Getting To Know The Family Business
A question people often ask is, “If The Carpet Workroom wasn’t your family’s business, would you still work there?”
It is a question I have given a lot of thought to. The answer is yes, I couldn’t work anywhere else.
My brothers and I didn’t grow up thinking we would work for our family. As the opportunity presented itself, it was hard to say no. I knew joining my family business would come with its challenges but I had the desire and commitment to take a risk. The decision has been nothing but rewarding and I have never looked back.
Who else is the baby sister in their family?!
Although some days are more difficult than others, I enjoy spending the time with my siblings and learning from them. My parents did not insist we follow them into the flooring industry. However they always make sure there is family time. We grew up camping and hiking together on the weekends.
Our dad, Peter, is an avid outdoorsman so there is always some sort of adventure going on when you’re with him!
The lessons we learn while out in nature are the ones we bring to our company. Every day we rely on each other’s differences and strengths. It comes as no surprise we work so well together. We really are friends, former roommates, and neighbors. We’ve always been close.
In 1977, at age 17, our dad started his lifelong career as a carpet installer. 42 years later, he is still installing! We marvel at where he gets his energy! Our parents met at twenty years old and our dad always told our mom on New Years Eve that “this would be our year”, every year. That year finally came 🙂
After a devastating hand injury on the job, my dad was told he was going to lose the use of his hand due to a bone infection. He needed to receive immediate surgery. It was a long recovery but thankfully he healed. His dream had always been to open his own shop and support his family through the trade and craft he loved so much.
Thankfully, resilience is one of my dad’s many qualities. He started purchasing roll ends from carpet and turning them into finished rugs and runners. Customer’s were thrilled with the high end, custom area rugs that he fabricated for affordable prices.
Through word of mouth, a producer of ABC’s Chronicle came in one day to his shop to see what the buzz was all about. She loved what she saw and purchased an area rug. She ended up asking to feature him on The Luxury for Less segment on her show.
We’ve now been featured twice. Customer’s still come to this day to our showroom mentioning watching us years before!
My brothers were asked to help out while we were busy from the segment’s success. This is around the time dad and my oldest brother, Matt, created the business as it exists today. Up until this point, our dad had always been a self-employed sole proprietor. Now he was the founder and President of the Corporation.
Through lots of hard work and changing technology, we’ve grown to having two showrooms and a steady flow of work.
Teaching English abroad in Costa Rica and then receiving his Master’s degree, Matt left his job teaching middle school English in Dorchester. This is where he developed the leadership skills needed to become our first CEO. In this role he is constantly looking into the future, finding ways to further improve and scale the operation.
Before The Carpet Workroom, Billy was training as a paramedic in an effort to become a firefighter. He brought his organizational skills and knowledge of the trade to become our General Manager, the guy that literally drives the daily operations.
For me, I was starting my first semester at UMass Boston as an English major, while also pursuing a passion in instructing Barre, Buti Yoga, and Pound Fitness. Having the opportunity to join and contribute my knowledge and strengths at the same time is challenging, but also a dream come true.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel to many different countries while working for the family business. I’ve even spent my summers on Martha’s Vineyard as a nanny while scooping ice cream. I wouldn’t have necessarily had the flexibility to do these things otherwise. I don’t think I would have ended up as happy as I am now, had I not taken the chance and worked with my family.
Coming into work is easy when you are meeting up with your mom and warehouse pups! Unless you’re in our Avon location, you most likely will not meet our mom, Kathy. She is the glue that keeps our household and business together. She worked previously as an educational assistant for over 17 years in the Canton school system. As we continued to grow and needed additional support, she changed her profession and came on board. Now she does the bookkeeping and manages our Avon office.
Obviously it is not always easy, but as we all know now, you need to be able to adapt to change. It can of course be difficult at times to separate work from home. We constantly have to remind each other that we cannot move forward if we are not on the same page. The importance of family and teamwork has always been instilled in us, thanks to our parents.
As our family grows, we try really hard to get together and enjoy ourselves outside of the office. We all realize how crucial it is keeping the business and most importantly our family happy.