We sat down with Sonny Callaham, technical director of the new company Divergent Adhesives, at the International Certified Flooring Installers Association’s (CFI) 25th anniversary convention earlier this year. He spoke about the company’s initial product offerings, why he launched the company and a little more about the choice of name.
Q: Congratulations on the new company. Can you tell me a little more about it?
A: I’m here representing Divergent Adhesives. We’re a new way of looking at adhesives. What we do is [focus on] application techniques to ensure there’s a successful installation, and we combine that with science.
We’re based out of South Carolina, and the manufacturing facility is in Dalton, Ga.—so we ship all of our product out of Dalton.
Q: What products do you offer?
A: Our first three products are aimed at the resilient category. We have a pressure-sensitive adhesive for carpet tile, vinyl tile, vinyl plank and things like that. Then we have a modified adhesive for the same types of flooring. We also have a spray adhesive. All of it is plasticizer-resistant, and can be used wet or dry. We have a lot of different options available for [the installer].
Q: What was the impetus for starting this company?
A: It’s the dream of sitting on the back porch thinking about what you want to do. I decided it was time to do this myself. I took this summer to put it together, and I couldn’t think of a better place to launch it than CFI 2018. Here we are, and it’s a dream come true.
Q: For people who don’t know you, can you share a little of your industry background?
A: Sure. I’ve been in the installation side of flooring for the last 30 years. It’s the typical story of starting out right after high school, laying floors. I’ve been on the manufacturing side of adhesives for the last 15 years.
I worked with another company and was their technical manager. A lot of what I did was problem-solving and complaint resolution—anything from the flooring down was what I specialized in. So it was an easy transition for me to go and do this by myself.
Q: Let me ask you about the name. When I hear ‘divergent,’ I don’t just think ‘out of the ordinary,’ but something almost aggressively outside the norm. Was that intentional?
A: Yes, you nailed it. We want to communicate that we’re not going to do what everyone else does; we’re going to look at things differently and do things differently. That’s a big part of [who we are], and we’re excited about it.
Q: How can people get in touch with the company?
A: We’re still really new, so our website isn’t up yet. But it will be divergentadhesives.com. For now, you can give me a call at (407) 383-6446. You can also find me on LinkedIn and Facebook.