Monday, June 30, 2008

A Discussion About Carpet Maintenance With Kerns Carpet One Floor & Home

"90% of consumers are never told how to maintain their carpet."

So says Bill Kerns, President of Kerns Carpet One Floor & Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And it's a missed opportunity to build a relationship with customers, as well as reduce claims and complaints.

According to Kerns, 40% of manufacturer claims are maintenance related. Help a consumer understand how to protect her investment and you will have a customer for life.

Powerful words and actions.

Annette Smith and I recently spoke with Bill Kerns and Tony Marotta, his carpet maintenance expert. We wanted to understand how Kerns Carpet One Floor & Home - a family run retailer in business over 70 years - goes about educating the consumer, particularly in view of new cleaning requirements that went into effect Jan. 1, 2007 and further ones that went live on Jan. 1, 2008. Not following these requirement can nullify carpet warranties.

More specifically according to Janet Herlihy's 5/5/2008 FCW writeup titled "Cleaning requirements raise awareness," the major carpet mills - Shaw, Mohawk, Beaulieu, Blue Ridge and Tai Ping Options - "announced that to maintain warranties on certain residential carpet, they would have to be cleaned according to a schedule using cleaning products and equipment with the Carpet & Rug Institute's [CRI] Seal of Approval [SOA]."

Most of the cleaning schedules range from 12 to 24 months, with some in the 12 to 18 months range. Please be sure to check your warranty requirements! [Note: the Wear-Dated warranty requires professional cleaning every 24 months.]

Effective Jan. 1, 2008 - according to FCN's Sarah Zimmerman in "Carpet maintenance and cleaning allocated by mills" from 5/19-20/2008 - a new requirement has gone into effect: to only allow professional carpet cleaning from IICRC [the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification] accredited and certified carpet cleaners.

The genesis of all of these new requirements and regulations: diminishing consumer satisfaction with carpet because of the level of incompetence demonstrated by so many installers and carpet cleaners. "In fact, CRI found in a study done on chemical cleaning agents nearly 80% of the products on the market were as effective as water, and many heightened resoiling" which led to the SOA program, and the Green Label vacuum program. The IICRC addition helps guarantee consistent high-quality workmanship.

Says Kerns: "It means that consumers won't be at the mercy of fly-by-night operations. They can count on approved cleaning solutions, methods, and technicians." However, consumer education is paramount, as without knowing about these stipulations, consumers might easily void the terms of their warranties. "What a way to burn bridges with consumers!" he adds.

Kerns Carpet One Floor & Home has trained its salespeople, giving them talking points to bring up with consumers, and demonstrating to them how best to maintain carpet. Tony gets personally involved in these demonstrations. After all, the Kerns organization takes carpet maintenance seriously!

They refer to teeth and hair to help illustrate the importance of carpet maintenance: Why brush teeth? To maintain the longevity and health of teeth and mouth. It's the same with carpet. Maintaining it extends the life expectancy of carpet. Proper maintenance means fully removing soap after cleaning otherwise it attracts more dirt. It's best to rinse with non-soap. Just like washing hair. And, it's important to reapply factory protectors for stain and soil resistance.

Now, let's put things into perspective. Kerns Carpet One Floor & Home takes cleaning so seriously that it has established an IICRC certified cleaning service: Kerns Carpet Cleaning, which also offers upholstery and area rug cleaning services.

Kerns explains that it's important to talk about maintaining floor coverings. It's an expensive investment and needs to be cared for. So, the organization takes a lead on this front by offering carpet cleaning services. On selected items, Kerns Carpet One Floor & Home offers a $100 carpet cleaning gift card to new customers. This entitles the customer to 150 square feet of free cleaning or a spot cleaning during the first year of ownership of their new carpeting. It's a marvelous reason to followup on if there's been no redemption within that first year and helps to reinforce that they are there to help. They also offer a free spot cleaning bottle at the time of the order.

How best to maintain a carpet:
+ Vacuum frequently.
+ Immediately clean stains and spots by spot cleaning.
+ Professionally clean carpet using an IICRC certified cleaner and CRI approved cleaning products every 12 to 24 months depending on the carpet manufacturer's warranty requirements [can range from 12 to 18 months].

Cleaning frequency varies with households. A house with animals and kids will experience more soiling and may require cleaning twice a year, whereas one without may find that yearly cleaning with traffic lanes done more often works well.

Kerns and Tony explained the IICRC cleaning methodology:
- pre-vacuum to remove 80% of the soil
- with CRI solutions, agitate, rinse, groom, then with an air-mover dry the carpet

Tony says that he routinely cleans a room in salespeople's homes so they understand and feel comfortable recommending the service. It's effective and generates customers for life. Per Kerns, "we see a customer every 7 to 12 years for carpet replacement, but every year because of the relationship we've built through the cleaning service."

NOTE: Prior to a claims-related inspection, a customer must have their carpet cleaned within 30 days before opening a claim if the concern is stain/soil. Please refer to the warranty terms for details. Customers have an obligation to maintain their carpet.

"Carpet is safer than hard surface. It's a lot easier to maintain than hard surface. It's a beautiful product that offers so many benefits - including stylishness - to a consumer. Why not make sure that consumers understand how to care for carpet? That way we ensure they are totally satisfied, we prevent them from voiding warranties and give them a reason to come back for more carpet," states Kerns.

"Carpet is also expensive and by providing the proper maintenance information and offering a cleaning service we can help the customer preserve the investment they are making in their home. This added touch helps us forge a long term relationship with the customer and provides us with more opportunities in the future," adds Kerns.

Thank you, Bill and Tony, for explaining how best to maintain a beautiful carpet. It's a complicated subject and the better a consumer understands her obligations under the warranty terms, the happier and more satisfied she will be. And the better her carpet will look over time.

Click on this link to locate IICRC certified cleaners. Click on this link for CRI - SOA approved products. Click on this link for details on the Wear-Dated warranty.

Note: if you have shag carpet, please do NOT use a beater bar. Instead, use a suction-only vacuum cleaner. See Shaw/Tuftex Care & Maintenance of Shag Carpet.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Friday, June 27, 2008

My New Outlook on Carpet

For the past three years, I've lived in an apartment with hardwood floors. I loved this apartment - it had crown molding throughout and black & white tile in the bathroom. I even loved the hardwood floors. For awhile. Then after a few years, the dust bunnies began to build up to a very obvious level, and my roommate and I just didn't have enough time to constantly move furniture in order to clean. By the time we moved out, I'm pretty sure those bunnies were the size of lop-eared rabbits.

Then there was our inability to sit comfortably on the floor, which naturally lead to a lack of seating when we had larger, casual parties. I ended up finding a large area rug for $20 from Bed Bath & Beyond* that we used in the living room, but for $20, you don't get much from an area rug, including any sort of cushion.

Recently, because of the end of our lease as well as my roommate's impending nuptials, I moved into a new apartment. The new place has many of the details I loved about the old (an abundance of character, being one), but it also has carpet. At first, I was skeptical. How many people's dirty feet walked over that carpet? I even bypassed one apartment because of its smooshed, tainted carpet... Blech! as Snoopy would say.

But this new apartment has good carpet, as I most pleasantly discovered. It's a cut pile, neutral in color and pretty basic. But it's thick and cozy and, quite frankly, it makes my feet happy. Plus, I feel like my entire apartment is one comfortable space for my friends to sit, stand, rest or spend the night. It opens up many more possibilities that our hardwood floors formerly canceled out. I don't feel like dust bunnies will take over my space - the Carpet & Rug Institute says it even improves indoor air quality. And I really believe that the carpet provides additional insulation that cools in the summer and warms in the winter.

It's not that I dislike hardwood floors - quite the contrary. I've simply expanded my flooring options and find myself pleasantly surprised...

* On a completely unrelated note, I've recently been very impressed with Bed, Bath & Beyond as a retail store. Its employees are generally friendly and knowledgeable, its return policy is excellent, and it provides gift wrap for bridal registry gifts - free of charge! And then, of course, it offers the occasional $20 area rug find. But as impressed as I am with BB&B, I'm as equally unimpressed with Target's return policy. I have always been a huge Target advocate, but lately, I'm considering decreasing my trips there - talk about a lack of customer service.

Technorati Tags: carpet, apartment living, Bed, Bath & Beyond Tags: carpet, apartment living, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday Is Carpet Bros Day.

Sometimes, life just doesn't get any better. Especially when it's Wednesday and you can look forward to another episode of Carpet Bros.

Carpet Bros. is a web based film series that takes place in the mid 1970s, with the announcement that Brock Raylon, owner and founder of Carpet Galaxy, has died, leaving his three sons to pick up the pieces and save the business.

From the 60Frames writeup:

"Amidst fondly remembering their late father, the Carpet Brothers realize that Carpet Galaxy is swimming in debt. Biz kingpin Raymond Davies Allen sees it as the perfect opening to get his mitts on the company.

Brock Raylon, owner and founder of Carpet Galaxy, Rancho Cucamonga's home for discount carpets, has died. It's up to his three sons—Skip Spence Raylon (TIM MEADOWS), Xavier Montrose Raylon (MARC EVAN JACKSON) and Paul Samwell-Smith Raylon (BOB DASSIE) to save the company from the massive debt left by their father. Adding to their woes is the threat of Raymond Davies Allen's (DAVID SPADE) desire to take it over. Can the brothers keep it together and preserve the heritage of over 50 years of discount carpet service? Can they ensure shag, plush, cropped and man-made fibre rugs continue to remain available to legions of Rancho Cucamongians? ...

Created by Matt Piedmont. Starring David Spade and Tim Meadows. Carpet Bros is a 60Frames original series."

I first came across Carpet Bros via this article Tim Meadows and David Spade Star in 'Carpet Bros.' The pictures alone got my attention. Not to mention the subject matter... and I like the color scheme of the Carpet Bros logo!

Although this article David Spade and Tim Meadows in 'Carpet Brothers' isn't too impressed with the program, I encourage you to take a look.

First, these video clips don't take themselves too seriously. The music and the visuals are great fun and you'll get a giggle out of the acting.

Next, I'm hopeful that all kinds of carpet gems will emerge. For example, so far there's 'Carpet Diem,' 'you can't sell carpet from a swatch' and the deceased's best seller book titled 'Rugs, Not Drugs. My Life in Carpet."

Be warned, you will hear a smattering of foul language. If you can overlook that, I think you'll find Carpet Bros worth exploring. So far, I have. I'm certainly curious as to where this unusual webisode based film will go.

If nothing else, it should help us appreciate how far beautiful carpet has come since the 1970s!

Carpet Bros episodes include:
+ Episode One is titled Carpet Trouble.
+ Episode Two is titled A New Plan.

Episode Three is due out any moment now...

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Carpetology Wear-Dated Website Guide: Carpet Catalog I

Next in The Carpetology Wear-Dated Website Guide: The Carpet Catalog, Part I.

The Wear-Dated Carpet Catalog allows you to easily browse through carpet styles, and the colors available in each style.

To reach The Carpet Catalog, you have several options:

  • From the Wear-Dated Home Page, simply click on any of the Featured Carpet Styles.
  • From anywhere of the website, reach The Carpet Catalog from the drop down menu, under Find Carpet.
  • You can also enter a specific carpet style name in the search box [top right hand corner of each page].

As in a carpet retail store, we use a 'deck board' format where critical information about the carpet is readily available and visible in one location: the carpet style name [in my example, it's Marciano], the name of the carpet mill that created the carpet [here, WundaWeve], the name of the color shown in the large swatch, the Fiber Line - i.e., the type of Wear-Dated carpet fiber [here: DuraSoft. This link takes you to a listing of all of the Wear-Dated carpet fiber types available], a description of the carpet style [here a shag], and a durability ranking for the style.

Durability Ranking corresponds to the Wear-Dated® performance rating we get when we test carpet samples. It is based on an international test method known as Hexapod which evaluates appearance retention of carpet. The instrument used to test carpet is composed of a circular rotating drum with carpet placed on the inside. Also placed inside this drum is an eight-pound steel ball with six pods [hence the name 'Hexapod']. As the drum rotates, the ball falls on the carpet face, simulating footsteps.After the standard number of rotations, carpets are then assessed using the Carpet & Rug Institute [CRI] performance rating scale. The lowest rating of 1 means “severe change in appearance” and the highest rating of 5 means “no change in appearance.” Note that these ratings do not take into account soiling, poor maintenance or other factors of use; just the change of texture related to matting and crushing that might occur from walking on it. For these reasons, it is not practical to associate years of wear with the performance ratings.

The virtual carpet deck board allows you to easily evaluate carpet colors in the larger swatch format [in-store, the large swatch is often beige and the color line shown in small swatch sizes], and page back and forth from color to color. Or, simply select the one you like from the thumbnail choices.

The Carpet Catalog offers another benefit: visualizing the carpet in a room to better evaluate how it might look with furniture and in combination with different wall colors.

So, from The Carpet Catalog, look for "See This Carpet In A Room" and you will be taken to the Room Designer where you can let your imagination run wild!

When you reach the Room Designer from the Carpet Catalog, it will automatically take you to a room with your carpet. However, if you don't like the room category choice, you can pick another [living room, bedroom, dining room, foyer]. Each category includes several individual room choices.

Within the Room Designer, we have purposely focused the decisions around carpet choices - color, style, whether to rotate the carpet [useful for a pattern] - and walls colors. [Did you know that a flooring change tends to precipitate a wall color change?]

You can also enlarge the room scene and print it. Or choose a new room.

We offer the option to return to the Carpet Catalog via "More About This Carpet" or to consider other similar carpet styles via "More Carpets Like This."

And, if you're ready, we'll take you to the Retailer Locator!

Back to The Carpet Catalog.

If you've decided you just don't like the carpet style in front of you, click on "More Carpets Like This" and you can choose from many others.

Or, simply Find a Store Near You!

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Next: Carpet Catalog II, where I will discuss comments and ratings, as well as the other options we offer in The Carpet Catalog to help you find the right carpet style.

Other posts in The Carpetology Wear-Dated Website Guide series: The Carpetology Wear-Dated Website Guide: Home Page.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bill Gates and Carpet... What Does The Future Hold?

So, what do Bill Gates and carpet have in common? And, how will that affect the future?

According to Floor Daily, Bill Gates Enters The Carpet Business in UK. This is dated 5/29/08.

In short, Gates' "Cascade Investment has taken a 3 percent stake in Britain's Carpetright." This is the UK's largest floor covering retailer with over 400 stores in the UK and Ireland.

According to Mark Hopwood's Sylleptic blog, it may have to do with "interactive floor coverings" as suggested in a MicroSoft announcement about upcoming [i.e., 2010] multitouch interfaces...

Since we are considering a link to technology, perhaps Gates' move has to do with Smart Carpet: Your Key To Survival?

Or, combine technology with the theater and Carpet Creates 'Theatre of the Senses'. That, too, might be an option.

Here's an investor's take on Gates' decision in Bill Gates Buys Stake In Carpetright. He's simply following in Warren Buffett's footsteps and making value-based investments.

The optimist in me says that high profile stakes in carpet and flooring retailers is good for us.

Which means that the future holds good things for carpet and flooring products and the beauty, comfort and durability they bring to our homes.

That's my take, and I'm sticking with it! Would you care to share yours?

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Foot's Perspective - Episode 6

Episode 6 of A Foot's Perspective comes from the schoolroom of Teacher Emma. That's code for my daughter's room.

As described in In The Garden, Around The House: Endless Uses for Carpet Scraps, pieces of carpet can lead to all kinds of fun end uses.

My daughter's Montessori school uses them to do work. Students pull one or two rugs [i.e., carpet samples] to do a puzzle, trace sandpaper letters, assemble a geography puzzle, or complete number exercises and other learning games. The child doesn't sit on the carpet; rather s/he uses it to position the elements of the project.

The carpet as source of delight and backdrop for activity has become so ingrained in my daughter's psyche that she regularly borrows my work samples for her own end uses: stepping stones through an imaginary forest filled with good and bad fairies, pretend grass for horses, or even sleeping mats for her stuffed animals - oops, I mean her students.

I share with you, then, episode 6 of A Foot's Perspective from Teacher Emma's schoolroom.

[Subscribers, please follow this YouTube link to view the video.]

Since my daughter graduates from Kindergarten this week, I dedicate this episode to my daughter's teacher of three years, Dawn Winkler. Mrs. Winkler has patiently listened, taught, guided and inspired my daughter. We will miss her tremendously. Thank you, Mrs. Winkler!

And, thank you for watching!

Previous episodes can be viewed by clicking on these links:
+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 5
+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 4
+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 3
+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 2
+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 1

N.B.: The carpet you see in my daughter's room is very similar to World Palette, the carpet I describe in Carpet Style Provides World Palette of Choices.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lewis Floor & Home Offers Endless Home Solutions

We have friends in the Chicago area: Lewis Floor & Home in Northbrook, Illinois.

They have just expanded their magnificent carpet and flooring store with a 2,000 square foot kitchen and bath gallery that features custom cabinetry and counter tops, a fantastic addition for their 24,000 square foot floor and home ultimate destination for anyone wanting the most unique and customized home solutions....

Susie Axelrad, vice president merchandising and marketing, graciously welcomed two of the Women of Wear-Dated- Marianne and me [Christine] - last year at this time when we wanted to learn more about Lewis' advertising [see Flooring It Differently - Lewis Carpet One Floor & Home, Chicago].

We were blown away with the store and with Susie's creativity and deep understanding of the experience that this store creates. Given Lewis Floor & Home's exciting expansion, we invited Susie to share her thoughts about the store, the added kitchen and bath selections and how consumers shop for the home.

CB: Susie, would you give us a short history of Lewis Floor & Home?

SA: Lewis Floor & Home was started in 1954, so it is over 50 years old, and into the third family generation with Steve Lewis, who is President and CEO. Earl Lewis began it as a carpet cleaning business. His son, Richard, decided he preferred to sell carpet rather than clean it.

Steve, a CPA and attorney, came into the business around 1984 when the only product sold was carpet. He dreamed to be the marketplace leader. He did everything himself from unloading pad trucks to measuring and selling carpet 7 days a week. As he grew the business, he needed more people, so he hired neighborhood people - primarily women - to help sell. Having women on staff was an asset because women like to buy from women.

Steve listens to customers. In the mid 1990s, he was being asked about tile. Then about wood. He realized that a customer coming in to purchase one type of flooring wanted to purchase all flooring from the same source. So, he decided to expand beyond carpet.

Early on, the store consisted of a 5,000 square feet showroom and equal size warehouse. When I came on board, the showroom had expanded to 10,000 [and the warehouse to 15,000 sq. feet in a separate location]. The store is now 24,000 square feet. We expanded because customers asked. Steve listened and responded.

Our most recent expansion into counter tops and cabinetry is the last piece of the consumer puzzle. We've added 6 kitchen vignettes, of those, 2 are traditional and 4 are modern. Another 6 bathroom vignettes, 2 entries and a laundry room/mud room finish out the new Kitchen and Bath Gallery and also showcase a variety of the latest modern trends in kitchen and bath design.

I'm excited about the interest in modern, after such a long period of traditional design dominating the marketplace. Essentially for the last 20 years, we've seen a focus on old world looks. It's time for a change.

CB: Who are your customers?

SA: Our customers primarily come from the Chicago area, with quite a few from Wisconsin, Indiana... And many have second homes in Arizona, California, Florida and Colorado. So we frequently sell them product and ship it to those locations.

Our core customer is a homeowner interested in residential replacement or remodeling.

We also work with a select group of custom home builders.

The main street commercial business relates to our residential business in that it serves neighborhood businesses.

The designer business weaves itself through all of the business segments.

From our association with Carpet One, we also get referrals for insurance replacements.

Lewis Floor & Home has strong ties to this neighborhood and the Lewis name has a solid reputation. We also have a strong association with carpet and have worked to expand that as we have expanded our product selections. It's an ongoing process because the consumer takes part in the flooring buying cycle every 7 to 10 years. And, breaking the carpet association means that customers will visit more frequently as they undertake other home related projects. We've been doing that through advertising, promotions, and remodeling the store to tell people in different ways about the different segments we're involved in.

Purposely, when you walk into the store, you will see tile in front, and carpet behind.

CB: Your store exudes fashion. How do you convey that sense across so many categories?

SA: I take great pride in conveying that sense of fashion. When I came into the business, carpet had nothing to do with fashion. It was entirely a price oriented business. But as an element of home furnishings, it should be considered design and an important part of the overall design process in the home.

People now want high design. Target has showed the world that design can be for everyone. And, it is! We carry every price point because it all depends on where product goes in the house. The solution must fit what's needed in each room of house. And design is a part of that solution.

As far as the store goes, we lay it out the same way apparel boutiques do. It must feel like fashion and apparel! That means that our salespeople can better help customers enjoy the experience. We train them so they have great product knowledge and we also attract designers to work with Lewis.

We still have a majority of women selling, and many more designers want to work with us because of the kitchen/bath showroom. They say we have created a mini design center!

The store has to be an extension of who the consumer is. It has to look good. Otherwise, why bother coming in?

The expansion allowed us to create many vignettes to help illustrate different design concepts and trends - based on extensive research I conducted! We expect those to remain relevant for about three years and plan on adding additional vignettes around the coffee bar area.

CB: Consumers may learn about you from the Carpetology Blog, looking for flooring - and more specifically - carpet. Would you talk about the latest trends in carpet that appeal to your customers?

SA: We have seen a lot more interest in wool and have created a wool specific room with great designs. We've also created a green section.

What's hot in carpet? Definitely animal prints, stripes and traditional patterns [e.g., large, small trellis, brocade/damask patterns].

As far as colors go, contemporary colors line up with the CB2 palette, with lime/orange on the high end. There's also interest in geometric patterns for media rooms to make the experience more like going to the movies. Red is popular. On the traditional side, we're seeing greens and combinations of browns/chocolate with colors. Then, there are black/white designer statements, as you see in apparel.

CB: How do customers hear about you?

SA: Word-of-mouth. From our magazine ads. We've redone our website and plan to add content, particularly educational content. By the way, the website not only attracts consumers, but it also helps us in our recruiting.

CB: How should customers prepare for a first visit to your store?

SA: Pick up every design magazine they can get their hands on, and then rip out any pictures that appeal to them! Those ideas then become concepts that we can help customers create. From the ideas, we look for trends that they relate to and want. There is so much out there; go ahead and find that look/feel that you want, and then we can make it for them.

CB: Any other thoughts?

SA: I see tremendous pent-up demand. I recently saw a statistic that, with the downturn in new homes and existing homes, viewership in H&G has increased 15% in last 12 months. That tells me that there is big pent up demand! There's a watch out, though. It means that our store has to be relevant to the customer. [Note: See "Housing Slump Helps the Draw of Fixer-Upper TV" by Brian Stelter from the 6/12/2008 issue of The New York Times.]

On the carpet side, many of the fresh new looks and styles make carpet more exciting and create a reason for consumers to replace what they have.

CB: Susie, thanks very much! I wish you great success.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Green is the New Red Carpet

Image from IMZ.
You've heard of the red carpet. It's all over Hollywood - movie premiers, celebrity events, charity galas. Carpetology even paid tribute to it in Red Carpet Treatment and Create Your Own Red Carpet Experience.

But now, Bollywood, India's version of Hollywood, is taking the red carpet to the next level - green.

According to Wikipedia, "Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India. Bollywood is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the Indian film industry. Bollywood is one of the largest film producers in the world." Bollywood films are most likely musicals, with formulaic, melodramatic plots. But no matter what else they are, they're also extremely entertaining. [To get your feet wet in Bollywood entertainment, check out Monsoon Wedding - it was up for a Golden Globe here in the States in 2002.]

Geetanjali, a well-known Bollywood actress, walks the green carpet.
The International Indian Film Academy [IIFA] has held its own version of the Oscars each summer since 2000. Each year, it takes place in a different exotic location like Singapore or Malaysia. This year, it was held in Bangkok, Thailand on the weekend of June 6. The event consisted of an entire weekend of festivities, including an awards ceremony, a global business forum, a fashion extravaganza, and of course, unlimited numbers of dazzling Bollywood celebrities. And this year, instead of celebrities walking down the red carpet, they walked down a symbolic green carpet.

A Bollywood actress on the green carpet. Image from

Last year, the IIFA unveiled its "Green Agenda," a movement toward making the organization's events carbon neutral and environmentally friendly. The green carpet, they felt, represented this shift in priorities: "From last year, the IIFA has changed the color of its star carpet walk from the Oscar-tradition red to green, to comply with the movement's engagement in fighting global climate change," read a story from the Hindu News.

But green carpet isn't only paving the star-studded walkways of India; here in the United States, it very appropriately replaced the red carpet for the premier of Marvel Comic's The Incredible Hulk. Stars Edward Norton and Liv Tyler walked it together on June 9, at the movie's premier in Los Angeles.

But perhaps the most important recent green carpet news comes from the Carpet and Rug Institute.

Earlier this month, the CRI announced that it received accreditation as a certification body for indoor air quality from the American National Standard Institute [ANSI]. Consider that CRI is the first organization within the soft floor covering sector to earn this accreditation. The organization's Green Label and Green Label Plus programs test for and certify the emissions of low-emitting volatile organic compounds found in carpet-related products, making homes everywhere safer and our air cleaner. "Because people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, it is important to do everything possible to maintain the quality of indoor air, especially for new construction and renovation," says the CRI. The certifications the organization gives assure architects and builders that when they choose a carpet for a home or building, they're choosing one that's both clean and green. Additionally, the CRI is working with the ANSI to create a standard for sustainable carpet.

For the CRI, it will be business as usual. But with this new accreditation, business as usual will have a much bigger - and greener - impact.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Carpetology Wear-Dated Website Guide: Home Page

So, the New Wear-Dated Website Is Live! That means that I can take you through The Carpetology Wear-Dated Website Guide.

Here, the focus is on the Home Page.

From here, you can quickly navigate to Learn About Carpet, Find Carpet or Carpet Care from the three buttons on the right.

You can also navigate from the top pull down menus which will show you the sections to anticipate.

Or Search by entering your search term in the box at the top right of the window.

Up in the top left hand corner, you'll notice Register/Login.

We invite you to register. It's easy. It's free. And, we will not in any way abuse your confidence.

Why Register? So you can receive our newsletters. To rate and comment on retailer and carpet experiences. To participate in our upcoming contests and to participate in newsroom discussions.

If you're unhappy with the newsletter, you can opt out at any time. But, I'm hoping you won't be.

In fact, I'm hoping that you'll be so delighted, that you'll let others know to come register.

I've included a screen shot of the registration page. Registration consists of an email address, a password, your name and a zip code. Then, there's a box to check about the newsletter.

It's that easy.

At the top right of the Home Page, you'll notice 2 icons. One that says print this page, and another that says share this. The sharing button is pretty cool. Click on it and you'll have the option to email or to share via Technorati,, Digg, Facebook, Windows Live and StumbleUpon.

The email option sends an email with a link to the page you found interesting, with a personalized message from you.

Back to the Home Page.

Notice the toes? Those glamorous pink toes? Against that gorgeous pink carpet? Click on the white arrow in the middle of the toes image and you'll get to experience Beauty. Comfort. Durability. Go on. Check it out!

If you don't see an arrow [see picture below], don't be alarmed. It's that you're missing Flash. Note immediately below the graphic the words "This content requires Adobe Flash Player 9. Please Get Flash."

[Thank you, Sue Cannon, for helping illustrate what happens when Flash is missing.]

Under the graphic, we feature selected carpet styles made with Wear-Dated carpet fiber. Clicking on any of those styles will take you to the carpet catalog where you can browse colors for that style and see the carpet in a room.

The stars below each item correspond to ratings that visitors contribute. You can see those in more detail when you go to the carpet catalog pages.

We will showcase new featured products regularly. And, the banners under the featured carpets - which take you to other Wear-Dated areas within the website [e.g., learn more about Wear-Dated Natural Nylon], here to The Carpetology Blog, or to promotions and contests.... - will also change regularly.

That covers the Home Page.

Next: The Carpet Catalog.

If I've missed something, or you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks for checking out the Wear-Dated website.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Getting Carrie-d Away on the Pink Carpet

SJP on the Pink Carpet. Photo compliments of The Cut.
Four years ago, just as the show was ending its run on HBO, I became a fan of Sex and the City.

At first, I enjoyed it simply for its clever writing and stunning fashion; I'd watch reruns and unwind at the end of the day. But the more I tuned in, the more I related to the characters (I'm a Miranda), the more I (and hundreds of thousands of women like me) felt a connection to their friendship and their lives, and the more I began to see that this show wasn't just a bit of fluff and drama.

Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte serve as both role models and mirrors - we aspire to be like them just as we see ourselves in them. They talk about life in a way that is candid and honest, and through their conversations, we learn to open ourselves up, accept ourselves as we are, and know that regardless of the issue we deal with, there are others like us.

But the show's real kicker, says Michael Patrick King, is that the characters help us do all of this with humor.

Right: The Bradshaw.

All of this is why I celebrated when I saw Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis making their way to the big screen for Sex and the City: The Movie and strutting their stuff on the... pink carpet!

Strewn with Swarovski crystals (apparently 10,000 of them), the pink carpet outdid any red carpet event in recent memory. For the New York City movie premier at Radio City Music Hall, the Fab Four were decked out in metallic tones, sporting sky-high stilettos, and were later seen sipping Bradshaws at the Carlyle Hotel. You can see a video of the event here and get up close and personal with the lucious pink carpet.

In its first weekend, Sex and the City: The Movie drew enormous crowds of people (mostly women) to the box office and an estimated $55.7 million. Celebrities and fans alike used social media to communicate with those unable to attend the premier or the weekend's first showings. Meghan Cleary, of, Tweeted her way through her pink carpet experience. And fans apparently sent messages and photos to Sarah Jessica Parker's cell phone, alerting her of the huge lines and packed theaters.

With all the publicity, fashion and frenzy, it's enough to make you want to get Carrie-d away...

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Foot's Perspective - Episode 5

The building gets its name from a poem of the same name and pictured here to the right. "The Art of Living" by James Michener [although it has also been attributed to Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand and a Zen master] reads as follows:

"A master in the art of living draws
no sharp distinction between his
work and his play, his labor
and his leisure, his mind and his
body, his education and his
recreation. He hardly knows
which is which.

He simply pursues his vision
of excellence through whatever
he is doing and leaves others to
determine whether he is working
or playing. To himself he always
seems to be doing both."

Inspired by such wisdom, Elizabeth and I decided to take a break from discussing the Wear-Dated website launch.

[Subscribers, please follow this YouTube link to view the video.]

We've included a close up of the carpet referred to in the video. What doesn't fully come through is the delicious stripe of royal/sky blue... Imagine that faint blue in the carpet closer to that of the wall.

The Art of Living building itself has tremendous charm and warmth.

Built in 1903, it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been lovingly and cleverly converted into office space. The most marvelous aspect of the conversion is that much of the internal space consists of common meeting areas - informal discussion areas, formal meeting rooms, impromptu collaboration areas - that all have access to.

As you enter the building lobby, a large frame featuring The Art of Living poem [see above photo] greets you on the left, setting the stage for your interactions in this building.

We hope this episode of A Foot's Perspective inspires you to fully embrace The Art of Living.

Thank you for watching!

Previous episodes can be viewed by clicking on these links:

+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 4
+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 3
+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 2
+ A Foot's Perspective - Episode 1

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Monday, June 2, 2008

The New Wear-Dated Website Is Live!

We are oh-so-pleased to announce that our newly redesigned Wear-Dated website is live!

I hope you like it...

In redesigning the website, we wanted and needed the website to reflect our By The Foot campaign which is quirky, whimsical, really fun and puts the whole process of buying carpet, owning carpet and caring for carpet in a new framework. One that better reflects how women do things - like make decisions about what's going into our homes and how those decisions reflect our individual sense of style.

Next, we wanted to create a different web experience. One that is more attuned to searches that start on a search engine rather than at a specific manufacturer or brand site. One that is also easier to interact with and share with others.

In other words, we spent a great deal of time rewriting and refining our content so it provides more meaningful information as you go about learning about carpet, finding carpet and carpet retailers, and then caring for carpet.

We added printing and sharing functionality from every website page. Any page can easily be emailed or tagged via the social web [e.g., Technorati, Digg,, StumbleUpon! and even Facebook].

On the home page, we feature specific Wear-Dated products. Those will vary over time and allow us to better tell the Wear-Dated story of Beauty. Comfort. Durability.

You'll also see a Newsroom for capturing all news Wear-Dated related. There, you can find press releases, learn more about the People [and Women] of Wear-Dated, discover relevant documents, see our media, be inspired by upcoming contests, promotions and newsletters, and keep up with What's New With Wear-Dated. That's right: you can subscribe, via RSS or email for updates...

From anywhere, you can search. And if you really can't find what you are looking for, please let me know so we can do something about it.

In coming posts, I will detail the website and its features.

In the meantime, please do visit the Wear-Dated site and let me know what you think. Consider registering so you can comment, rate products and retailers, and receive our upcoming newsletters.

And, if you really like the site, please consider a Digg or a Stumble!

Thank you!

Technorati Tags: Tags:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...