The Carpetman By Stark is hosting a grand opening in Southampton


The perfect carpet can bring a room together, and without it, “a room can feel bare and bare,” according to Ashley Stark, creative director of Stark, a company that partners with the design industry on carpet projects from luxury.

The partnership between Stark and The Carpetman brought together a room of employees and consumers for the grand opening of The Carpetman by Stark on Saturday July 16 at Carpetman’s original location on Country Road 39A in Southampton.

“Personally, I approached [Stark] for nearly 20 years to become their showroom and make the product available to East End residents without requiring them to travel to town to choose the product,” said Robert Gill, President and Owner of The Carpetman.

Like many Manhattanites have, the Starks moved to the East End during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s when they approached Gill about opening a showroom, according to Gill.

Stark has 23 showrooms and 12 representative showrooms, including The Carpetman by Stark, nationally and internationally.

With a showroom of over 16,000 square feet and more than 10,000 carpet samples, The Carpetman by Stark offers everything from wool and polynylon rugs to outdoor rugs and even wood flooring, in vinyl and rubber. With the new partnership, more options may become available.

“I’m looking to grow and bring more new and exciting products that find resources all over the world,” Gill said. “Anything from China to India to Scotland, any place that’s developing a new product. We can have the ability depending on Stark’s strength and their size. They are opening markets that we never had before, that I could never dream of opening.

The partnership is like a marriage between two families as both businesses are owned and operated by one family. Stark was founded in 1938 by Arthur Stark and is now run by the third generation of the Stark family. Ashley Stark, the creative director, and her cousin Chad Stark, the CEO, are Arthur’s grandchildren.

“We really run it like a family business. We’re proud of everything, and it’s all personal,” Ashley Stark said. “We all move around, choose designs together and run the business together. So I think it gives a different touch than some other companies.

The Carpetman has been part of the Gill family since 1971. Robert Gill bought the business from his father in 1993 and his son, Colby Gill, is the vice president of operations.

“It’s really important to be family-oriented, to give the customer the best possible product at the most reasonable price with the best service,” Gill said. “It comes from being brought up in the business and understanding that everyone is someone’s family. That’s how we treat our customers.

The Carpetman by Stark has maintained professional relationships with interior designers who work in the East End, some of whom were present at the grand opening and are delighted with the partnership.

“It’s a great wedding,” said designer Elsa Soyars of Elsa Soyars Interiors, who lives in Southampton. “I think it’s a good move for Stark because The Carpetman is the company [people go to] out there.”

Soyars can’t wait to see more of Ashley Stark’s collection because “the chic traveler look is something that everyone has loved for a few years,” she said.

Ashley Stark joined the company in 2004 “to add a fresh perspective and bring next-gen energy to the company,” according to Stark’s “About Us” webpage. She also brought more femininity to the company.

“When I came into the business, everything was really heavy and masculine, and I kept saying, ‘Where are the grays? Where are the lavenders? Where are the colors?’ and it was fun to get everyone to trust me and put on these more feminine colors and see how well they sold,” Stark said.

At the moment, she favors textured rugs and carpets that give a lot of dimension and softness. She also hopes people know that Stark is here so Hamptons residents can shop and have easy access to all of their creations.

Family is important to Stark and The Carpetman, and they want carpet consumers to feel like they’re being taken care of.

“We’re a family that really tries to take care of your family,” Gill said. “We act as one, we think as one, and we hope you will be one of us.”

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