Twenty years in the carpet and flooring business has taught Traci Tartaglio to evolve with the community and just enjoy what you do.
"I kind of fell into it, but I absolutely love what I do," Tartaglio said. "I love wearing different hats every day from dealing with accountants to colorizing for a client and actually going out to their home to measure and work with the installers. I love the amount of different jobs I have every day. I love being a part of the community."
Tartaglio first started Ahwatukee Carpets from a location at 48th Street and Warner Road. They were there for 12 years before Tartaglio decided the community was changing and she wanted to be more centralized.
"We were new in Ahwatukee when Ahwatukee was a baby," Tartaglio said. "At the time, my lease was up and the landlord actually did make a good offer to stay there, but I could see the change in Ahwatukee. I wanted to grow and change as Ahwatukee was expanding."
She bought a building at Chandler Boulevard and 48th Street and set up a store front that she hopes feels more like a boutique, but without boutique pricing. That pricing has been possible because of loyalty to her manufacturers.
"The fact that we've been in business for 20 years, we've really been able to negotiate some stellar pricing with manufacturers," Tartaglio said. "We're competitive and we have to be to compete with big-box stores. We are competitive and, hence, our lights are still on. We're blessed that we still have a good following."
Ahwatukee Carpets not only has a good relationship with the manufacturers, but also with the community. Tartaglio says she tries to stay involved through different volunteer organizations like the National Charity League, and through the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce. She also spends some time on social media sites, trying to keep their name out there. They have more than 400 "likes" on Facebook.
"I read the book ‘Crush It,'" Tartaglio said. "It was kind of written when social media was first coming out, and I read it and I just knew that was where we were headed. I'm a strong believer in social networking and I believe it works. For a business like mine, I just have to stay out there. It's not like food that you buy every day, my business is a purchase every few years, I just have to stay out there in front of people."
Over the years the business has changed, Tartaglio said. When they opened, vinyl and carpet were popular, now it's hard wood floors, granite counter tops and mocha-colored cabinets. Ahwatukee Carpets is able to install all of that.
"We had to evolve and change as the client did," Tartaglio said. "I think just having a passion for what you do makes all the difference in the world. I really truly love seeing the transformation in someone's home or office. People get excited about it."
Tartaglio is a nominee for the chamber of commerce's annual Women in Business award.
To learn more about Ahwatukee Carpets, visit ahwatukeecarpets.com.
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