Paparazzi Accessories expansion hits a snag, but it is the calm before a storm of light

Paparazzi Accessories is in the midst of a major expansion to its St. George headquarters. St. George, Utah, Dec. 1, 2019 | Photo by David Louis, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The recent storms that blew through St. George put a damper on construction activities surrounding the expansion of Paparazzi Accessories’ headquarters. However, motorists driving along Interstate 15 will soon notice a spectacular sight.

The hillside just off Exit 2 will be lit up like a candle, turning night into day.

Originally scheduled for Nov. 25, work crews from Hughes General Contractors will fire up 12 light stands in preparation for a record-setting continuous pour of 100,000 square feet of concrete for Paparazzi’s new warehouse. Weather permitting, when Paparazzi’s expansion continues it will be a sight to behold bringing every concrete truck from Cedar City to Mesquite into St. George.

Founded in 2011 in Hurricane and moving to St. George in 2018, the jewelry chain has outgrown its current warehouse along with a handful of satellite locations throughout Utah.

Much like Mary Kay, Paparazzi has a direct-sales party plan format and is sold across the United States by hundreds of thousands of independent consultants who work from home. The company’s focus is jewelry sold at $5 each with a product line that continually changes.

“All of our growth has been organic,” said Misty Kirby, one of Paparazzi’s four founders. “People get so excited about our product and talk to their friends about it, and that excitement and the genuine love for Paparazzi jewelry itself is actually what has fueled the business growth.  In other direct sales businesses, they are maneuvering leaders or bring people onboard, but in this case, it’s been true joy over our jewelry that has put us on a massive growth curve.”

With its success comes the need to expand, Kirby added.

Paparazzi Accessories is in the midst of a major expansion that will soon add 100,000 square feet of warehouse space. St. George, Utah, Nov. 25, 2019 | Photo by David Louis, St. George News

“We have outgrown every facility that we have had,” she said. “When we built our St. George location, we believed it would be our final home and be able to put everyone inside. Halfway through the building process, we realized that we were not going to fit.”

The type of concrete to be poured is a Hughes “innovative-solution” to a client’s biggest problem, cracked concrete.

While working together on a past project, Utah-based VCBO Architecture posed the question to their partner, does concrete have to crack?

Hughes conducted extensive research on existing preventative solutions for controlling cracking, and after nearly 100,000 square feet of test slabs, they achieved a process that eliminated more than 95 percent of typical cracks and saw-cut joints.

Typical concrete floors are designed with control joints to manage cracking and cold joints to facilitate concrete placement.

It is at these joints that problems like widening cracks, bacterial growth and slab curling lead to a constant need for cleaning, grinding and calking. Since concrete has high compressive strength — but is weak in tension and shrinks as it cures — the traditional design solution has been to control the cracking by paring rebar with the concrete to overcome the weakness.

Though rebar prevents natural concrete shrinkage, invisible hairline cracks occur.

The solution is a process called MagicSlab, a seamless, crack-free, durable and easy to maintain concrete slab. The final appearance of the slab is similar to a terrazzo finish but at a cost that is more comparable to carpet or vinyl tile.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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