Carpet entrepreneur Anthony Hudgins was inspired to make individual and specialized carpets and mats as a way to show love to his two children when he separated from their mother. Today, Keepsake Carpets has blossomed into a full carpet line that includes religious symbols, black Greek fraternity and sorority symbols and Afrocentric designs.
“We came up with the idea initially with[the help of] my daughter and my son. They were very young. I had a separation from their mother. I made a carpet mat with their names on it, that they kept for like eight years. They headed into elementary and carried it all the way through high school. I thought since they valued it so much, that other children might like it as well.”
Hudgins is the patriarch of not only his family but family-owned ACH Enterprises Inc., a carpet restoration business that deals with carpet dying, installation, sales and cleaning. Keepsake Carpets is an extension of the parent company and provides individualism and keepsakes that are truly unique. The Hudgins children’s response to their dad’s carpet mats made his heart swell, and he decided to test the product outside his household.
“We started making mats for children. Then [we] thought about plight of foster care children and the need to have … their own no matter where they went,” Hudgins said. “But who was going to pay? I diversified and started with young children, pre-K, and making mats with different shapes and colors that help with their learning process.”
The market response has been notably strong, as evidenced at the National Alliance of Market Developers’ annual “Buy Black” event in Philadelphia where his booth was by far one of the most visited by consumers. “You can buy one already on display or you can can have one made up for you about your favorite sports team or movie or to say ‘I love you’ with your parents or spouses names on it. Whatever you want,”Hudgins says, adding “within reason.”
When the subject was broached about what would be the ultimate carpet for him, Hudgins responded, “Well, next step is we have [to] get this carpet in this guy’s hands,” he says of a carpet mat with the seal, ‘The President of the United States,’ and the first family in it. “We hand-made this. It took two months, and it’s been sitting on my wall. If we can get this to [President Obama] then we’ll be ready to hit the big time. We’re looking for distributors for our product line as well, and we think we can inspire growth in terms of handling the business.”
For more information about KeepSake Carpets and to order an individual carpet mat, log onto www.keepsakecarpets.com, facebook.com/KeepSakeCarpets, or you can call 1-866-367-4102