Helping clients find their ideal flooring solutions while providing them with an outstanding experience are just a few of the principles that two local family-owned carpeting businesses have in common.
Yet, while they share many similarities, Millburn’s PTK Oriental Rug Center and Springfield’s The Carpet Girl each offer a unique approach. Recently recognized by the Millburn Chamber of Commerce for celebrating for 40 years in business, PTK was founded by two brothers. Dianne Grossman’s The Carpet Girl is a relatively new endeavor, which she opened in 2013 with her husband.
Understanding the stress that accompanies walking into a big box store and attempting to get personalized attention, Grossman launched her intimate 1 Connell Parkway showroom. Though it’s only been open a short time, the business has already moved to a larger space and expanded its offerings. Despite its rapid growth, The Carpet Girl is faithful to its founding philosophy.
“We want to be that girlfriend that you take shopping with you,” the entrepreneur says. “Even women who buy confidently still like to have a second opinion and that’s who we are. We let consumers know what’s trending and we’ll say, ‘Yes, you should buy that.’ We offer true insight into what’s the best flooring for your project.”
Grossman and her team provide in-home consultations and design services beyond flooring. The Carpet Girl’s “Get It Staged” programs features home staging options at three different price points.
“We get in and get out quickly,” Grossman explains. “We’ve simplified the process so you don’t have to go to one of those large, overwhelming stores and it’s extremely affordable and efficient. If you get the order in before noon, we can get the products installed within 24 to 48 hours. Realtors and homeowners love it because it takes the anxiety out of getting it on the market.”
Grossman says she’s always looking to hire people who love design and are eager to pursue part-time employment, such as mothers with school-aged children.
“Women are great networkers and have a great sense of community,” the business owner says. “It’s really about getting the word out there. It’s not going door-to-door selling flooring. If you can sell something else, like jewelry, you can sell carpeting and earn a larger commission.”
Meanwhile, Victoria Shparber, whose father-in-law, Jafar Tabib, owns PTK, handles all aspects of social media for Oriental and Persian rug emporium. She believes the secret to the business’ longevity is Tabib’s honesty and integrity coupled with his desire to make his customers happy.
“Everyone knows him and trusts him,” Shparber says. “Three or four generations of families know they can rely on him because he goes out of his way to find them exactly what they’re looking for. He’s had the same staff for 30 years. Everyone’s very loyal and they’ve stuck together. You just don’t see that anymore.”
Shparber says Tabib’s other secret to success is that he loves what he does.
“He has so much patience. He takes his time with every customer,” says Shparber, who adds that if the 70-year-old needs to comb through 300 rugs to find just the right one, he will, despite how physically taxing that job can be.
Shparber says Tabib has great trust in his customers, and has been known to allow clients to take home $10,000 to $15,000 carpets to see if they matches their decor before making a purchase.
Restoration is another of Tabib’s talents.
“He can take a rug that’s ready to go in the garbage and make it look new again,” Shparber says. “He has nice thing going on and that’s why he’s still here.”
For Shparber, preserving family and local businesses is a priority. So much so that the social media maven says she only supports small shops and stores and recommends that friends, neighbors, and customer do the same.
“I know how difficult it is to run a business these days,” she says. “Small, family-owned stores don’t have the budget to advertise and compete with bigger businesses. I try to spread the word about shopping local. Even if I convince five people a week, I feel like I’m making a difference. It’s important. It’s your community.”