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Meet Alyre MacLure of RockMill Countertops

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyre MacLure.

Alyre , let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Sure thing, and really high level here, I was a kid who had a difficult time in school. Art class was the only thing that I consistently did well in. At the end of high school, I had a bit of a wake-up, I got my grades in order and was about to pursue study in industrial design.

Somewhat at the last moment, I changed my mind. I decided that I wanted to design things rather than draw them. I enrolled in community college, really got my grades up, then enrolled in engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth where I completed an MS in engineering.

I was working for a few years as a composite design engineer at TPI Composites where I met my co-founder, Chris Murray. We kicked Ideas around all the time and ended up leaving together to pursue this business.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not smooth at all. Chris and I were two fumbling engineers getting a hard knocks lesson in marketing, accounting, web development, learning our craft and all types of new challenges.

We spent a long time trying to break out and get noticed. Initially, we had a completely different vision for how our business would go. We also did not have a full appreciation for the medium.

We were thinking more along the lines of manufacturing pieces in mass and it took us some time away from the engineering mindset to come back to our artistic senses and really listen and understand what our material is all about.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about RockMill Countertops – what should we know?
RockMill Countertops works exclusively with concrete. If you haven’t seen concrete countertops or concrete sinks you might be expecting sidewalk, highway, or skyscraper types of things. This is nothing like that. Concrete is an incredible medium in that it takes the shape of the forms we spray and pour it into.

We have complete flexibility with the design. The bonus is that when you treat concrete just right and know the tricks to spraying and casting you end up with pieces that are just incredible. I like to think we control 80 percent of the outcome, but that 20 percent is what keeps me coming back.

Every pour is completely unique and beautiful in its own right. This medium is special, we are making pieces of art for peoples kitchens and bathrooms; real conversation pieces.

I think we have a particularly special grasp on this because of our backgrounds. RockMill is a synergy between creativity and engineering. We’re at the point where those two worlds have combined and we’re very comfortable in the space. It’s exciting.

We’re sending pieces all over the country. Designers are sending hand sketches of sinks to us and we are delivering. Very cool. We’re making stunning concrete sinks that are the focal point of bathrooms for designers all over the country. I’m proud, humbled and excited!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
So many people… our families have been incredibly supportive. Chris and I left our big engineering jobs and relied on our wives to keep the families going. Our extended families are helping out in a huge way, many babysitting hours on both sides with our little girls.

We’ve found some great mentor-ship along the way, shout out to businessman Russ Berger. We’ve recently been working with a great marketing agency, Figments in Pawtucket, who really helped us to accept and embrace our creative side.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Timothy Donovan

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