine, it’s been there forever, people on the island, it’s been a great job source.” But with the way the world has changed, with COVID and the rest of the issues we face now, she said the two decided to look at it as a positive thing pointing them in the right direction. The two closed the purchase of the business on March 7.

The Carlins are involved in several local organizations — Ashley is a Berry Queens and Chris recently became a board member of the CCA (Coastal Conservation Association).

“It’s been a crazy ride,” Ashley Carlin said. “I grew up in business. My parents owned pizzerias in New York. My husband owned a construction company in New York too before I met him, so each of us have a little bit of background (in business) and we have great support from friends and family.”

The Daily Iberian Article

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