For more than 30 years, family-owned Ahwatukee Carpets has been known for its wide selection of flooring and rugs, whether installed or for the do-it-yourselfer.
And during this time, owners have continued to expand their offerings to include a host of home or business products.
As the business enters its 31st year, Traci Tartaglio – who calls herself a “designer at heart” – remains at the helm, making Ahwatukee Carpets one of the oldest women-owned businesses in the village.
“Living in Ahwatukee, raising my daughter Bailee and running a small business here was challenging, but it also allowed me to interact with thousands of my neighbors, customers, friends and community leaders over the years,” said Tartaglio.
With her signature blonde tresses and broad smile, Tartagloi is often recognized and greeted when dining out or shopping locally.
“Actually, I don’t like being in front of the camera, but years ago someone advised me to use my photo in my commercials, so I did. That was before it became a trend. And it surprised me that it made me do business,” she laughed.
When talking about Tartaglio with his clients and cohorts, they invariably use the same descriptive phrases: honest, reliable, dedicated, charitable, and extremely hardworking.
Tartaglio admitted that all are fit – and wanted. Her work ethic, a family trait she says she inherited from her father who started the business in 1991, has seen her through some tough years.
These included shoving their way into what was traditionally the domain of men; overcoming economic difficulties and, more recently, pandemics; and the birth and upbringing of his daughter who graduated from Seton Catholic High School in 2015 and the University of San Diego in 2019 and is now a talent acquisition consultant for Boeing.
Ahwatukee Carpets first opened at 48th Street and Warner before moving in 2003 to their current spacious showroom at 15215 S. 48th St., a deliberate decision by Tartaglio to provide greater accessibility to the entire East Valley.
In its 2,500 square foot showroom, customers are invited to kick off their shoes and “feel the difference”.
The showroom is regularly redesigned by Tartaglio – a three-decade practice of updating offerings not only to keep up with styles, but also to stay ahead of trends.
From the start, she said, anticipating flooring and decorating trends, combined with a strong focus on customer service, helped the company thrive.
“It was the 90s, and some of the design trends of the time included light wood floors, pastel accent walls, mauve and hunter green color tones, white kitchens, bathroom spaces minimalist zen baths, a farmhouse style, and black and white decor,” Tartaglio recalled. .
“Fast forward 30 years, I’ve seen some of these same decorating trends come full circle and enjoy renewed popularity. And while rugs and tiles are still popular, especially in bedrooms and bathrooms, bathrooms, other forms of flooring like luxury vinyl plank, hardwood and laminate have grown in popularity over the years.
Tartaglio describes herself as “a designer at heart” and her showroom is proof of that.
“We not only remodeled our showroom to include all popular flooring types, but we also expanded the business to countertops, area rugs, baseboards, fireplace remodels, custom tubs and curb-less showers,” said she declared.
“Due to our aging population, no-threshold showers are one of my favorite projects, and I tell people I already have one, so when the time comes, my family can roll me over and hose me down” , she said with a hearty laugh.
Even in times of economic downturn, she resolved to give back to the community. Although her business has gained a reputation throughout the valley, she remains active as a community volunteer, supporting projects to help those less fortunate.
Among her many charitable activities are the National Charity League/Ahwatukee Chapter, Ahwatukee Rainmakers, Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, Kyrene Family Resource Center, Chandler Christian Community Center, Seton Catholic Prep, Girls Rule Foundation and Valley Big Brothers and Big Sisters where she signed to be
a Big Sister after her daughter led
“One of my favorite organizations is the Tempe Union Workbridge program. I had the honor of offering jobs to several students and I have to say I don’t know who will get the most out of it,” she said.
“I’ve always believed in giving back to our communities that support us and other small businesses.”
Tartaglio has also been involved in various business and networking organizations, often serving on committees for the Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce, which awarded her the Business of the Year award.
On the walls of his office are displayed awards, including several Ahwatukee Foothill News “Best Of” awards, as determined by the newspaper’s readers. Among these awards were Best Home Decor Store and Best Home Improvement/Renovation.
Tartaglio said she was proud to say her business had many repeat customers.
“According to the flooring industry, the average homeowner updates their flooring every seven to 10 years. We have families who updated their flooring in the 90s and come back again and again,” she said, admitting that she had redecorated several homes many times over the past decades as trends, lifestyle changes and new products came and went.
Adriana Estrada and her husband Andres Londono are among those who have regularly updated their 15-year-old Ahwatukee home.
“We have had an excellent experience with Traci and Ahwatukee Carpets since moving into our home. We’ve used them many times as we like to decorate and update in stages,” said Estrada, project manager for a health and wellness company.
She described how after the death of the family dog, the couple chose to continue their flooring from their bedrooms to the front of their house.
“There was a three-year difference, and his contractor made sure the floor throughout the house was seamless with the same pattern and flow that we had in our bedroom,” she said.
“Another time we put tiles in our master bathroom and after two weeks we noticed a problem with the seam and our door. Traci immediately sent people over and they fixed it. She is very reliable and honest in every sense of the word. ..I go to her place every time and have never been disappointed.”
Lisa Miguel, a WestUSA realtor and resident of Ahwatukee for 27 years, said that in her 17 years in business, she has often recommended Ahwatukee Carpets to her clients.
“Traci has worked with my home seller clients to help get their homes ready to list as well as with my buyer clients who have recently purchased homes, and the feedback has always been very positive,” said Miguel. “She’s my ‘favorite floor girl’ because her service is so personalized and she’s very responsive, which isn’t something you can count on with a big chain. Traci goes the extra mile in offering flooring color, style and price suggestions that my customers really appreciate, and so do I.
Tartaglio said providing buyers with exceptional advice, selection and customer service is key to Ahwatukee Carpets’ continued success.
“Whether you are a business owner or a home owner, you can count on Ahwatukee Carpets to provide service above the rest. Doing what’s best for the customer is always our top priority, which is why we’re not happy with your flooring job until you are,” she said. . “Many of our customers have moved to other parts of the Valley and still prefer to do business with Ahwatukee Carpets.”
Commercial projects are a growing concern at Ahwatukee Carpets.
“We are licensed to handle commercial as well as residential projects,” Tartaglio explained. “We have a variety of options, including commercial carpet and luxury vinyl plank or LVP. Our commercial facilities include churches, dental centers
offices, retail complexes and leasehold improvements.
Also available at Ahwatukee Carpets are designer area rugs made to order.
“We can bind or overcast any rug of any shape or size. Area rugs finish a room with its warmth much like accessorizing an outfit,” she said. “With vaulted ceilings and surround sound, an area rug will help absorb sound, making the space more pleasant.”
Ahwatukee Carpets is licensed, bonded and insured. Information: AhwatukeeCarpets.com or speak with the designers at 480-598-9811