Carpet Warehouse has been a longtime fixture along Highway 99E in Woodburn, but it may look just a little different now with new owners.
Owner Doug Christensen retired this past spring, leaving his store to Mark and Jaye Shulman, a husband and wife team who both come from decades of carpeting business experience.
Our company is different because we own it, but the name stays the same, Mark Shulman said. We are very competitive. (Christensen) built up a great clientele over 31 years. We hope to continue making clients happy and doing business with them.
While Jaye is from the area – shes a graduate of Gervais High School – Mark is from Santa Barbara, Calif., growing up learning the ropes of his familys carpet business, which started in the 1950s.
My dad was a businessman and I worked there, first in service and then as an installer, he said. We manufactured shag carpets in the late 60s.
The company had two locations and Mark became manager of the Bakersfield, Calif., location. Thats where he met Jaye.
I hired her as a saleswoman, he remembered.
Jaye had moved there most recently from Puyallup, Wash., where she herself had run a carpet store. Together, the Shulmans managed the Bakersfield store for 12 years.
Two years ago, they moved to Woodburn to be near Jayes family, getting jobs at Carpet Warehouse. When Christensen announced his intention to retire, he passed the torch to the Shulmans, who officially took over May 1.
He knew our background and he wanted to retire, so it looked like a good opportunity for us here, Mark explained.
Carpet Warehouse does more than sell carpets, also providing hardwood flooring, tile, area rugs, blinds, granite countertops and more in its inventory.
While they joke that their now-grown children were smart to get out of the business, its become an integral part of the Shulmans lives.
Its a great business, Ive made a great living and I cant complain, said Mark. But it can be a tough business.
He pointed out that he plans on staying in Woodburn for many years, noting that his familys two stores in California are now managed by his sister and brother-in-law.
Its just part of what I do, Mark said. I dont even think about it anymore.