Syd gets down to business; THIRD GENERATION FAMILY FLOORING FIRM BOSS WITH HIS SIMPLE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS IN CHANGING WORLD.
HE future was laid out for Syd Gaskin before he was born. Syd was always going to spend a career in carpets, following his father and grandfather into flooring. The Gaskin family's love affair with the industry began in London almost 70 years ago, before they relocated to North Wales and took up residence on Vale Road in Rhyl.
That site still operates, but Syd himself is now based on Mochdre Business Park, where he's been since 1995.
The former Prestatyn High School pupil, who still lives in the town, was working with his dad - also Syd - as a teenager, learning the trade and fitting carpets.
The dad-of-two - whose daughters Emily, 11, and nine-year-old Harriet occasionally help out - has never known anything else, though he admits the sector is starting to change after many years of steadfast continuity.
A move into recycled flooring is the latest innovation, though Syd admits the traditions of customer service and quality products remain vital in a world hurtling towards online purchasing.
"Since my grandad set up his carpet business in London in the 1950s it's been in the blood," he said.
"When I left school I went to work for my dad in the Rhyl store but did spend a couple of years in Australia.
When I came back I got straight back into it with my sister and her husband (who had bought the firm) and with a company in Llandudno Junction, where I eventually became manager.
"After doing that for a couple of years I decided to go out alone; I went for a drive and found this spot in Mochdre. I have moved units but have been here ever since."
The last three or four years have seen a slight decline in trade, following a boom period, but Syd maintains a solid set of sales figures and is confident of a revival.
"Things have gone down each year after they had picked up nicely up to five years ago. It's flattened and dipped at times but it's not just happened to me, it's the recession.
"We're not doing anything wrong it's just the market's changed and people are not carpeting as much. Their priorities change and I accept that happens from time to time, especially when times are hard.
"I'm lucky that 70% of my customers are repeat customers and have shown us so much loyalty.
"I'll have often carpeted their child's bedroom, and again when they're a teenager and even if they move out and go off to college. People have stayed with us and that's because we try and do things the right way."
Syd added: "My experience has also helped. I've fitted carpets in Australia, Germany and even on a boat on Lake Windermere.
"I tell people that as long as they live no further away than Australia we can come and fit their carpet, and I'm not joking. We're here for them."
A mountain biking accident last year left the 39-year-old with a broken ankle, so his days of kneeling down and carting heavy products around have been put on the back burner.
Luckily, he employs a fitter to deal with the manual side of the job, but doesn't need more staff as shoppers like to "come in and browse" and not be "pestered" by a team of sales assistants.
"The injury has stopped me fitting but the buying and selling is what I do best, it always was," said Syd.
"I have toyed with idea of opening another site Are you company manager or North Wales? to spend a little company of Business but people want to see you and chat with you and I can't be in two places at once. I'm a people person and you want to talk Contact us via DPBusinessWales with your customers. I'm not interested in being the next Richard Branson, I just want to make a comfortable living.
a owner, "I enjoy the challenges of work, putting the key in the door in the morning and seeing what the day brings."
in you like time in the Post? Twitter: " That has not stopped him diversifying into beds, reclining chairs, mattresses and rugs, as well as runners and vinyls with a wide range of branded floor coverings.Spreading his wings has not diluted the information he gathers res, though.
eally knows his stuff.
have to in this business," he said.
need to learn basics, and I've carried carpet, rpet made from a piece of wool to a carpet rom polymer chips.
and sha Syd re "You "You seen car made fr "Know and top to keep But n "Som and we price. In what isn best sowing every material and what is good value quality is so important if you want people coming back."
not too often.
e people charge cheap, some are expensive are somewhere in the middle in terms of n terms of quality, I know what's quality and n't and we want to give our customers the they will return," said Syd.
"They know they can come here and not have to come back for a very long time. I'm not just here to make a buck I'm here to provide a reliable service."
And will the Gaskin girls be following their dad into the world of carpets? "Harriet has got the knack, and Emily doesn't like it so much," said Syd.
"They both like taking the money from customers though. Like father like daughters I suppose!
"If the girls want to take up the reins then great, if not I'll sell everything and move on. When you work for yourself you have to focus and work hard but you must always remember why you're doing it and make time for yourself and your family."
Being in the family business, there is often no choice but to spend time with those closest to you, but it's never bothered Syd.
"My dad does still come and see me now and again and tells me what's what but it's great because he's so passionate about it," he said.
"This is a great trade to be in, it's served us well for three generations and still serves us well.
"It's probably because we've kept things simple and stick to what we do best."
Syd added: "I am not a big one for gimmicks and over complicating things. I've been here for 17 years and want to be here for another 17 years.
"I try and do things the right way and give people a fair deal so they keep coming back - that's all I can ask for."
"Are you a company owner, manager or director in North Wales? Would you like to spend a little time in the company of Business Post? Contact us via Twitter: DPBusinessWales
Syd Gaskin at his Gaskin's Carpets and Beds base in Mochdre
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)|
|Date:||Mar 6, 2013|
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