About Caldwell Carpet


The Foundation of Caldwell Carpet

Caldwell Carpet was founded by Lloyd and Pat Caldwell in 1974. Lloyd had worked in the manufacturing end of the carpet business since the late 1950's. He started driving a lift truck at the age of 19, and held various positions including working on the first carpet printing machine ever built in Dalton, Ga. In 1970 Lloyd was recruited to establish Armstrong's carpet printing division in Los Angeles, CA. So, Lloyd and Pat "packed up the family and moved to Beverly...". Well, they actually moved to Temply City which is just outside Los Angeles. Here they remained until 1973, when due to the Gas Wars, Armstrong closed their carpet printing division. Lloyd and Pat went back home to Dalton, Georgia to raise their three kids.

The 1970's was a tough time for many people. Inflation had took hold of America and everything cost more with each passing day. It was during this time Lloyd began to have thoughts of opening a carpet business. With his insider knowledge he started buying offgoods and short rolls from the local mills. He stored these rolls in the box truck he used to move back to Georgia until it was full. He then took a vacation day on Friday, and He and Pat traveled to Kentucky where they set up in a parking lot and sold carpet to the local towns people with the motto "Carpet Priced for the Working Man". They learned a few lessons on that first trip such as "It's going to rain", "You need change", and "Don't take a check from someone you don't know". All in all, they broke even and enjoyed meeting the people. This continued for a couple of years while they learned how to make a profit. Then, one day Pat told Lloyd they needed to rent a building in Dalton and stop leaving town every weekend. In other words, she had had enough of this road trip business.


The Building of Caldwell Carpet

Lloyd found a small warehouse for rent just south of the Dalton city limits on US Highway 41 also known as South Dixie Highway. This stretch of 41 hwy was also known back in the 1950's as "Peacock Alley" because fo the early days of the quilting industry when ladies would hang their quilts on clothes lines in the yard to sell to the many tourists who traveled back and forth from Michigan all the down to Florida. This was before I-75 took much of the traffic away from this famous stretch of road. Lloyd and Pat rented the building and opened up for business selling Carpet, Pad, and Carpet Installation Supplies. As their business grew they were able to buy the building and expand the warehouses to their current sizes.

The early years of Caldwell Carpet were spent opening accounts with many of the over 400 carpet manufacturers of the day. Each manufacturer had unique product lines, and often if you carried a certain manufacturer then some manufacturers would not set you up an account. So, if a customer requested a certain brand name that you didn't carry you either had to try and sell them something else, or turn down their business. This is when Lloyd started thinking "Hmm....If I could build a network of the local dealers...who would sell me those brands I can't get...I could get those orders that I'm missing." With this in mind, Lloyd and Pat started contacting all the local Dalton Carpet outlets to see who had which brands, and who had the best prices for each style. This was a big undertaking because in those days it seemed like everyone in town was a carpet dealer. However, soon enough Lloyd and Pat had accumulated a vast network of dealers whom they could buy the brands and styles of carpet that they couldn't buy direct.


The Next Generation

The business continued to grow over the years, and their 3 kids grew up while working in the family business. The two oldest kids moved on with their lives in the early 1990's while the youngest worked on and off in the family business until 1995 when the Beanie Baby craze drew Doug's attention and time as he started selling them online and at collectible shows. In 1997, after 23 years in the business, Lloyd and Pat closed their store and retired to gardening, travel, raising grand children, and membership in various community organizations.

When the Beanie Craze ended in 2000, Doug was out of a job and went back to his calling in the wholesale flooring business. He chose a well known wholesaler whom the Caldwell's had done business with for many years. He gained knowledge of wood flooring, laminate flooring, and vinyl flooring as he climbed his way through the ranks to become one of the top salesmen for the company. Soon, Doug became the right hand man of the owner when it came to marketing, advertising, web design, and business development. Then, the owner passed away in 2008, and the existing management failed to react when the recession of 2007 became the depression of 2009.

Recently, the company at which Doug worked for the past 9 years closed it's doors after a long period of financial stress. Having carpet in his blood, Doug has decided it is time to breath life back into Caldwell Carpet. Pat is active keeping Doug straight as always, and Lloyd is still around to lend a hand or give advice when decisions have to be made. The foundation upon which Caldwell Carpet was built is strong. The knowledge and networks that were so crucial in making Doug into a great carpet sales person will carry Caldwell Carpet into the new millineum as a leading Wholesaler of Carpet and Flooring.

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