In 1969 my mother and father, Mike and Cathy Miles, started a legacy for our family. Together, they opened Miles Distributors in a small warehouse in downtown South Bend.
Over the years, Miles has had many “milestones” in the industry. Mike Miles was on the founding board of the CTDA (Ceramic Tile Distributors of America).
From a small hotel room in Detroit with a couple guys to the largest ceramic tile expo in the world today, “Coverings” the show this year had 28,000 industry attendees and 2.9 billion square feet of tile under one roof.
In the early 90’s my brother Doug and I took over Miles Distributors and grew to having five locations.
In 2016, a opportunity came up, and my brother and I decided to jump on it. It was our time to let the third generation of our family take the reins at Miles Distributors, Doug and Austin Miles.
My brother Doug and I started over in life. We put an offer in on the old Hudson Lake Elementary School, and as life changed so did we.
My brother opened his new business in the back half of the school, Miles Systems Inc. Moving over to the school with his daughter Kelsey and a very good team, they are big in the motor coach industry selling full surface thin tile showers and backsplashes. They also produce solid porcelain countertops.
I have always wanted my own retail tile shop. I love working with the end users. Old School Tile Company: I came up with the name to honor the building, it’s an old school, but also I’m a kind of old school kind of guy. We only sell the very best products. A handshake means something to me, and I try to give back to our communities when we can.
Speaking of which, if you have a winter coat in good condition we collect them here, have them dry cleaned, and we give them to the homeless people in our surrounding areas.
I opened my shop last November with a few displays, a truckload of sale tile, my daughter Robbi by my side and a very talented showroom designer “Jazlyn.”
Today I believe we have the nicest tile showroom in the Midwest. We stock over 20,000 square feet of backsplash tile and over 50,000 square feet of field tile. People ask me why I don’t have carpet or linoleum, my answer is simple. I grew up in the tile industry, and we know tile better than any other floor covering store or big box store around. This winter we will add our second showroom and by next spring we will offer Luxury Vinyl Tile as well.
On a typical afternoon if you stop by our old building you may hear music and laughter coming from the back of our building.
We have two very unique business in the back. DBU Records-yes a recording studio in Hudson Lake! Also The Hudson Dance Studio is in the room across the hall and New Prairie’s Dance team will most likely be back there practicing. Also off the west side of the building is a woman’s clothing store, Red’s Style Recon.
You may even be able to see our pet pig Tucker!
We have had many obstacles this last year getting this old building to come alive but coming to work now is fun. I love the community support, the baseball diamond behind the building on game day and the park is filled with children playing.
I just want to thank all of you for supporting our new businesses in this building. We are honored to be here and look forward to our future.