Shade and Wise has evolved in the construction industry from the time when Louis Shade and Frank Wise Sr. left Massey Building Supply and formed in 1946 as Builders Supply and Specialty Corporation of Richmond, the company sold construction materials such as plaster, masonry mortar and tar. In 1970, Jack Frayser, Sr. purchased Shade & Wise form Louis Wise and started the evolution into leading masonry supply company of today. For many years, S&W was located on Tomlyn Street, and in 1997 moved to its current location on Dabney Road with an expansion to Powhatan in 2007.
Over the years, S&W has been a leader in customer service in our industry. Our company owns a feet of delivery trucks and staffed with our drivers. Our delivery process has evolved into a “place it as close to the masons hand as possible” has made our drivers experts and a valuable resource to both residential and commercial contractors. Our staff, both inside and outside sales are all Certified Brick Specialists and are a valuable resource to all who come to our offices. Professional and courteous customer service people who are well versed in color, texture and availability is what our company strives to provide. We pride ourselves in being “fair and honest in our pricing” and our business
practices. S&W was honored by Henrico County in 2016 as one of the longest running business based in their county.
In our support to the statewide architecture community, our entire staff are Certified Brick Specialist through the auspices of The Brick Industry Association. Our architectural staff supports not only the local Richmond architectural community, but also AIA Virginia through educational programs that contribute to the continuing education requirements by DPOR. The programs, on various essential masonry design elements provide insight to the attendee on multiple facets of detailing all styles of masonry construction. Our brick specialists are trained to identify problems and assist in solutions that will help the designer, mason, contractor and owner with issues that may arise. These educational programs, which have been taught statewide, have provided insight to and aided in the design that has changed the look in many areas of the Commonwealth. Our representatives are contacted frequently to help aid in the design of projects statewide, both new and historic renovations. Through our involvement in The Brick Industry Association, our Architectural Sales division has become the lead resource in Central Virginia. Our ASD regularly schedules seminars in architectural firms for continuing education. These programs are a resource for the design community as well as engineers and contractors to understanding the proper use, specification and engineering of a masonry structure. These seminars cover a multitude of topics and are a resource for the design community using the BIA Technical notes as a guide.
S&W leads the way in education seminars throughout Virginia . Our team has not only developed presentations for use in Virginia, but also shares them with the BIA for national use. The research and information contained in these
developed presentations have aided in changing specifications in masonry design. Shade and Wise has also participated in AIA VA’s ArchEx over the past ten years. We have conducted seminars, large booth presentations, discussions and
live demonstrations over the years. Our willingness to assist and find the right product has had attendees seek us out at ArchEx to discuss their designs and thoughts. We have brought other manufacturers in the masonry world to become
participants in ArchEx to expand on the masonry selections and knowledge base at the product display area.
Our architectural masonry staff has aided in the development with several brick manufacturers of brick products for new colors and textures. S&W staff has been instrumental in teaching and researching water mitigation from masonry and controlling movement. Through our lunch & learn programs we reinforced the use of a “slip plane” and “good masonry practices” to relieve the issues with water problems in masonry walls. We have also worked with firms to address the common problems with masonry and the solutions that have been incorporated into many masonry envelopes throughout our Commonwealth. One project in particular was a very difficult match in Henrico County, in which S&W worked with the manufacturer to match and name the brick for Henrico. We have also worked with several cultured stone companies to develop a “Hokie Stone Clone” with some success.
We feel that our business practices are the best advertising. Our company prides itself on the fact that we are only advertised through word of mouth and that has been our most successful form of advertising. When you treat a customer well, they are the best advertisement any company could ask for. We are family owned and family centered with our employees, which sets us apart from our competition. The owners sit at the same lunch table as the sales person, the yard employee or the truck driver and listens to how we can all make this better for not only ourselves but the customer as well. Our base of operations may be Richmond or Powhatan, however; our reach is state and occasionally nationwide. We have aided in the specifications for projects as far away as Puerto Rico, Key West and California and assisted firms designing for projects in Richmond from out of town. The employees of Shade and Wise are here to help provide solutions in masonry problems and support the architecture and construction community.
With the support of Shade & Wise, their Senior Architectural Representative Robert W. Vaughn – Hon AIA-R, was able to join the AIA Richmond Board of Directors as the Allied Member voice. One of the most important initiatives that
impacts the statewide efforts is the formation of The Scholarship Program of AIA Richmond. Robert along with other Board members, spearheaded the formation, implementation and fund raising efforts to establish the program. The Allied
Members worked diligently to start the AIA Richmond Sporting Clays Challenge, of which has been held three years in a row. Highly successful, this event has raised over $8000 in funds that support not only the Scholarship program but also the K-12 Committee to introduce students to the practice of Architecture.
Shade & Wise is also the title sponsor of the AIA Richmond Golf Tournament. Their employees work a hospitality area on one of the tee boxes and provide a “refreshing beverage” to the players. With this support, the players have the
opportunity to network at a lower cost due the financial support of Shade & Wise. Committee involvement plays a vital role in the planning and execution of the program, of which James Tavenner, VP-Sales has supported those efforts for years. Another committee that enjoys our support is YAF, of which Architectural Representative Tyler Currie is a member. His assistance with planning and implementation of programs and our support provides the necessary voice of an Allied Member in this vital and growing committee. Tyler’s efforts have helped boost the exposure of Shade & Wise to the younger design community and with that support will continue the growth of architecture in Virginia.