Case Studies

Dominion Granite & Marble: A Premier Fabricator of All Things Granite, Marble and More

  • Written by: Dominion Granite & Marble: A Premier Fabricator of All Things Granite, Marble and More
  • Produced by: Dominion Granite & Marble: A Premier Fabricator of All Things Granite, Marble and More
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Dominion Granite & Marble (Dominion) has risen to the top of the industry in 12 short years of business. Featured on Home and Garden Television, Dominion specializes in countertops, vanities, fireplaces, remnant stone and custom fabrication for residential and commercial entities in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Friends Austin Yavorsky and Eric Decker were working in information technology, watching coworkers lose their jobs as the economy began to fail. Rather than test their luck, the two decided to take a leap of faith and form a business unrelated to IT experience.

Dominion was formed in 2001 with long hours dedicated to fine tuning all aspects of the business from sales calls to stone fabrication. By 2002 the business partners were recognized as Rookies of the Year. As business continued to rapidly grow, Yavorsky and Decker designed a system that allowed Dominion to ensure that every detail of every project was available during the entire process, ensuring nothing could be overlooked.

In December 2012 the business partners sold Dominion. The new owners are Liz Tang – who is in the process of completing her master’s degree in business administration at the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School Of Business, which is ranked No. 1 in country by The Princeton Review – as well as two of Tang’s graduate school professors, Raul Chao and Casey Lichtendahl.

“We want to take what they [Yavorsky and Decker] have done and grow with the craftsmen ambiance they created,” says Tang. “Chao and Lichtendahl were looking to buy a business and we looked at a ton of companies. We see a very attractive company here with many rave reviews from customers.”

Tang and her business partners seem to have hit the jackpot, as Dominion’s clients are as diversified as the products the company offers. Despite the change in ownership, Dominion takes pride in not being a run-of-the-mill marble and granite fabricator that favors quantity over quality. Instead, each job is taken on by the Dominion team with the understanding the company will work with client throughout the entire process, from determining a budget and cost through the creation of a finished product that fulfills a client’s needs.

For this reason, Dominion often attracts diplomats, CEO-level professionals, professional athletes and everyday people who appreciate high-quality performance. Commercial customers are often involved in building offices, restaurants, national museums, hospitals, car dealerships, hotels, banks and specialty projects such as memorials or fountains.

Professional System

Tang remarks that Yavorsky and Decker created a very professional system when it comes to Dominion working with clients. “They have a way to develop leads into sales,” she says. “We can do this without pressuring the client, but making them feel welcomed when they come in the shop.”

In addition to Tang, Dominion has a dozen employees to ensure the company continues running smoothly. When she and her business partners purchased the company, they maintained the staff Yavorsky and Decker had in place. “We’re lucky to have found a company that has such great people,” she says. “They’re all extremely responsible and driven. We’re all excited to see the business grow.”

When initially researching potential businesses to purchase, the employees and focus on quality at Dominion was an attractive element. The three partners saw a lot of small businesses within the granite and marble industry that weren’t surviving in the downturned economy. Dominion, on the other hand, was growing successfully.

“Competition isn’t really the main issue,” says Tang. “There is a lot of demand for granite out there. But it’s always hard to be the premium products provider. There’s always price competitiveness. We find our prices to be extremely affordable given the high value we provide, but we’re not the cheapest in the area.”

Streamlining the Process

When customers visit Dominion’s shop, they experience a 3,500-square-foot showroom comprised of kitchen and bathroom displays from the traditional to modern design styles. Dominion has over 100 granite, marble and composite samples on-site, as well as samples of many other materials.

Dominion is able to help customers from conception through the design process. Staff will offer a free in home consultation or schematic evaluation, which can be in home or at the showroom. Based on the project type and scope, estimates are drawn up, but often customers have to go to granite or marble distributors to select the exact stone they desire.

“We let customers chose whatever slab in the world they want,” says Tang. “We’ll find it and cut it to their specifications.”

Dominion’s process can often prolong the finalization of a kitchen redesign for customers, which in a fast-paced world, Tang views as unacceptable. “We try to give a quote the same day they contact us and we want to make it even more instantaneous,” she says. “We see an opportunity to work with the importers and share more information so when our client is at the importer they know exactly what price they’re paying for the stone they are looking at.”

However, Tang is on her toes. “Things seem to get complicated pretty quickly and we can’t let that affect our vision,” she adds. “There’s a huge opportunity here for us to simplify the process for our customers.” As Tang and her business partners get the hang of the granite and marble industry, the trio is excited about a bright future for Dominion Granite & Marble.

Published on: May 15, 2013

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