Don’t let the word “carpet” in “Ed Selden Carpet One” fool you, there’s more to this family-owned business than its large carpet selection.
Palates of hardwood, tile, laminate and vinyl are displayed throughout the showroom at 3901 Steilacoom Boulevard SW just off South Tacoma Way.
And the choices don’t stop with flooring.
Hunter Douglas window coverings greet customers as they walk through the doors and not far away an array of countertop selections is waiting to be mulled over by homeowners looking to remodel their kitchens and bathrooms.
Head to the tile section and find a column transformed into a mock shower, showcasing various sizes of tile and how it can be laid. Below the shower small stones are laid for people to take off their shoes and experience what this flooring would feel like in their home.
It’s little touches like these that separate Ed Selden Carpet One from its competitors.
Touching the faux shower floor with her foot, owner Gayle Selden noted her father built the shower so his customers could not only visualize what the finished product would look like, but also feel it.
It’s this connection with customers that have kept the predominately flooring company in business since its doors opened in 1959.
Founded by Ed Selden, the Selden family has made the company a household name while also surviving three recessions and two fires that gutted the business.
“We have been lucky, this industry has not been easy in tough times,” said Gayle Selden.
Ask her the no. 1 reason the business has survived and the answer is easy: honesty and customer service.
“If something goes wrong we fix it. If something doesn’t go wrong and the customer is unhappy, we fix it,” she said. “The customer means more to us than the bottom line.”
That connection with customers started with Gayle Selden’s grandfather Ed Selden – the company’s namesake.
He opened his floor coverings business in 1959 in Lakewood on the same block where it resides today. He chose the then-up-and-coming community because of the new construction boom – specifically the development of the Oakbrook neighborhood.
Throughout the decades that followed Ed Selden remained committed to Lakewood. So did his son, Rick Selden (Gayle’s father), who took over the business in the 1980s. Today Gayle Selden is at the helm, taking over from her father who retired last year.
With the days of new construction in Lakewood largely over, the bulk of the company’s business now comes from people replacing flooring, remodeling homes, or commercial installations.
The company employs seven people – including Gayle Selden – some of whom have been with the company 20 to 30 years.
While there are a lot of flooring retailers competing for business, the Selden family knows the extra care they give to their clients and the trust they build will keep them coming back.
“I will not sell them something that is not proper for their home,” Gayle Selden said. “I think the key to the success is that we strive for customer satisfaction.”
For its longevity in the community, its commitment to providing high-quality customer service and its dedication to giving back to Lakewood, the Lakewood City Council recognizes Ed Selden Carpet One as its November 2017 Business Showcase.