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When husband-and-wife Jerry and Sheila Fein were remodeling their bathroom in 1988, they were surprised by the limited variety of sinks available. Instead of settling for less, they made the bold decision to create a better sink themselves—out of glass.
The Feins had both studied art at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Sheila subsequently became an interior designer while Jerry founded Cherry Creek Enterprises in 1976 to work in glass manufacturing. With the invention of their glass sink they became industry pioneers, launching Denver-based Vitraform. The company gave the couple an opportunity to combine their individual strengths: Jerry devised a proprietary process to form a durable, double-layer laminated sink, and Sheila provided the guiding artistic vision.
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“Glass for sinks is a natural choice,” Jerry says. “It’s strong; can be transparent, translucent, or opaque; and is infinitely formable. Traditional ceramic sinks require complicated molding and repeated firing to achieve a final product. Our process is much more efficient both in energy and processing.”
Success came quickly for the Feins. In 1991, when Vitraform received Interior Design magazine’s Roscoe award for best new product, the fledgling company garnered international attention. “Our first major job came from a boutique hotel in Paris, and as far as I know, [the sinks are] still there,” Jerry says. “We’ve done major hospitality jobs, both in the United States and [abroad], for the Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Macau, the Four Seasons Denver (which features two sinks in every guestroom), [and luxury hotels in] Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, and Europe.”
Over the years, Vitraform’s product line has evolved to encompass new shapes, finishes, and mounting hardware. “We have greatly improved the laminate material and added a wide array of customization capabilities—colorways, finishings, engravings, and decorations within the laminate layer,” Jerry says. “The product is extremely customizable, and our customers enjoy specifying something that is unique.”
After decades of building the business, the Feins are now handing the reins to a new ownership team that includes vice president of sales Michael Pechar. “What makes Vitraform so special is that style meets engineering,” Pechar says. “Other companies that try to do something similar are just folding glass and painting it.” The new owner’s favorite category of sink is Vitraform’s popular Countersink. “It is a solid piece of glass that runs the entire stretch of your vanity with the bowls molded into it—no seams; just one beautiful, flowing piece of glass.”
Pechar sees exciting possibilities for Vitraform. “This was a wonderful opportunity to partner with a company that’s got an enormous legacy and an enormous potential in the future,” he says. And what will that future look like? Pechar thinks it could include collaborating with artists to incorporate artwork into the sinks, and possibly moving beyond the bathroom to create kitchen countertops or even glass furniture. “The sky’s the limit,” he says.
Vitraform products are available locally through DSKB Plumbing & Tile, at 595 S. Broadway, Suite 126E; 303-744-9189. You can also view Vitraform sinks at Tharp Custom Cabinetry at Battery 621, 621 Kalamath Street, Suite 115; 970-680-8029.