Crystal Carpet is a Home Town Family Business that is based on a formula of great product selection along with low low prices. We are even more proud of our most important asset our employees that are dedicated to providing our valued customers the commitment to service that sets us apart from all our competitors.
We invite you to meet our dedicated team of highly qualified flooring experts and to learn more about us. Let us help you to make the best decisions possible with your flooring choices. We have the answers to any questions or concerns that may arise when making your flooring decisions. Our employees understand the true meaning of customer service and professionalism. We place our valued customers needs above our personal desires. Your 100% satisfaction is our goal and we will not stop until you are singing our praises.
When most people are thinking of buying their first carpet it doesn’t lead them to open their own carpet store. But Chad Garner, President of Crystal Carpets and Flooring isn’t like most people!
Chad Garner – Owner
Born and raised in North Carolina, Chad moved to Wilmington in his teens to live at the beach and surf with his buddies. To support his surfer lifestyle he worked for a friend who owned a carpet cleaning and dying business. Fast forward a few years: As Chad starts to furnish his first house he decides to install new carpet. Even though he has never even been inside a carpet store, Chad has a revelation: “That’s what I’ll do! I’m going to get into the carpet business!”
Now, surfers know what it is to “dive head first”. In fact, a good surfer has to be skilled at “duck diving”, a method of diving that helps you get through a large wave without being washed towards the shore. You paddle quickly up to the wave and drive the nose of your surfboard as deep into the water as possible with as much force as you can muster. When Chad started his carpet business he dove into a tidal wave. It didn’t take long to realize that he was in deep!
In 1993 Chad opened his first tiny store—just 30×30 feet! At first, manufacturers wouldn’t even return his phone calls, let alone sell their products to him. But Chad was determined. When he looks back on the chaos of those early days, working 18 hours a day and eating nothing but bologna sandwiches he laughs: “The first few years in business were tough. I didn’t even have a forklift. I lifted and carried all of those huge carpets by hand! I remember one day when a tractor trailer arrived with a huge load of carpets for the store. I was the only one there and had no idea how I was going to unload this truck. Miraculously, every one of my installers showed up for different reasons. With their help, we got the carpets off of the truck and into our warehouse. Those guys didn’t just carry carpets, in the beginning, they carried me!”
What Chad lacked in knowledge of the industry he made up for with a focus on fairness, integrity and building strong relationships. He says: “My first priority was making my customers happy. As a newcomer to the industry, I learned on the job and my education proved to be an expensive one! For example, one time I miscalculated the amount of carpet needed to do a huge installation. I had forgotten to allow for pattern matching, which required an extra 60 yards of carpet to get the job done right. It was my fault, so I shouldered the cost of the mistake by paying for the extra carpet and the additional installation hours myself. I lost a lot of money on that job but I gained a solid business relationship. I still work with that customer today.”
Talk with Chad and you quickly realize that his customers, his employees, his installers and his vendors (more than 85 or them!) are all loyal to Crystal Carpets and Flooring. He works with the most experienced people in the business. Many of whom have worked with him for nearly two decades. Chad’s focus on valuing relationships and maintaining an impeccable reputation hasn’t changed over the years but just about everything else has!
Today, Crystal Carpets Connections and Color Tile (America’s Flooring Store) stocks a huge selection of carpets, tiles and flooring in a 5,000 square-foot showroom attached to a 12,000 square-foot outlet! Chad has achieved his vision of buying high-end designer carpets hardwood floors, laminates and ceramic tiles by the truckload so that he can deliver significant value and savings to his customers (65-70% off regular retail prices!). Yet, his company remains a locally owned and operated business that still prides itself on delivering great service and expert installation.
In surfing, timing is everything. Only practicing will help you acquire “the feel” for knowing precisely when to catch a wave or begin your dive. It takes time to become a good surfer. The parallel to his business doesn’t escape Chad: “After eighteen years in the business, I can now say that I’m an expert. I’m proud of what our team has achieved. I’m proud of our long-term relationships with our customers and I’m proud to be an independent flooring provider delivering better value to my customers than our big box competitors.”
And that’s not all Chad is proud of. He married his wife, Kimmie, in 2004. They later adopted two beautiful twin girls from Guatemala who were born on Christmas Day. Just recently, Chad and Kimmie adopted a little boy from China. Chad enjoys teaching his children about his passions: his love for the Lord (Chad is a member of Northside Baptist Church) his love of the outdoors and his love of surfing. Here are some of the life and business lessons Chad Garner has learned through his favorite sport:
Be patient. In surfing, you have to wait for the right conditions and for the right wave. If you’re too impatient you’ll just get pounded by the surf. If you wait, the right wave will come.
When you wipe out or fall off the board, you must immediately get back on. If you keep thinking about the wipe-out you just had, you will spend more time under water than you will riding waves. You have to instantly let go of a setback because another wave is coming and it just could be a killer ride.
Put your head down and paddle. Honest hard work is the only way to get to your next wave.
When you catch a good wave make the most of it. Give it all of your energy, effort and focus. Be present and enjoy every second of the ride.
Trust your instincts. You have to feel the rhythm of the waves and determine the precise moment to stand up. Try too soon and the wave knocks you over. Move too late and can’t gain momentum.
Never judge. Surfing legend Laird Hamilton said: “Surfing is probably one of the most difficult sports. There are no referees, no time-outs. The waves don’t care about your bank account, your ancestry or your intelligence. It’s just you working the water. And the more I learn, the more I don’t know. That’s an ocean lesson.”
Celebrate the success of your fellow surfers. Life is a team sport, even though it may feel like you are paddling alone. Be kind and respectful of others and celebrate their joy when they catch a good wave!
The best surfers always make it look easy.