Meet Your Merchant: Performance, ‘precision’ are goals of this Truckee flooring company
October 24, 2011
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The first thing to grab your eye at Truckeeand#8217;s Precision Flooring will likely have nothing to do with carpet or hardwood flooring. Unless of course the carpet happens to be white, fluffy and named Annie or Holly and#8212; two furry heads poking above a desktop.
The two small white dogs, bichon frises, belong to long-time locals Steve and Sue Sawyer, owners of Precision Flooring, which has been providing locals a buffet of carpet, hardwood, laminate and vinyl floorings since opening in 2004. The couple raised their kids in Truckee, laying roots in town together in 1978 when Steve worked in flooring as a contractor.
Now that theyand#8217;ve opened their own shop, business is booming for them and their seven full-time employees.
and#8220;Iand#8217;ve been doing this my whole life and#8212; itand#8217;s about all I know,and#8221; said Steve, who said he entered the flooring business when he was a teenager and never left.
While their store boasts a variety of elegant flooring from Amish hand-scraped hardwood to their fibrously colorful carpet tones, the Sawyers say their selling point is based on affordable honest rates and local community support.
and#8220;Weand#8217;re local and#8212; weand#8217;re here, weand#8217;ve been here, and weand#8217;re going to continue to be here,and#8221; said Sue, holding Holly in her arms (part of their dog friendly policy). and#8220;Our employees are local and we care about the community that we live in.and#8221;
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As the recession has weighed on the housing industry, the Sawyers said theyand#8217;ve had to lower prices to stay competitive; they thank the community for shopping locally.
and#8220;We lowered our profit margin with the economy since everything really died down, so not only could we continue to work, but so our clients could get affordable flooring,and#8221; said Sue.
In 2009 and 2010, the company began feeling the toll of the recession as housing projects began to disappear; Sue described the time as very humbling for them as a local business.
and#8220;We sold a lot more vinyl when the economic times were hard because the bang for the buck to vinyl … is a lot less expensive than hardwood,and#8221; she said.
The Sawyers also pride themselves on being competitive despite corporate carpet sellers trying to undermine local business with flimsy advertising such as free installation, a term used to throw under the rug and#8212; so to speak and#8212; facts like higher material and delivery costs.
and#8220;I think people need to understand that when theyand#8217;re dealing with these box stores and these big companies that offer those things like free installation is that there are no licensed installer or unlicensed installer thatand#8217;s going to work for free,and#8221; said Sue. and#8220;Weand#8217;re just black and white.and#8221;
Making good on their promise of honest work, Steve said his days typically start at about 5:30 a.m. with a healthy brew of coffee and#8212; and#8220;the stronger the betterand#8221; and#8212; and end around 6:30 p.m.
and#8220;We usually do a pretty long day,and#8221; Steve said.
As the recession has waned, the Sawyers said theyand#8217;ve begun to see a slow rise in clients; however, until the economy improves, Sue and Steve said they will continue doing what they do best.
and#8220;Steve named it and#8216;Precisionand#8217; for a reason,and#8221; said Sue. and#8220;When our guys leave a job they do their best to make sure itand#8217;s perfect.and#8221;