Peter Cicalo of HardLife Products in New Jersey

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June 17, 2023

Peter Cicalo of HardLife Products in New Jersey has worked hard to build his business. It started way back in 2010 when he discovered concrete countertops, and has now evolved into a full-time business.

Along the way, Peter attended Professional GFRC training in July 2013. He had this to say about the class:

“The class helped me refine my craft and push my knowledge of concrete to the next level. I have two different kitchen and bath showrooms carrying my bath vanity sinks. Both have had so-so experience with a previous concrete fabricator in the past; so I felt they were a bit hesitant at first when I pitched to them, but both places were blown away when they saw the sample sinks I brought to the meeting. The common response, before I said a word, was, ‘WOW! I have seen concrete before, but I didn’t know it could be so nice and refined.’ I truly believe the reason my work always gets a great response from people is because I have had the proper training. Even though there is always more to learn, at least I have a solid foundation to build upon when I explore and create in the future.”

At the time, he was still working full-time as a creative director for an advertising company, and continued to do so for some time after class while he built his business. Check out this article about him from 2014. His goal was always to quit his day job and pursue his passion for concrete full time. He has now succeeded! Here are just a few of his creations:

Peter understands that success isn’t easy. There is no magical mix or tool that will guarantee success. As he says on the About page of his website,

“There are may hurdles in the creative process from a conceptual idea to the creation of an object. There is no right or wrong or simple rule to follow. We learn just as much from our failures, as we do from our successes.”

Success for Peter, like most creative concrete artisans, wasn’t fast and wasn’t easy. But he knew that all along:

“Our philosophy generates from the phrase ‘Anything worthwhile doing is never easy’ and ‘creating something from nothing is no easy task’.”

We’re glad Peter persevered and continues to create with concrete.

If you want to create with concrete, consider the Professional GFRC training, coming up November 9-10, 2023. Get sound principles that will give you a solid foundation to confidently express your own creativity without worrying about callbacks.