Floor Covering Services & Consultants is celebrating 25 years in business! Reflecting back on these years, I am grateful and proud. Grateful to those who worked beside me and to the customers we’ve served. Proud of the products and services we have offered and the company we’ve become, overcoming many obstacles along the way. At times, we had to shift our business model to keep up with consumer needs and changes in the economy. Two divisions of FloorConsult that have stood the test of time are consulting and online maintenance product sales. Growing over time we have expanded our services and product offerings to fill the needs we see in the marketplace. FloorConsult has stayed small which is a huge plus. As a small business we are agile and responsive to customers. Our team is flexible and accustomed to wearing multiple hats so shifts in job functions are part of our normal and create daily opportunity for cross training and keeping the job interesting.
There have been a lot of good times in this business and I consider the past 25 years as a great success however it is during the toughest of times, that I really saw and felt the strength of our company and the individuals who came though it with me. The recession of 2007-2009 was possibly the most difficult period for our business, but we made it. Surviving, as a business, against the odds fills me with great pride because our hard work, diligence and agility paid off. During this period of time, I lived one of my favorite sayings, “Tough times never last, but tough people do,” which I repeated to myself daily during this time. We became lean and focused and it brought us through.
Reaching this milestone of 25 years in business makes me reflect back to where I have come from and the different services our small company has provided over the years. It’s amazing how each stage of this business had its place and time, adding to our team’s collective knowledge that we bring to consulting & ecommerce clients every day. When I started this business out of my house, my small team of flooring installers and I did replacement floor installations for flooring manufacturers. When we expanded to a warehouse and office space, our business grew to include trade show floor assembly and set up, a unique and welcomed challenge to our highly skilled flooring installation team. We sold flooring for a period of time, created a wood stair retrofit system and did local floor installations of resilient, hardwood & carpet. Shifting away from sales and installation in early 2008, we honed our focus on consulting & technical support services and expanded our ecommerce business, 1877floorguy.com, that we had started at the end of 1999, into the beginning of 2000. Supplying services and products that solve problems for end users is key to our success. We teamed up with Dr Schutz NA in 2009 to work with their permanent wearlayer products that were new to the US market and we continue to be a Dr Schutz Pro Center for the Northeastern US. In 2010 we launched our own brand of top quality flooring maintenance products, Hilway Direct, now specified by multiple flooring brands to clean and finish their resilient floors, both commercial and residential.
What I like best about being a business owner is that I conduct business my way. I work the hours I want to work and I don’t deal with layers of management telling me what I can and cannot do. Often, I think back to the family business where I worked with my parents selling and installing floor covering & custom built cabinetry and countertops. My Dad taught me a great deal about good work ethic and installing floors. I learned early in life to push through to meet deadlines and to stand my ground when it came to craftsmanship and doing the job right. He always said, “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when will you find time to fix it?” As an adult, my parents made me a partner in the family business. The concept was great however I was always outvoted 2-1 on business decisions. Determined to make my own way, I moved to the northeastern US from my hometown in Texas to take a job with Mannington, a US flooring manufacturer with an international distribution network, as their #2 in technical services & installation training. I travelled a lot, training flooring installers throughout the US and around the world in resilient flooring installation techniques. On the weekends, I did side work, and lots of it, installing floors locally for homeowners and small businesses. I loved the direction my life had taken. In 1995 I saw an opportunity to strike out on my own. I had to be tough to get a new business off the ground and I knew I was up for the challenge. Hard to believe 25 years have gone by. If I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I’d change a thing.
So much goes into a successful business and I could not and have not done it alone. There are many people I have to thank. My team members have changed over the years but each step of the way, I’ve had a quality staff that has shared my goals of top notch customer service and expertise in flooring installation and maintenance. A big thank you to my family for their support and tolerance of my constant travel and long hours for the last 25 years, but I can’t promise that it will stop anytime soon. Customers, past and present, have ranged from flooring manufacturers to attorneys, homeowners, hospital systems, businesses both large and small, education facilities and more – I thank you all for trusting me with your business and I look forward to our future successes together. Thanks to the many individuals within the industry that always took time to coach me, guide me, direct me and advise me, I couldn’t have done it without you. My biggest thank you is to Angela Henry who has been a reliable part of this organization since 2002. She has been through the growing pains of our small business, proving to be one of the toughest ladies I know. In her time at Floor Covering Services & Consultants she has moved up to become our VP of Operations. Her knowledge of flooring maintenance and installation procedures is based on years of experience and you can rely on the information she provides.
I am fortunate because I love what I do! Because this business is my own, I am known to put in extra effort and go above and beyond. Mornings are my time of day so I am in the office early and many days I continue to take phone calls from customers after I am home for the evening. I am blessed with an incredible staff that strives to provide the same high level of customer service that I do. We bring to our customers an incredible depth of knowledge and experience as it pertains to resilient flooring. The contacts we’ve made over the years in and out of the flooring industry have proven to be an incredible network that includes top notch industry professionals, vendors and flooring manufacturers.
Being tough is only part of the equation in being successful. It takes amazing clients, a strong support network and a strong team who work as hard as you do to achieve company goals. Thanks to everyone who has been associated with me, my team, our company since this journey began! Twenty-five years and still going strong because, as my Dad said, “Tough time never last, but tough people do!”