A Message From The Owner
Hello, I’m Michael Grant, the owner of Michael’s Carpet World on Old Forest Road here in Lynchburg. I am reaching out to you today to announce that we will be closing our operation by the end of this year. I have been blessed in more ways that I can possibly begin to tell you but I’m going to give it my best shot. First, if you will indulge me, a little history. I was hired in 1973 as warehouse help for Salem Carpets who occupied the same building I am in today. It was their first retail outlet and soon they discovered that they preferred making carpet to selling it on the retail level. A retailer called New York Carpet World acquired the store in 1979 and operated it until 1987 when they built a new building closer to River Ridge Mall and regional traffic. During that time I worked my way into a sales position, then a managers job and eventually became a district manager and traveled the Eastern Seaboard overseeing the stores in my region. When I learned their plans, I did my best to convince the owners not to close the store on Old Forest Road. Once I realized that they were in fact going to close it, I started making plans to leave their employ and start my own business. I have always heard that is was better to be lucky than good and I am here to tell you that I am one of the luckiest men alive. I was able to secure a lease on the building they were leaving so I could open my own store in the same location. I was fortunate enough to have some really great help along the way. Ed Roakes, Casey Carden, Tommy Martin and Sandy Jarels all agreed to take a chance with me and together we started Michael’s Carpet World and built it into a business we could all be proud of. Although Ed is the only one of the original group that is still with me, the rest of us spent a lot of great years together. Casey retired in March of this year and is loving every minute of it. Tommy stayed until 2011 and is still in the floor covering business. Sandy worked until 2008 and has helped out several times over the years when I needed her. These people are as dependable as the day is long and I could not have done it without them. John Foresman and Bobby Jarels have also been with me since day one and have done the bulk of our carpet installations. They are amazing and have been a huge part of our success. As you can imagine lots of other associates and installers have helped us along the way and each one left their mark and have some part in the reputation we developed and are so proud of. There are so many but I want to mention and thank in no particular order Tim Burkholder, Tracie Grant, Terry Floyd, Ron Buchholz, Jerry Moore, and D.J. Sipes. We all came together for a common goal and that was to provide a quality product at a fair price with a real focus on customer service before, during and after the sale. To that I say, mission accomplished and thank you to all of my associates for a job well done. I will be forever grateful for your service and your friendship.
Now, on to the matter at hand. I did not come by the decision to close this business lightly. Timing is everything and when I learned that my lease was not going to be renewed and the building would be put on the market, I had to do some soul searching and make a decision that was best for everyone involved. Obviously, I could try to purchase the property and carry on or I could relocate. Both of those options required a big commitment and at my age and no one in line to take over it just did not make since. I have had some health issues and by the grace of God and some gifted people at UVA, I am healthier now than I have been in a long time. If you don’t already know, I received a double lung transplant three years ago and it has literally changed my life. Did I mention that I am the luckiest man alive? As much as I hate to see something we worked so hard to build come to an end, I must say that I am proud to be going out on top and look so forward to the next chapter of my life. I will have more time to spend with my children and grandchildren and that in itself is something to really look forward to. There will certainly be an adjustment period because for the most part, I have been getting up and coming to work in the same building for forty six years. One of the things I will miss the most is the people. I never tired of helping our customers select the product that was just right for them and seeing to it that their buying experience was a positive one. It is such a rewarding profession and I have met so many good people while doing it. You learn a lot about the people that you work with during the process and it’s not unusual to find common ground and form a friendship. Just one more way that I feel blessed.
To those of you who have supported our business I say, Thank You which hardly seems adequate until I see you in person. I want you to know it has been an honor and privilege and I will be forever in your debt for the trust that you had in me and my associates and for the opportunity to meet you and serve you in some small way. Once we ring in the New Year and you see me out and about please take time to say hello, after all I will have plenty of time to chat.
“The Carpet People Who Care” is more that just a corporate slogan. It is a mission statement for the associates of Michael’s Carpet World. We believe in treating our customers the way we would want to be treated.