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Focus Stories

Stevens Kitchens 2021

by Susan Shalhoub

Featured Photo from Stevens Kitchens 2021

Just as beautiful countertops are supported by the framework of sturdy cabinetry underneath, at Stevens Kitchens, there’s also built-in infrastructure behind the scenes. In this case, it’s team members Ashley Gustafson and Reem Kader.

According to Steve Tedesco, owner and namesake of Stevens Kitchens, these top-notch designers and sales experts make sure Stevens Kitchens clients are well looked-after before, during, and after kitchen or bath renovations. Both women deftly adjusted their customer service delivery due to the pandemic – having clients visit the company’s Oviedo showroom before a visit to their home with precautionary measures in place, for example.

Reem Kader
Reem, a former Lowe’s kitchen designer, is an International Academy of Design and Technology graduate, where she majored in interior design and architectural detailing. Reem has specialized training in space planning, construction, and specifications, and she has a passion for her work.

“I thought I was a workaholic,” says Steve, “but I have caught her on the computer at 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning. She has beautiful designs and brings a lot to the company.”

Ashley Gustafson
Ashley started at Stevens Kitchens as a product ordering assistant and worked her way up to become the design coordinator and finally a lead designer. She is a Seminole State College graduate from its interior design program, with experience in graphic design, visual merchandising, and real-estate photography. Ashley is also a color coordinator and                     selections consultant.

“She can show you the current trends and bring together the designs that excite you,” says Steve.

This expert assistance is even more welcome when you consider myriad decisions that go into a bath or kitchen renovation: hardware, materials, finishes, door, design style, and lighting fixtures, just to name a few.

Like Reem, Ashley loves the work, and her boss takes note.

“I have had to kick her out of here at the end of the day,” Steve laughs.

He says both women succeed consistently due to their high levels of organization while managing multiple jobs at various stages.

COVID-related building material shortages and appliance delays have been a constant struggle during the pandemic, but thanks to the outstanding service of Reem and Ashley, projects have stayed on track with as little interruption as possible. The key, according to the dynamic duo, is constant communication and unwavering support.

“Due to the fallout from COVID, it takes us longer to start once a contract is signed,” says Steve, “but the impact once it’s completed?.. It’s impressive.”

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