10 QUESTIONS WITH… Q1
Each issue, we ask a flooring industry professional 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to Charles Taylor, Sales Director at Composite Prime.
What was your first job? When I was 16, I started
working for my grandfather’s timber company. While working there, I gained a range of experience from sweeping the yard, and machining and delivering timber, to serving customers and driving forklift trucks.
How did you get into the industry?
Although I originally wanted to be an architect, as I’m a third-generation timber merchant I decided to join the family business and enter into the industry to take over from my dad. The experience I gained at my family’s timber company gave me a taste of the industry from ground level, and encouraged me to take a position in the sales team in 1999.
What has been your proudest moment?
As a proud dad I’ve always been delighted by my daughter’s personal achievements, such as the recent success with her GCSEs.
When it comes to my career, it has to be collaborating with my business partner Dom Harrison to found Composite Prime in 2015. Our family backgrounds in timber and plastic meant that it was a logical next step to combine our experience and enter into the world of composites. We’re now one of the most recognised composite brands in the UK with a portfolio of nine products available at 250 stockists across the UK.
Sustainability is also a key focus for our company with all of our composites manufactured using a blend of FSC certified sustainably sourced wood flour, and recycled plastics. I’m really proud that we’ve so far saved the equivalent of 90m plastic milk bottles from landfill and more than 3,000 plastic bottle caps per square metre of composite decking.
If you could hire any one person to be part of your
team, who would it be and why? I’ve always admired the persistence
40 | 10 QUESTIONS
of Douglas Bader, a RAF pilot during WWII who was credited with multiple victories throughout the war. Even after dealing with a plane crash and losing his legs, he still had the motivation and persistence to continue living life to the full and even return to flying.
What’s the best advice you could give to
someone new coming into
the industry? Honesty is the best policy and communication is key. Customers appreciate dealing with people they can trust and in turn, this encourages them to not only purchase repeatedly but also recommend companies and products to others.
If you could be any character from film or
TV who would you be? I’ve always had a great fondness for Forrest Gump. Aside from his obvious likeability, he never lets anything get him down which gives him a wonderful positivity.
What do you think are the positive and negative
aspects of the flooring trade? The most obvious positive for me is that flooring is vital worldwide, as everyone needs a floor to stand on. There’s also been significant innovations in the range of products available and it’s interesting to keep up with the latest options and trends. At Composite Prime we’re always looking for new ways to revolutionise the market, and we’ve most recently launched our new indoor flooring system, Touchstone Flooring.
I think the industry as a whole could benefit from greater investment in innovation to bring more exciting ideas to the consumer. I’ve also seen the need for better understanding of the manufacturing process and how flooring is produced, so that people are aware of the importance of selecting the right product for their needs.
What do you think the future holds for
flooring design? There seems to be an incredible movement towards manufacturing products that not only look great but also perform well. Manufacturing techniques are becoming increasingly sophisticated and the range of high-quality options for alternatives to traditional timber flooring are performing better than ever before.
I think we’ll see more people looking to revolutionary alternatives and products to meet modern demands, and being more considered when it comes to purchasing from brands which make sustainability a key focus, especially when it comes to composites.
If you weren’t in flooring, what career
would you choose? I’ve always loved action and adventure so I’m going to have to say a helicopter pilot.
Vivien Eden, Director, Haggleflör asked:
What type of innovation do you think the flooring industry is
crying out for Consumers are always looking for ways to save money in the long-term. I think there is a big gap in the market for flooring that is a more effective insulator to ensure heat isn’t lost and keep heating costs down. As my grandfather says, if you look after the pennies, the pounds look after themselves!
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