Meet Our Team
We are committed to giving our customers expert guidance on all of their flooring decisions. A locally owned and operated business, the Crystal Carpet & Flooring Company has been serving Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina for over 25 years. Our success has been built on the business practice of doing what’s right for the customer every time.
We invite you to meet our dedicated team of professional flooring experts. Let us help you make the best decisions on carpet and flooring. Your 100% satisfaction is our goal.
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, as a young adult Chad moved to Wilmington, NC to live at the beach and surf. To support his surfer lifestyle he worked for a friend who owned a carpet cleaning and carpet dying business. A few years later, as Chad began to furnish his first house, he decided to install new carpet. Even though he had never even been inside a carpet store, Chad had a revelation: “I’m going to get into the carpet and flooring business!”
In 1993 Chad opened his first tiny store—just 30×30 feet! He worked 18 hours a day, lifting and carrying huge carpet rolls by hand, while eating nothing but bologna sandwiches. Over twenty-five years later, Crystal Carpet & Flooring has grown from a one-man operation to one of the area’s largest independent carpet & flooring retailers. With 17,000 square feet of showroom and warehouse outlet space, Chad now oversees a team of industry experts from a warehouse manager to sales representatives to professional installers (several of whom have worked with Chad since the beginning).
Chad credits his twenty-five plus years of success as a locally owned and operated business in the Wilmington area to building strong, long-standing relationships with his customers, his employees, his installers and his vendors (nearly 100 of them). He works with the most experienced people in the business to deliver great service, excellent value, and expert installation.
Chad is married and has three beautiful adopted children, two girls and a boy. He is also an active member of Northside Baptist Church.
Rick Wagoner, Operations Manager: With a father in the Air Force, Rick grew up “everywhere” including FL, CA, SC, WV and NC. After working for a company that specialized in the rental of heavy equipment, Rick joined Crystal Carpet & Flooring. He has been owner Chad Garner’s “right hand man” for more than a decade, working first in the warehouse, then in sales and later in operations management. When he’s not working, Rick enjoys escaping to the North Carolina mountains for camping and fishing trips. A Tarheels (basketball), Kansas City Chiefs (football) and Dodgers (baseball) fan, Rick enjoys watching games with his English bulldog puppy, Cooper, and his two cats, Sasha and Cheyenne.
Scott Cromartie, Sales Representative: Scott Cromartie is Crystal Carpet & Flooring’s “man about town”. A Wilmington native and UNC Chapel Hill graduate, Scott grew up working in his family’s trucking business. After nearly 40 years in the industry, Scott sold the business and made a career change, joining the Crystal Carpet & Flooring team a few years ago. Currently the Area Director for BNI (Business Networking International) and the President of his Home Owners Association, Scott has always been an active contributor to our community as a Kiwanis, a member of First Presbyterian Church, a board member for the Brigade Boys & Girls of Wilmington, a past chairman of the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, and a past leadership participant in the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. When he’s not working at home or in the community, he’s spending time with his lab, Molly, and Charlie, his cat. Scott also enjoys golfing, reading and cheering for Carolina.
Ashley Gibbs, Sales Representative: Ashley Gibbs was born in Anchorage, Alaska but her family moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina when she was four. She earned her Associates Degree from Fayetteville Technical Community College and came to Wilmington in 2006. Ashley managed the Helzberg Diamonds store at Independence Mall for over seven years. There, she refined her sales skills in matching customer needs with the perfect product fit. Helping someone choose the right engagement ring is no small matter! Ashley has quickly become one of the ‘veterans’ at Crystal Carpet. Her knowledge of flooring products and caring touch are much appreciated by clients. Ashley has already become a Schluter Systems Certified representative and has been an integral part of the growth in bath remodeling services. Ashley is very thorough in project planning and the installation process, and goes the extra mile to help folks envision the finished project. In her leisure time, Ashley enjoys the beach, boating, fishing, tennis, and music concerts.
Lou Painter, Sales Representative: Lou Painter grew up in St. Albans, West Virginia and graduated from Liberty University. Although he’s spent most of his career in sales and home improvement, one of his favorite jobs was serving as a physical education teacher and coach at a Christian middle school for five years. In 1998, Lou relocated to Wilmington to be closer to the beach. He joined the Crystal Carpet & Flooring team in early 2016. Of his job, Lou says: “Flooring is never boring. I enjoy working with our customers and helping them find solutions to their flooring challenges.”
In his free time, Lou enjoys writing novels (his books The Alpha Reservation and The King Sacrifice are available on Amazon). He also enjoys playing acoustic guitar and writing songs. In fact, he wrote the Crystal Carpet theme song! Lou is married to his high school sweetheart, Jenny, whom he met at the age of seventeen, and says she is his “answered prayer.” Speaking of prayer, ask Lou about the seven months he served as an interim pastor at an all-Latino Baptist church, even though he doesn’t speak Spanish!
Diana Watkins, Sales Representative: A native of Philadelphia and a “huge Philly sports fan,” Diana Watkins vacationed in Carolina Beach for 15 years before she finally made Wilmington home. “When my youngest child graduated high school, my husband and I couldn’t move here quick enough!” she says.
Before Diana joined the Crystal Carpet & Flooring Company team in May 2018, she had already garnered over 25 years of experience in home improvement, flooring, and retail management. Previously in her career, she worked for Home Depot, Lowe’s, and The Tile Shop.
As a sales representative, Diana serves clients with an extensive knowledge base backed by certifications from premier carpet and flooring brands including Mohawk, Armstrong, and Schluter Systems. “I love my job and I love what I do!” she says. “Helping educate customers so they can make decisions on their flooring projects is enormously satisfying to me. I love seeing the finished product and having happy, satisfied customers.”