25 Nov Looming Large.
A history of Carpet Impressions.
Ask Philip Amin to offer some advice to his younger self, his counsel is seasoned: be more patient, be less aggressive, and seek personal/professional balance. Don’t be over eager to prove yourself, success will happen.
Spoken like a true entrepreneur who’s been at the game for a good, long, clip. If he could do it all over again, he says, he would do it with more patience.
In 1994, when he had more persistence than patience, Philip had the opportunity to open the doors to Carpet Impressions in partnership with the talented and ambitious Hope Bass. This is that story.
The Early Daze
Philip was managing Universal Carpet where he cut his teeth in the industry (he zoomed up the line from stockboy to district manager in 7 years). Hope was a client, a driven and conscientious associate from Cristin Cotten Design. Over the years, they developed a solid working relationship.
Deep respect for each other, shared passion for rugs and carpet, and a clear vision for a highly-specialized, to-the-trade-only business.
Thus, Carpet Impressions was launched from a small headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. With a warehouse directly across the parking lot in a tiny, out-of-the-way office park, Philip and Hope founded their partnership on four pillars:
Sincerity to the Client
The early days of Carpet Impressions are easy to imagine: Hope driving around with samples in the back of her station wagon, going door-to-door as an assistant to Interior Designers. (And, in a lovely, full-circle kind of way, her former employer Cristin Cotten became a client until she retired. #winning)
Carpet Impressions soon had a reputation for being a solid partner on any project — no matter how specialized the measurements or meticulous the application, they could always be counted on to get it right.
Two years in, and the foundation had been set. Hope and Philip had begun to establish rewarding relationships. They began to build a book of work that would take them on fantastic journeys and in amazing places.
In 1997, Carpet Impressions moved to McLean, Virginia, about 500 yards from the current location on Beverly Road.
And in 2003, Philip and Hope purchased the current location at 1363 Beverly Rd, where they jumped right into the HOT! housing market by furnishing broadloom carpet, decorative rugs, and specialty flooring in high-end homes in the Washington DC Metro area.
Time to Team Up
Hope and Philip set out to build the best possible team. Little did they know, witnessing the growth and development of their staff would become one of the most rewarding aspects of building Carpet Impressions. Making a real impact in the quality of life for your colleagues comes back to bless you tenfold. #positivefeedbackloop
Along came Pepe and Pachugo.
Jose “Pepe” Gonzales and Jose “Pachugo” Carrabantes began their careers in the carpet industry in 1994 and 1995, respectively. Pachugo worked under Pepe, and together they each became master craftsmen in their own right. As a team, they deliver the peace of mind CI clients crave with a calm demeanor, consummate professionalism, and meticulous attention to detail. We couldn’t do this without them and can’t wait to see where they will go professionally.
1996 Enter Mo.
A steady growth in business drove a need to find someone who could helm things at the warehouse…and quick! Enter Mo, who came to Carpet Impressions in 1996, directly from architecture school. When Philip took Mo on his first measure, the precision of his drawings stopped Philip in his tracks. With an architect’s eye and a businessman’s brain, Mo quickly learned every aspect of the business.
He soon trained under renowned American installer Phillip Pearlman, who mentored Mo on the craft of high-end carpet. His problem-solving chops and technical prowess have been the key to many a successful project. (We love you, Mo!)
2000 Welcome Alicia.
With Hope handling ALL THE THINGS and Philip and Mo doing the heavy lifting operationally, what they needed now was to find a magical multitasker who could manage the showroom and work fabulously with clients. They were looking for a real go-getter, someone who kept the trains running on time and could help facilitate the day-to-day operations of the business.
That somebody was Alicia Ann Parsons, a Design Center veteran with nearly a decade of experience in the trade. Nearly 20 years later, Alicia is the backbone of Carpet Impressions, administering her special blend of remember-where-it-is, get-things-done, keep-it-moving, and service-with-a-smile attitude to the whole operation. From bookkeeping to sales to client liaison, Alicia is critical to our success.
2011 Scott and Greg for the win.
With Scott on board to help Mo, and Greg in charge of doing measures, the team was shaping up to be something quite remarkable. Carpet Impressions now had someone in place for each foundational aspect of the operation – we were starting to feel like a real, grown-up business. Bye bye startup phase, hello systems on lock and running smoothly.
2016 Welcome aboard Mike.
A solid industry pro from Floor Covering Resources, we now had rockstar Mike to helm the commercial divisions of Carpet Impressions. Mike also took on a big responsibility in helping to manage the warehouse – the key to reaching a value of $5mil in sales, a place that had seemed like a distant goal back in 1995. #ohyeahhh
Laying the foundation to weather any storm.
It’s no secret that our industry has seen incredible highs and heartbreaking lows. From the boom of million dollar homes, big real estate, and huge money deals of 2003-2008 to the devastating crash of 2008, Carpet Impressions has been put to the test. 2009 was our most difficult year, and we had to ask our employees to sacrifice much in the way of financial security. Our people had to work longer and harder hours for less. (It’s painful to think of even now.)
Hope and Phillip personally bore much of the brunt of the economic downturn, sleepless nights over how to endure the stress and strife caused by such an economic downturn.
Armed with tenacity and grit, Carpet Impressions weathered the storm; we wouldn’t have made it without the loyal support of our customers. Lean, focused business strategy served as a liferaft during those tumultuous times. 2010 rewarded us with the bottom line improvements and rays of hope that carried us through the darkness.
In retrospect, we have been rewarded many times over for figuring out how to make it work, due in no small part to the dedication of our team, our family, and clients. This is all you, and we thank you.
At the core of what we do is our love of the craft.
As touchy-feely as it sounds, Carpet Impressions is on a spiritual journey. We have a deep appreciation for the ability and artistry of people who dedicate a lifetime to the trade. From handmade rugs made the old way, one weave knot at a time, to the modern American manufacturers innovating in design and construction, our team is elevated by a global community. People in Nepal, Pakistan, India, and China are doing this the old way, an often-unseen process that delivers a rug from conception to showroom, and we are honored to be a part of that tribe.
The future of Carpet Impressions
Even with our eyes toward the future (and armed with some solid hindsight) we try not to make predictions about what time will bring for our business. We will stay focused and loyal to what has built our reputation: a commitment to the craft, the carpet, and our clients.