Clara I. Granada
The Carpet Store
Your Country: Colombia
Latin-Times: How did you get started in our career?
Clara New: I started working at the store almost 10 years ago when I was told by a flooring installer that the company needed a bilingual sales representative.
Latin-Times: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Clara New: Meeting different people every day is definitely a plus, every day we get to help the contractors, builders, designers and retail customers with their flooring needs. Most of them are friends now, we see them more often that our own family! The Carpet Store is very involved with the Latin community and we participate in all kind of events which is wonderful, I have learned a lot about the different customs, foods and regionalisms from all the Spanish speaking countries.
Latin-Times: Please tell us about your biggest obstacles and how you have overcome them.
Clara New: I would say the economy! After the housing market plummeted our sales have declined, some of our competitors are even out of business! Our sales are very stable but, as the rest of the country, could be better.
Latin-Times: What separates your business from the others?
Clara New: Our main focus is to offer wholesale prices to retail customers. We sell all type of flooring: Tile/ Hardwood/ Laminate/ Carpet/ Vinyl/ VCT/ LVT and we have millions of sf on inventory in stock, unlike some other stores our customers don't need to wait a week to receive their final product. Our installers are insured and certified by Armstrong and Shaw, we have excellent customer service and the sales people are professionally trained to take good care of the customers.
Latin-Times: What exciting plans do you have for your services?
Clara New: Last year the company implemented the RRP system which is basically an automatized referral card where the contractors/ builders/ designers/ retail customers can refer us other customers and make 2% out of the sale. Word of mouth is our main referal source.
Latin-Times: Please tell us about your family.
Clara New: My immediate family is composed by my husband and two daughters. We enjoy going to the movies, walking our dogs, going to the park or the beach, taking the girls to different sports or activities such as dance and soccer classes, gymnastics, shows and of course Disney World!
Latin-Times: Who is a hero/role model that you admire (living or deceased) and why do you admire them?
Clara New: Among the Latino community there are many heroes that help people in need every day and I think all of us that left our native countries are heroes in our own way. I have known parents that have left their children in their country looking for the “American dream”, years passing without being able to give their kids a hug. I see ourselves as plants that have been transferred from one pot to another, It take years for the roots to start to attach to the new ground, little by little every day we get adapted to a different food, weather, customs and of course language. I am grateful to live in this wonderful country and I am sure all the millions of people from the Hispanic community feel the same way.
But if I have to mention the name of a role model I would have to tell you a story. Last autumn I visited Memphis, TN, with my family. During that trip I had a chance to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. The museum gave me a powerful and realistic view of how life was before the inspirational movement that took place in the late 50's guided by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His speech “I have a dream” it’s an inspiration for me because he showed us that we all could live in a color blind society. His legacy lives for all the minorities in the country.