Eduardo Martinez of Martinez Carpet Installations represents the next generation of flooring installers. With some of his earliest memories including lending his now retired sub-contractor father a hand, Martinez continues his father’s legacy in the industry.

Q: How did you get started in the flooring industry?

My dad is a retired sub-contractor and I grew up assisting him and his crew on jobs during my summers and weekends. My earliest memories consist of the fresh smell of the carpet, carrying VCT boxes, and making plenty of mistakes learning how to properly prep the subfloor. After attending two years of college, I decided to join the crew full-time. I’d like to say that I have a collective experience of 10 years, but I have so much more to learn.

Q: What is your favorite thing about the flooring industry?

I really didn’t understand the value of the skill set that my dad had trained me for. Now that I have grown wiser, I see that my dad passed on to me skills that can put me ahead in a trade where the median age is 50+. With that being said, there’s so much to learn in the flooring industry, and so many specialties; within those specialties are many knowledgeable people who are willing to share their experiences. My favorite thing about the flooring industry is getting to meet these passionate contractors, sharing war stories, getting advice from them, and the mentorship they unknowingly pass along.

Q: How’s business? What opportunities and challenges are you seeing?

After attending the FCICA Convention in Nashville, we found our new mission, discovered new beliefs and started to rebrand. We acquired new clients at the beginning of the quarter, however, it has been very challenging to relaunch at the beginning of a pandemic. We have managed to attract some new clients with our perseverance for achieving great work, and now business is ramping back up. We are hopeful after this pandemic there will be an increased interest from younger people in learning blue-collar work.

Q: How do you see the state of the industry right now?

I would say the work is getting easier. The new products and systems coming to market help train new installers to be battle-ready. Trying to keep up with fast-track construction will be our new challenge in the coming years.

Q: How did you become involved with FCICA and what benefits does the group offer?

I heard of FCICA at the IECIS Strategic Partners conference at the beginning of 2019 but had not yet been involved. It was toward the middle of the year, when I was seeking education and certification opportunities with contractor partners, I was referred over to a flash cove webinar hosted by Mike Pigeon.