Plumbing fixtures are the jewels of the home,” says Tami Miller, Business Development Manager for Immerse by Atlas. Immerse is St. Louis’ only “live” plumbing showroom where you can actually step into a working therapeutic shower and try it out. “We sell more than a faucet. We sell a piece of art. People don’t realize this, but in Europe, people take their kitchens with them when they move and the kitchen faucet is considered a family heirloom.”
There’s nothing like talking to someone who’s at the top of their game and the impeccably put together Miller is knowledgeable and inspired. Living with her partner Lisa high above the bustling streets of the Central West End, she centers herself while looking out her floor to ceiling windows.
“It’s different in a high rise because there’s so much light, and you’re looking at the sky all the time,” Miller says.
At only 18, Miller obtained her real estate license; a year later, she became a licensed appraiser, but decided she wanted to pursue kitchen and bath design instead. To do that, she’d have to pay her dues and work her way up, which she did.
With the solid reputation she earned, Miller was the obvious choice when Immerse by Atlas decided to bring their “live showroom” concept to St. Louis, something you would previously have to travel to Chicago to experience.
Miller says that people are bringing the spa experience home. “Car Wash” showers have taken a back seat to therapy.
“Therapy is in,” she explains. “Steam, essential oils, sound, light, aromatherapy, and chromotherapy – sometimes called color therapy. Red, for instance, is an invigorating color.”
Other trends include the return of gold tone finishes, oil-rubbed bronze fading, mixed metals and free-standing tubs.
Hotels make great clients because guests often become interested in Immerse’s products there.
“People fall in love at hotels,” she explains. “We have a luxury illuminated mirror line in the Four Seasons, for example, and guests decide they want those mirrors at home.”
A nice percentage of her business also comes from the LGBT community.
“The LGBT market likes to be treated well and they tend to take care of themselves,” she says, stressing that her products aren’t just for affluent people. “We can fit all price points. Unique doesn’t equal expensive.”
There is also more to fixtures than style or pampering – some can immeasurably improve one’s quality of life.
“Jason’s micro-silk technology can stimulate hair in cancer patients,” she says. “It cleans without soap or oils, instead using ionic bubbles, exfoliator and cleanser.”
Miller says another example is the Toto Bidet Toilet Seat: “It’s a heated seat that washes, dries and deodorizes, meaning someone who’s elderly or handicapped can use the restroom without assistance. It gives people their dignity back.”