Where the foundation is integrity
by Cristi Sanchez
Some things are more important than maximizing profit," Tony Johnson, co-owner of Family Flooring, a long-time fixture in Great Bridge, says. "It's not enough for our customers to buy flooring from us. We want them to be genuinely pleased with our service, from the moment they walk through the doors of our showroom until the moment the flooring has been installed and the last worker is leaving their house."
"We really enjoy helping our customers," co-owner Jeff Jechura adds. "They're like family to us. In fact, I'd say that's what sets us apart from big-box stores."
After 15 years in business, Tony and Jeff are still committed to providing their customers with high-quality products, high-quality craftsmanship, and personalized service.
The duo met when working together at a now-defunct flooring business in Virginia Beach. One evening during their regular Monday Night Football get together, their discussion turned to the possibility of one day owning and operating their own flooring business. The co-workers-turned-friends decided to make their dream a reality. In April 2004, Family Flooring opened its doors on North Battlefield Boulevard in Great Bridge. During the economic roller coaster ride of the ensuing 15 years, Family Flooring weathered ups and downs, but it has remained successful and viable because of Tony and Jeff's honesty and integrity in serving their customers.
"People often ask if we ever have big sales or offer discounts," Tony remarks. "We don't, and the reason for that is that we are not going to mark up the prices on our products and labor just so we can later mark them down and offer our customers what is, in fact, a fake discount. We don't do that. That's not what we're about at Family Flooring. Do we need to make enough money to keep the doors open, pay our people, and make a living? Of course, we do. But we're not going to sacrifice our integrity just to maximize our profits."
Tony and Jeff's sense of integrity is also evident in the quality of the flooring that they sell.
"We offer people high-quality products," Tony states firmly. "We don't sell discontinued flooring or seconds because we know there will be issues with them. We don't have anything to do with products that will cause problems for our customers."
By not selling low-cost, highly-discounted products, Tony acknowledges that he could potentially lose a sale. "I understand that people have budgets that they have to stick to," he says good-naturedly. "So, I don't take it personally if they choose to go with someone who can provide them with low-cost products, but I firmly believe that you get what you pay for."
Examples of the new high-quality flooring products available from Family Flooring.
He goes on to describe a common problem experienced when customers have the budget for better flooring but try to cut corners with lower priced products. "In this industry, lower priced products are often low-quality products; that type of flooring will look bad within six months. Unfortunately, at that point customers are stuck with it because they've already spent all the money in their flooring budget."
The high-quality products offered at Family Flooring also need to have high-quality installation. Since day one, Tony and Jeff have assembled a team of some of the best, most experienced installers in the region. "Every single one of our installers comes to us with at least a decade or more of experience," Tony says, smiling. "All of them are experts in the field."
"We're not going to sacrifice our integrity just to maximize our profits."
"I honestly believe that our flooring installers represent some of the best craftsmen in the area," Jeff adds with pride. "All of them share our basic business philosophy: "Don't stop until the customer is completely satisfied.' They wouldn't be working for us if they thought otherwise."
Without the expertise of Family Flooring's knowledgeable sales team, the top-notch installers would have nothing to do. The five-person sales team has years of experience and knowledge regarding which products work best in particular homes and areas and specific conditions.
"People think that they're not limited as to what products they can use in their homes, but that's not always the case," Tony explains. "For instance, certain types of solid wood floors won't do well in high-moisture conditions; certain products can't be used on slab foundations, and laminate flooring can be problematic with pets and water. So, we work closely with our customers and educate them so that they can make the best choice for their homes and their lifestyles."
While Family Flooring's high-quality work, commitment to excellence, and exceptional customer service have remained the same over the last 15 years, there have been a few notable changes beginning with the business itself. Though Family Flooring opened with a staff of only four installers working from a smaller facility, it has grown into a thriving business with 11 installers and five sales representatives working in a showroom that is double the size of the original.
The products on display in the showroom have also changed over the last 15 years. "Carpets have changed a lot," Tony states. "There are new multicolored carpets that have better stain protectants and look more casual and not as formal. But even more than that, the carpet market has really dropped. It used to be the largest percentage of flooring sales, but now it's only 35-40 percent of the market."
These days more people are flocking to the popular new interlocking vinyl products: Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP) and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT).
"LVP and LVT are the newest products on the market and have taken over," Tony explains. "People like them because they look like wood or tile, and are durable and waterproof. LVP and LVT are quality products."
At Family Flooring, commitment to quality is foundational. Having just celebrated their 15th anniversary, Tony Johnson, Jeff Jechura, and their entire staff continue to deliver high-quality products and craftsmanship, and personalized service with honesty and integrity. "That will never change," Tony promises.
300 N. Battlefield Blvd.
Chesapeake, VA 23320
3916 Portsmouth Blvd.
Chesapeake, VA 23321