The Genesis Of Floor Focus: Notes from the founder of Floor Focus – Aug/Sept 2022
By Frank O’Neill
The world was a lot different when I started Floor Focus in 1992. The Internet was in its infancy. Elon Musk was a kid studying physics at the University of Pennsylvania. Apple was still a struggling company. Google wasn’t even a concept in Larry Page’s mind.
I was the editor of a magazine for carpet manufacturers that year. Carpet manufacturing was just beginning to change from an industry of entrepreneurs to something much more sophisticated and diversified. I felt the industry needed an objective source of information, a source that went beyond the news releases the players provided. I told my idea to John Carson, who was president of DuPont Fibers, which was the major player in the industry at the time. John not only said, “Go for it,” but DuPont also funded the first three issues.
By the time my wife, Maurie, and I sold Floor Focus to Kemp Harr in 2006, it was on its way to becoming the flooring industry’s most respected publication. The industry itself had changed even more dramatically by then. DuPont was no longer involved in the industry. Big carpet manufacturers like Shaw Industries and Mohawk Industries were making their own fiber, consolidating rapidly and diversifying into laminate, vinyl, hardwood and ceramic tile manufacturing.
Kemp and his team haven’t skipped a beat. From the day he acquired Floor Focus, it has remained a dynamic, objective publication that’s never lost the respect of the ever-changing flooring industry. I’m happy to say that it’s a better magazine today than it was when I sold it to him. I’m so proud of Kemp, Anne and their team.
Happy 30th anniversary.
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