Home renovations are not rare for most and when the occasion arrives, there is no question that the flooring project can be one of the most daunting and stressful experiences for any homeowner. Even smaller updates and refreshers begin to add up, so, it would be nice to have an expert to guide you along the way — enter American Flooring.
Located at 5100 Marsh Road, American Flooring of Okemos has been answering the call of homeowners since 2010. Owned by Yvonne and Ed Weaver, the store graciously serves the community with a level of customer service that is often unheard of within the home improvement industry. Unlike big box stores, this team of experts customizes your experience based on your flooring needs to ensure you are not just being sold on something, you are being introduced to something you will love. Weaver and her team take a hard look at each customer’s scenario by identifying aspects of their lifestyle: pets, children and more.
“We are here to help the customer understand what they are purchasing. We educate them not to expect the impossible,” said Weaver. “When we enter a job site, we want to make sure that we make things right and we don’t think of it as selling. We use our knowledge to help the customer recreate their vision. We ask several questions to help identify what the customer desires and then we fill the gap with the right product.”
New flooring isn’t cheap: there are a lot of unknowns and, simply put, if you don’t know what you are getting into, you could make some significant mistakes. Think about it, good floors aren’t just about style, but also durability, quality materials and more. From the surface, these things might seem obvious, but coupled with expert installation, the industry’s know-how runs deep. Weaver was not always an expert herself, but she has embraced the opportunity to learn. With dedication and training she is now an encyclopedia of knowledge and, better yet, has gained a lot of experience.
“This business was an opportunity I didn’t seek out, but it just fell into my lap. Did I know anything about flooring? No. Did I know retail? Yes — that is my trade,” Weaver said. “I was born and raised in Germany where your interest in a career requires you to become educated in that field to become successful. Whether you are a doctor, a waitress or work in retail, you tailor your training for that industry. So, I’m educated in retail therefore that aspect of the business comes natural to me. Thankfully, I have been surrounded by experts and supportive employees that have helped me learn the rest.”
While the Weavers play a leading role in the business, considering everything from managing the sales team to curating the seemingly endless selection of eye-catching flooring options, she is the first to let you know that she couldn’t do it on her own and this perhaps is the true aspect of the business’ success.
“What makes my business so successful, or any business, is the people you surround yourself with. I think it is so important because what keeps employees around and working for you, is you treat your employees well and you pay them well,” mentioned Weaver. “You support them any way you can and give them an opportunity to succeed. Do the best you can, because without your employees your business is nothing. Our employees have been in the business longer than I have. It will be a challenge to find a future generation of sales staff that has the same knowledge and attitude.”
Another aspect of the brand’s continued success is its ability to identify trends, in both style for flooring and business practices outside of its doors. Recent examples of change include the storefront’s decision to double down on its hard surface display space offering more hardwood, laminate and luxury vinyl which are the current trend, as carpet has begun to take a back seat. Additionally, the brand was quick to realize the importance of digital marketing integration, and the team prides itself on their online efforts to ensure those seeking services are brought to their doorstep first. With so much self-awareness, it’s no wonder the business is where it is today, and because of this, they’re wise enough to already be looking into the future.
“Our business has grown every single year since we’ve started. We entered the business just after the 2008 recession and many people told us we were crazy, home building was at an all-time low, but we were optimistic that things would get better, and they have, said Weaver. “We want to continue growing and we’re looking even further into the future. Our children are interested in the business and we genuinely want to build a business that will be around for many years to come.