By RITA KUEBER
As a potential client, you know you’re in good hands when the senior officers of a company are on the sales floor every day, even as they juggle other duties like marketing, ordering, scheduling, payroll, and more. “There’s always a Wien available, says Matt Wien, one of three brothers who are just now converting the ownership of Marshall Carpet from their dad and uncle’s generation to their own.
Marshall Carpet’s Matt, Ryan, and Nate are three of five boys Marc and Rhonda Wien had and raised in Solon. (Tyler and Spencer are not part of the company – yet.) Dad Marc and his brother Chuck grew up in the carpet business started by their father, Marshall Wien, in 1966. Granddad’s original store was a 350-square-foot retail space located on the second floor of Richmond Mall. Things have changed since the earliest days of the business.
Today the company’s Eastgate location in Mayfield Heights is a 17,000-square-foot showroom, the largest in Northeast Ohio. Based on the volume of installation their seven crews complete annually, Matt estimates the company sells 1.3 million square feet of carpet every year. “We now do more in one month than my grandfather did in an entire year,” he says. In fact with people staying home and wanting to freshen up their spaces, the past two years have been the company’s busiest in all of its fifty-five years.
So what’s hot in carpeting now? “As an industry, we’re seeing a lot of younger consumers and first-time buyers educating themselves about the products they are putting inside their homes,” says Matt. New carpeting emits odors, which are chemical VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. “There’s a big interest in materials that are less synthetic, that allow for better indoor air quality. Many ask about carpet lines made from all products like wool, jute, and natural latex that are good for nurseries and people with allergies.”
“When we talk to people about 100 percent natural carpeting, you see this relief come over them,” he adds. “They tell us ‘the last place we went didn’t know anything about it.’ We’re the only retailer in probably a hundred-mile radius that sells products like this.”
In hard surface flooring, the must-have product is luxury vinyl. This is a click-and-lock floating floor that mimics terrazzo, stone or wood, and can be installed quickly over old floors with no adhesives. “This product has taken the market by storm in the last seven or eight years,” Matt says. “It hits a lot of boxes for the consumer – it’s easy to maintain and cleans up beautifully. We sell more of it than we sell wood or ceramic tile.”
For the holidays, Matt finds customers have two opinions – people who want to update the house with new carpeting in anticipation of entertaining, versus people who wait until entertaining is over so they can refresh their rooms with new carpeting. He’s also seeing an interest in stair runners. “A lot of people are making the choice to have the front stairway make a statement,” he says.
Marshall Carpet’s in-house designers help clients choose paint colors and fabrics, but the company itself only sells flooring, carpets, and rugs. In fact, there are over a thousand rugs in stock, from traditional to contemporary, imported from all over the world. Marshall Carpet offers a ‘try before you buy’ option, delivering rugs to a client’s house to make sure the color, size, and texture work in their home.
Marshall offers free in-home measurements and free in-home consultations as well. The company will also customize rugs or carpets on-site to accommodate a unique size or shape. “We get to know our clients and ask questions about their expectations,” Matt says. “It’s fun to work with different customers, each with a problem to solve. We have ten thousand solutions and a half dozen ideal options here in the showroom.”
The showroom is also the workplace for Omar, Jr. (OJ), a black lab, and Wilton, a yellow lab, named for a traditional carpet weave. “Nate’s dogs are our mascots,” Matt says. “The customers love them. We have clients come into the showroom with their own dogs or kids, just to say hi to our dogs.”
Currently the company has 42 employees, in addition to some independent installers who have worked exclusively with Marshall for over 30 years, and he’d like to add to the crew. “We’ve been trying to hire people over the past year, from new designers to new installers, and apprentices who want to learn a new craft. We’re always looking for valuable team members to join the family.”
Family working together weaves continued success for Marshall Carpet One & Rug Gallery
By RITA KUEBER