While the birth of Dalton, Georgia, as the capital of the carpet industry is primarily owed to a woman, today’s carpet manufacturers are typically led by men. One Dalton company is bucking that trend. B Carpet has been granted official woman-owned business certification by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. This certification affirms that the business is woman-owned, operated and controlled.
A shareholder in the company since she was 17, Elizabeth Moore serves as the CEO of B Carpet. She began working as director of sales and marketing for B Carpet in 2009, when her father, Company Chairman Burton Brown, turned over his share of the business to Moore and his other daughter, Louise Lochner. Shortly thereafter, Moore became the company’s vice president. B Carpet’s special niche in the market has been earned through careful attention to detail and quality in its specialized products. Products that were born from the history of Georgia’s carpet industry, which got its start through women and bedspreads.
The success of the Georgia carpet industry is due in large part to Catherine Evans Whitener, who started a “grass-roots, women-fueled movement that became a multi-million dollar bedspread industry,” according to the Carpet and Rug Institute. Credited as the mother of the carpet industry, Whitener handled the manufacturing side of her family’s bedspread business, while her sister, Addie Cavender Evans, was the marketing brains behind the business. The hand-tufted process for their bedspreads was similar to the process of creating carpet.
That history of female leadership and custom-crafted products is now echoed in B Carpet as a woman-owned business. The company’s certification comes at a time when women-owned businesses are on the rise.
According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Business Report commissioned by American Express OPEN, there are now more than 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating more than $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing nearly 7.8 million people. In fact, in the last 16 years, they top the growth rates in number, employment and revenue of all privately held businesses. And Georgia is ranked among the top five states in the country with the fastest growth for women-owned companies.
“We are thrilled to be part of a movement that encourages the success of women in business,” says Moore. “And to be able to support the increasing demand for companies that seek women-owned businesses as partners and vendors, including our customers in the hospitality industry.”
A networking resource for the hospitality industry, NEWH has long been a supporter of women with hospitality careers. NEWH Executive Director Shelia Lohmiller says, “NEWH is so proud of Elizabeth, not only for the accomplishment of becoming WBENC certified, but also for taking a struggling business and turning it into a very successful venture!”