An interview with Rachel McLain-Rollins
How did you get started in the industry?
After college, I worked for a friends flooring business. After a year of working with great installers and reps I started working for Cartozian. The freedom of my role at Cartozian helped develop my leadership skills and style. Learning interpersonal and sales skills came from a mentor that encouraged reading books about professional development and taking training classes.
After 9 years at Cartozians I had the opportunity to purchase the business. Shortly after purchasing the business I was faced with the Great Recession. That’s when I feel like I truly learned to be a good business person. An owner choosing to engage directly with customers makes a difference in the culture of a store. Not just having my people work with customers but me working alongside them has been really rewarding. It’s all about relationships!
What would you do if not flooring?
I would definitely be an outdoor guide somewhere (skiing or mountain bike). Idaho or Colorado for Mountain Biking, and skiing anywhere in the Cascades! I enjoy the outdoors and love showing people things that they might not see otherwise. I like introducing people to new things!
What do you like best about the flooring industry?
A couple of things–Relationships that I’ve made with clients are so fun for me. I love working with people on their house. I’m frequently working so closely with people on their homes that sometimes I have to remind them “this is your house”! When you put yourself in your customers shoes it creates a perfect environment to design great spaces. I also love the creativity that I’m allowed in my role working with people.
What do you do to relax?
I like riding my bike, Running, skiing, Cooking. I also love Reading! I like to read all kinds of books and can go thru a good book in a few days!
Any advice for someone getting started in the flooring industry?
Educate yourself on the nuts and bolts of the business you choose. Make sure you know what you’re talking about, and focus on relationships. Suppliers and installers are great resources. You want to be a trusted advisor to your clients.
A lot of us have been in this industry our whole adult life. Maybe sometimes we get bored or tired. If you’re interested in what you’re doing you won’t get bored. You have to create your own positive energy! We all have to be reminded that we always have the opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves.