Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

S Shopper Stories


FAMILY FLOORING

Customer caring is their finest product

by Kelli Tatum


Tony Johnson and Jeff Jechura

Tony Johnson and Jeff Jechura

It’s not the shag carpet from the ‘70s, but a big trend in flooring has Family Flooring  staying busy. A new luxury vinyl tile has hit the market and folks are excited about it. “We had a customer who wanted to know just how durable this product is,” Tony Johnson, co-owner of the flooring business, explains. “I gave her a sample to take home and she tried to beat it up, but couldn’t. It’s a good product.” So good, it can even withstand water. There is a sample in the showroom immersed in a container of water to prove it.

“A house could flood and we would be able to pull this flooring up and reinstall it after the clean up,” he says. The vinyl flooring is very easy to install and snaps in place. There is very little preparation involved, and the project can be done pretty quickly. Cleaning the floor is simple too; just a little soap and water should do the job.


“Hard surfaces are trending now;
anything from hardwood,
to tile that looks like hardwood,
to luxury vinyl tile.”

—Tony Johnson



Tony has seen a lot of trends in his 13 years of owning the store. Hard surfaces are trending now; anything from hardwood, to tile that looks like hardwood, to luxury vinyl tile. Even though the material is available at the so-called big box stores, Tony believes his dedicated staff and commitment to outstanding customer service will keep the community coming back to Family Flooring. “We know who our installers are, which means  our customers know who they are, and that’s important,” he points out. Tony has been working with the same installers for over a decade. Competing with a big store that can offer big savings can seem intimidating to small businesses like Tony’s, but he doesn’t worry about it. “There’s an expression: ‘you get what you pay for.’ I don’t do big blow-out sales. I’m honest with the customer, and if the manufacturer offers me a discount, I share it,” he says. “It’s that simple.” 



Luxury vinyl tile is available in many different options and is extremely durable

Luxury vinyl tile is available in many different options and is extremely durable


Western Branch area of Chesapeake. That store has been open just as long, and offers the same high-end service. Katherine sees a lot of customers come in for remodeling, mostly kitchens and baths. “Many of the homes in this area are older, so we get a lot of people wanting to do some upgrades,” she says. The store, located on Portsmouth Boulevard in the Stonebridge Shopping Center, has a smaller showroom, but Katherine says that’s not a problem. “If I need something from the other store, I can just get Tony to bring the samples home and I’ll have it the next day. It works out quite nicely,” she smiles.

Katherine agrees that most clients are leaning toward a warmer product with the look of wood, which makes the luxury vinyl tile all the more appealing. “Tile can be cold. That’s great in the summertime, but not in the winter! The LVT provides a warm look with durability, and it’s a great investment,” she explains. Though the vinyl is a top choice to many, a porcelain wood-look tile is a favorite, too. “It’s a little more labor-intensive, but gives a nice hard surface, which is easy to clean and helps allergy sufferers,” Katherine says.

Katherine took over managing the Portsmouth Boulevard store about three years ago and, according to husband Tony, she does a great job. “I feel good knowing she is in a positive environment and doing what she loves, which is helping people,” he notes. Tony likes helping folks, too, and even though the store employs several sales people, he still gets a lot of enjoyment assisting customers when he gets the chance. “I like to help my customers find what they are looking for, even if they don’t know what it is. Some clients have their mind set on a particular product and think that’s what they need, but after talking to them for a bit, it’s not always what they want,” he explains.

Tony and Katherine agree that they can’t take all the credit. Co-owner Jeff Jechura has been in the flooring business even longer than the Johnsons, and they say they have learned a great deal from him. The couple says Jeff brings a different vibe to the business and he keeps them on their toes. “Tony is a little more reserved than me, but that’s why it works. It’s definitely a yin and yang scenario,” Jeff affirms.

The relationship between the two families started over 20 years ago when Tony met Jeff in a retail job. Tony was newly retired from the Navy and Jeff was a manager at the job. The two worked together for a few years and enjoyed hanging out on Sundays watching football. “We talked about starting our own flooring business and finally just did it,“ Jeff remembers. Now 13 years later, the two are still in business together, something Jeff says is an anomaly. “Everything you learn in college about business pretty much warns you to stay away from building a company with a friend. I guess Tony and I beat the odds.”



The warm look of wood has a special appeal

The warm look of wood has a special appeal

The business has had its share of ups and downs, but the two have a common goal; helping others. “It’s something about building relationships with people. I really enjoy helping our customers. I know they can feel that when they come into our store. I heard we were voted The Best of Chesapeake. I guess that’s what sets us apart; we care about our customers,” Jeff says.

Shari Brinkman, owner of refreshed, a coastal living inspired furniture and home decor shop, agrees. “Thank you Family Flooring! Moving a business to a new location can be very trying. Jeff knew I had a deadline and immediately made me feel that I was a priority. We ordered flooring and carpet. It was installed quickly and skillfully, and we opened our store on time. Our customers continue to love our flooring as much as we do. I love saying ‘We went to Family Flooring!’ ”


“There’s an expression:
‘you get what you pay for.’
I don’t do big blow-out sales.
I’m honest with the customer,
and if the manufacturer offers me
a discount, I share it. It’s that simple.”

—Tony Johnson



Year after year, the business continues to grow. Though the stores are located on the Southside, they serve all of Hampton Roads. Family Flooring has traveled as far as Gloucester for its customers. The family-based company says they will continue to provide their support to the community as long as they can. Whether for an upgrade or new construction, Tony, Katherine and Jeff are here to help.




Family Flooring

300 N. Battlefield Blvd.
Chesapeake, VA 23320

757-548-4545

3916 Portsmouth Blvd.
 Suite B4
Chesapeake, VA 23321

757-673-8960



http://www.FamilyFlooringStores.com