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About Alexander Calzadilla

Alexander Calzadilla is a Cuban male originally from Philadelphia, who has happily called Miami his home since moving here at the age of 15. He attended Southwest Sr. High School and Florida International University, ultimately receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. While in college, he began working as a paralegal for the Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Reichenbacher, a position he kept for seven years after graduation. He subsequently worked at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Associates before landing at Costa Nursery. After distinguishing himself with many accomplishments, he was promoted to the position of Director of Specialty Products, which included the orchid, bonsai and lucky bamboo departments. When Alex was first put in charge of the three departments, they ranked near the bottom. By the time he left Costa after seven years, Alex had transformed the floundering departments into unqualified successes, posting record earnings, sales and profitability. In 2008 Alex was named the Costa Employee of the Year. Alex now puts his formidable prowess as a businessman into his newest venture, Avant-Garde Home Furnishings, LLC, serving as Managing Partner.

About Avant-Garde

We offer home furnishings and decor for every area of your home,both inside and out, always striving to bring you the most current design elements being used by today's top designers, at a fraction of their retail cost. Whether you are completely redecorating an area of your home, looking for the perfect accent piece to finish off an existing room, shopping for a unique gift, or simply "window shopping" to get design ideas, Avant-Garde is the place to go for everything modern & contemporary for your home.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Moving Day has arrived...


    Today I will finally be helping my friend move. He has been undergoing this long process for a long time and now its finally here and time for him to move on to bigger and better things.. In case you are wondering, his name is David Wright, and the first section to this post or part can be found below on one of my previous blogs..
   Lets see how it goes and as I said in my previous blog posting, I am sure he will become a much better person business wise as a result of this move and he will go on to great things.. Stay tuned for news and information, and of course updates...

News on Avant-Garde Home Furnishings...

News on Avant-Garde Home Furnishings new items...

   I would like to introduce our new bedding line of products just recently posted on our website. I invite all of you to please take a look and let me know how you feel, what you think, and any other comments that you feel are honest, sincere, and needed. All feedback, positive, negative, or neutral is welcomed.. and greatly appreciated...

Some Examples of the new line of bedding and closets...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Designing with Glass, spectacular, amazing, and elegant...

Glass is everywhere and looking better then ever

  Today I would like to focus on some design ideas.. I know a lot of you probably have already seen the use of glass mini tile throughout many kitchens and bathrooms but looking through the web I have found so many more usage for them I didn't really know about and I am wondering if a lot of people do because even when I have walked into lets say a Home Depot, Lowe's, design stores, most usage and placement on these items is in the bathroom and kitchen...



     Well looking through the web has completely changed my mind and I actually now believe, without over doing it, that there are many more beautiful ideas with glass then I ever thought possible.. I have seen walls, foyers, fire places, entire room walls done with these tiles and the look is not only spectacular, but amazing and rich in color. They come in many colors, shapes, and sizes and yes are not on the cheap end of the scale but when you consider that they really never have to be replaced, like paint and wallpaper, and are very long lasting, the value becomes much higher in these once shunned and ignored glass tiles.

    From entire home walls, to foyers, to bedroom walls, to just about anywhere people find a place where they need an accent color, wall, or just a simple splash to add some life to their rooms that are otherwise a single light earth tone or a single dark color that simply needs something to create a room... or feeling.. These tiles are showing just about anywhere you can possibly think of and the price due to stiff competition from markets overseas and increased capacity due to demand has actually gone way down from the once mighty "only for rich people" price and stigma they had when introduced.

Entire Kitchen Walls instead of just countertops

Accent Color walls to brighten just about any room

    I myself see a very bright future for what once was considered a rich man's dream tile or simply way to expensive for most people in the country or for that matter the world. There are many places that now sell these far below what Home Depot and Lowes and others like them sell them at but always remember their price guarantee.. Look these items up on the internet and find them and when you go to Home Depot or Lowes take them a copy and as they promise, they will match the price and there you to can now have a wall, a room, or a complete bathroom or kitchen done in these spectacular tiles.

Sample Tiles.. The one on the left is absolutely amazing!!!

The picture shows what I feel to be one of the best usages of these glass tiles I have seen so far. Elegant, minimal in style, and very modern and contemporary vibe producing wall. Looking at them you know the rest of the house is stunning.

a stunning fireplace glass wall..

   And lastly I have to mention metallic tiles, once so expensive I would not even look, the price has definitely come way down and many are taking the opportunity to install them.. But more on that in a future blog...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My old costa Job.... (magazine article about me has a link below)

My old job at Costa Farms, LLC    

   Today I am going to talk about my old job at Costa Farms, LLC. and my role as director of specialty products within the company.. The main department I ran was the orchid department, and I did so from a 7 million dollar glass greenhouse capable of holding 1.7 million orchids inside.
    When I first took over the departments, boy were they in bad shape, making no money, plants dying everywhere and credits were through the roof. Big vendors like Walmart, Publix, HD PBS, Florida, BJ's wouldn't even look at us..The department was in shambles. ..
    It was not an easy task but within a year we had our books under control, our orchids were the best in the country, and the old establishment was begging for our orchids. WE got Publix, BJ's, HD, Florida and the NE sector, Sams stayed on, Walmart came back, who insisted we ship orchids in a 28 degree truck with their perishable goods.. Impossible.. Or was it.. We found out by using heat packs, like the ones they use for tropical fish work great and of course an insulated box and timed to the tee travel to the store for you see the heat packs expire. By the begining of 2010 we were the best orchid department in the country, had the highest efficiency, and were the best run,.. We were the envy of everyone..
     It was around 2 years we met with another company United Orchids Plus corporation out of New York that all of this began, for you see all the credit of having better orchids and quality beyond anything imaginable should go to them, and of course me for always being there with them and showing with respect and understanding how things were done to turn a profit.. You see they have the closest family and ownership on the planet.. Everyone in their family is super sweet and actually are the only thing I really miss from my old job.
      For you see with growth comes a lot of responsibility. We would have hit 20 million in sales last year as we got the largest orders from Walmart- 77,000 units, Sams, 35,000 units, Lowes, 60,000 units for the mother's day period.. Publix 16,000 mini orchids, a product I myself introduced to the consumer and little it became an overnight sensation..
      From 10,000 units sold the first year to 250,000 units sold last year, at least that was my estimate.. For you see I left in August 2010 not because I wanted to but for other reasons better left out of this blog. I left behind, friends, people I considered family, and most important the people in my department that I grew attached to and I always took care of.. For you working for me, meant shade, a nice working environment, (you could eat off the floors) and employee area which was the envy of the company, and of course a 7 million air conditioned greenhouse, for the extreme heat in Florida. We worked double shifts during Mother's Day and Valentines day to keep up the demand and the huge spike in existing customer orders. By double shifting I mean working from 6-3 one shift and 3-11 another.. A huge success..
    Why you might ask because at time and 1/2 overtime kills the department and the people in it, fr you see working so many hours would tire anyone and efficiency goes down the drain after lunch.. so by having two shifts we made sure we had fresh people to work all the time.. except me of course, I was always there since I lived on the second floor of this greenhouse in a beautiful apartment built upstairs.
      By the time season was over we had had the most successful Valentines - Mother's day ever for the company, had made a lot of money and were envy of the entire orchid community. Realize that every vendor has special pots, tags, varieties of orchids, colors, and all of this has to be ready in a three week window since the product must get to the stores 2-3 weeks before the holidays. I have composed a series of pictures for all of you to better understand this concept because frankly I really don' t think any of you can imagine what a greenhouse with a million orchids in bloom looks like all different colors, multi spiking, and shipping every minute.

Pictures of the Orchids...

Walmart Order about to ship

HD Florida Order about to ship

BJ's and Costco orders - ALWAYS wanted yellow flowers

The Greenhouse and Apt upstairs

My Office:

     And so ends my story about the last chapter in my life. Now begining a new with Avant Garde I welcome all of you to my daily blog and product listings and offerings.. Please visit my store at I wish you all happy shopping and a great rest of your

Alex Calzadilla

- Ag home goods

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Marlins baseball stadium, downtown Miami

I wanted to share my pictures of the new baseball stadium going up in downtown Miami for the Marlins.. Great architecture, design, and implementation... An amazing structure

Newly installed closed roofing structure and columns

New Parking garages and other support offices

The new stadium taking shape as the rounded edges are
clearly visible as are the box seats

Apple iPhone's best copy yet....

Copyrights, China, and the rest of the world

    I am dedicating today's blog to China, who copy everything we have and in some cases add features we have been asking for a very long time.. Let me clear things up. I am talking about the iPhone 4 and copies sold out of China. Most are crap, cheap, imitation garbage but some models come so close to to the real thing you can't tell the real from the fake apart unless you really look hard..
     I am reviewing the latest version of the iPhone 4 to come out of China and its a real good copy. Its the best copy I have ever seen. First its has built in memeory, built in battery, same charger style as the iphone, comes in a box with serial numbers and marked iPhone 4. This new version unlike all previous imitations also has Apple's built in Captitive screen, which is what allows the real phone to be so fast in reflexes of your finger movements. This copy also comes unlocked and is ready to go out of the box. It literally is amazing..
     Oh yea those extra features I mentioned.. It comes with pre-set themes in which the entire phone changes, icons, directories, menu, etc.. Its fully operational, about the same speed as the real iPhone, works with any GSM carrier, both domestic and international, has about the same capabilities as the real phone, and has OS (china made) 4.2.1 that allows you to create folders and multi tasking features.
     Soon we will be buying everything from China. Apple already buys and manufactures including assembly in China.. They only load the OS here is the United States. Can't say I blame them since if it were done in China everyone would be walking around with cheap imitation, yet real iPhones and Apple would go under.. NOT LIKELY..
    Apple is still king when it comes to technology and products and they are the leader in everything that they do..

Chinese iPhone Search Page

Chinese iPhone Picture Exterior 1

Chinese iPhone Picture Exterior 3

Chinese iPhone accesories detail

Chinese iPhone Calculator

Different Themes Selection

Like I said the best copy yet

Avant Garde Interior Design Ideas

A House that Transforms

Trip from Miami to Miami Beach

Domain Auctions at

Domain Auctions at

Miami Beach Art Deco District Slide Show

Modern contemporary showplace and home of Avant-Garde Home Furnishings, LLC, Miami, Florida