Homeway Ornamental Metals, which opened in August 2002 in Metairie, is solely owned by Steele Xiao, who moved to the United States from China in 2000. Xiao says that Homeway specializes in ornamental metals, mainly custom-made wrought iron for both interior and exterior uses, such as copper and brass entrance doors. “We also make marble mantels,” he says. He says most of his customers are homeowners or contractors, and his goal is to bring products with the highest quality and competitive pricing to the local area.

What’s the first thing you discuss with a client?
I first explore what my client is looking for. This includes the color, design and style. I also explore the budget to see what he or she is willing to spend, and I work around that.
How is your store different than a competitor?
Our product is quite special in our area. We are currently the only store in the area that provides custom-made wrought ironworks and marble mantels. We also provide special designs based on customers’ needs, as well as installation service.

What’s popular at your store right now?
We have package sales, which include entrance doors, stair railings, balconies and marble mantels. Some of the more upscale homeowners in the area have been purchasing these package deals. F