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Wasting no time

Wasting no time

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When a couple launched their own bathroom renovation business, they soon recognised a gap in the market. Their product launch was so successful, they’re now considering globalisation.

Kerryn Ramsey

Senior Content Coordinator

When HIA members Steve and Marina Golovodovski launched their own bathroom renovation business in 2016, they worked hard to develop and build it. Steve specialised in wall and floor tiling, while Marina came from a civil design background. It was a perfect match for this married couple.

‘I needed to learn the business side when we launched DeZigno Bathrooms, as well as project managing the bathroom jobs,’ explains Steve. Meanwhile, Marina fine-tuned her knowledge of bathroom builds so she could seamlessly organise projects.

Based in Newcastle, NSW, they managed the business intuitively, embracing the skills of building, designing, networking and managing the financial side. ‘We also had to learn new skills and keep up to date with changing regulations and standards,’ says Steve. ‘Overall, we produce a quality product with quality service. That comes back tenfold with more clientele – our good name and reputation are essential.’ 

HIA members Steve and Marina Golovodovski with their innovative waste saver product.

Keen to take on new courses and obtain qualifications that could improve the business, Steve and Marina reached out to HIA. They started with a training course, earning qualifications, plus setting up licences through NSW Fair Trading. ‘After doing small works in the early days, we’ve grown the business to almost 65 bathrooms a year,’ says Steve.

According to Marina, one of the business breakthroughs was running the DeZigno Bathrooms display at HIA’s Home Inspirations centre in Newcastle, showcasing their skills and knowledge. ‘It shows what we can provide to prospective clients,’ says Marina. 

Setting trends

After operating for more than seven years, Marina – who says she’s an Instagram guru – stays across current trends. ‘We regularly speak to our suppliers to see what’s coming in. I love telling our clients about new cool products arriving in the next three to six months.’ 

According to Steve, communication is key when running a business. ‘Believe it or not, around 60 per cent of our clients start by saying, “This is what we want – make it work”. Then we’ll add a dash of colour and different materials.’ 

During his early tiling days, he realised clients were frustrated that a bathroom renovation took four to six weeks, as well as a lack of communication. ‘This is what brought to life DeZigno Bathrooms,’ says Steve. ‘We strive in our communication as well as producing an amazing bathroom in three weeks.’ 

Marina admits that clients’ requests may be complex. She’s noticed a trend where clients desire curved walls in the bathroom. 

‘It’s a beautiful finish but it’s not easy to produce,’ she says. ‘Curved walls are tricky and take more time, but in the end, it’s spectacular. It’s nothing we can’t do – honestly, we love clients pushing us to the limit.’ 

One of the business breakthroughs was running the DeZigno Bathrooms display at the HIA Hunter Home Inspirations centre.
‘Steve invented the device after 11 prototypes,’ says Cameron Morrow, HIA Business Development Manager.

Big breakthrough

When working onsite on bathroom projects, Steve soon recognised a niche yet to be filled.

He’d scoured the globe with Marina, looking for something to prevent ‘job waste’ from going down the drain. This can block pipes and result in costly water jetting to clear them. This then pushes the waste into the local sewer system.

‘To their surprise, nothing existed,’ says Cameron Morrow, HIA Business Development Manager in the Hunter. ‘The solution is to stuff sponges down the drainpipes, which isn’t ideal when it’s time to pull them back out.’ 

Steve launched Waste Saver, the world’s first job-waste drainage saver, to solve this issue. ‘He invented the device after 11 prototypes,’ says Cameron. ‘With the help of their legal team, they soon had it patented.’ 

Steve explains: ‘I always wondered how to protect outlets during demolition or construction work. Coming from a tiling background, I found there was always a push not to let anything fall down these holes. Over the years, I thought, “Surely there’s something out there”. We fruitlessly went through every aisle at hardware stores, searching for something that could be used during construction to catch and collect waste. We needed something reusable and affordable.’ 

During the development process, Steve put together bits and pieces, creating something very close to what he needed. He vigorously tested it for a year to ensure it was perfect for tradies. After this, he soon realised he’d devised a one-of-a-kind game changer for the plumbing industry.

Cutting-edge curves by Dezigno Bathrooms.

Going gangbusters

Steve and Marina turned to HIA’s Cameron for guidance during the entrepreneurial stages. ‘He put us in touch with HIA’s Building & Planning team, who gave us advice on the building code for each state in Australia,’ says Steve. ‘In fact, they gave me more information than I was begging for! With their help, I could implement everything for the next stage and keep progressing into the future. Cam and the HIA team are tops!’ 

After Waste Saver hit the market, it went viral on social media with more than one million views on TikTok and Instagram. On the first weekend, Steve and Marina received $2000 worth of orders from tradies who had seen the device in action on social media. Cameron says: ‘400 units sold in just one week. The device sells for $29.95 and is completely reusable.’ 

Steve admits they weren’t prepared for the initial response when launching the product. ‘We’ve been approached daily by wholesalers, so we’ll soon be selling Waste Savers at local tiling companies. We’re also getting requests from the United States to create the same item there. We’re working with a company to remake the design to suit their plumbing. We’ve also got drawings ready to introduce it in other countries.’ 

According to Marina, ‘The feedback’s been overwhelming, and we’re very thankful. We’re happy to provide a solution for homeowners, builders and subcontractors.’ 
As Steve says, ‘Everything is a learning curve. It’s been challenging and exhausting but really satisfying. And we’re always researching what’s next.’ 

First published 2 July 2024

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