In January 2020, Tressa Samdal spoke in depth about her journey in the flooring industry and what she learned along the way. At the time, she worked for Florida Tile as the director of marketing and product development. Currently, she is VP of marketing for E.J. Welch Company.

Floor Trends reached out to Samdal for a brief follow-up interview in the wake of the pandemic to see what has changed since we last spoke to her and ask what advice she would give to other women working their way up through the industry. 

FT: Looking back at your time with Florida Tile as the director of marketing and product development, what has changed between then and now?

Samdal: It’s been an interesting learning experience over the last two years of what sparks joy and interest from individuals and what pushes people off our [social] platforms. I think we are moving away from content being absorbed through reading and instead delivered to us through video.

FT: You said in your 2020 interview: "Too often, women try to compete on the same level, when we should really elevate the field. We have strengths and insights that men sometimes cannot bring to the table.” Can you elaborate on that? How has that changed over the last two years or has it? 

Samdal: I don’t think that it has changed, but I want to expand beyond male and female because there is a spectrum between feminine and masculine. I think it's more about using the skills and knowledge to drive someone’s passions that make them unique. For example, you may have one leader that has a great deal of empathy, and they’re able to improve their work culture and help their team achieve excellent output. Another leader might be a great teacher, and they’re able to level up their team quickly because they are spending time educating and helping them understand the "whys" of things. I think what makes us individuals makes us successful, and my advice would be for all the women and men in the industry to lean into their strengths and know what they bring to the table. I don’t think trying to be like somebody else is the answer. I think the answer is to know what you believe in, your passions and really focus on those strengths. 

FT: Who inspires you? 

Samdal: I’m inspired by the women who came before me, and I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic men and women who have been great mentors for me in terms of education. That's one of the things I encourage—anything that you’re passionate about, get the education, learn as much as you can, find people who inspire you to be who you want to be and surround yourself with those people.