Steven Siegfried: Serving Customers and Community
By Suzanne Carroll
ANTIOCH — Steven Siegfried didn’t always sell floors—in fact, he spent the first part of his career destroying them. “I worked for a termite control company and we’d often have to tear up floors to reach infestation sites,” he explains. “But whatever we tore up, we then had to repair or replace. Over the years, I learned a lot about flooring products and came to know the industry pretty well.” In 1981, Steven got the opportunity to take over a flooring store, which he renamed Fashion Floors.
Opportunity knocked again in 1989 when Steven received an offer to join the Abbey Carpet & Floor chain. Suddenly, Fashion Floors had the purchasing power of a national store but could still offer the customized service of a smaller shop. “We didn’t have to commit to just one flooring mill anymore—we had access to a huge range of hardwood, laminate, vinyl and carpet products,” says Steven. “Everyone in the Abbey family is very willing to share advice or information about the industry. When you’re a small mom-and-pop shop, everyone else is the competition, but now, we’re helping each other become better business owners.”
Today, Steven says his favorite part of his job is working one-on-one with his clients. “We’re with our customers every step of the way, from the showroom to the final installation.” As a business owner, Steven places a premium on respecting his clients’ decisions and treating them in a straightforward manner. “We never try to push our customers, and that’s something that makes people more comfortable. We want our clients to feel like they can come to us with any questions. We’ll give them the best advice we can, even if they don’t purchase floors from us.”
Customer relationships are important to Steven, who sees himself as a community builder in addition to a business owner. “I was president of our local chapter of the Rotary Club for several years, so community service is very important to me,” he affirms. A lifelong resident of the East Bay, Steven describes his area of Contra Costa County as close-knit. “A lot of the people who live here also work in town. We see each other in church or at each other’s stores. There’s a real sense of closeness, and I like that.”
In his spare time, Steven takes to the water. “I like to go whitewater rafting at South Fork near Coloma—my daughter and I used to be guides up there,” he says. “Also, when my wife, Sandy, and I want to relax, we’ll take our 1961 Trojan cruiser out on the delta, set up a barbeque and have a laid-back day.”
A father of three grown children and grandfather to four, Steven plans to devote more time to his grandkids once he retires, though he doesn’t imagine that day will come anytime soon. “When you’ve put your heart into your business like I have, it’s hard to pull yourself away,” he says.
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: It used to be the Oakland Raiders, but now it’s the San Francisco Giants.
Q: Where would you most like to go on vacation?
A: I’d love to tour the different canals of Europe. I’ve also always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: A night owl.
Q: What was your favorite childhood toy?
A: Slot cars. Back in those days, there used to be tracks where kids could take their slot cars to race.
Q: What kinds of music do you like?
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A: I like smooth jazz, rock and roll oldies, and the Christian music I listened to when I was a kid.