When it comes to complex installations and attention to detail, you want a master craftsman like Bob Margies on your team. Bob recently joined us after nearly three decades developing his talents and running a successful business as an accomplished installer for top designers. He brings incredible expertise and energy to lead our new Service and Installation practice after many years of working with us on his own:
When were you first introduced to the craft of installation?
My dad started installing carpet in 1972, he would bring his tools home and take on side jobs for friends. Probably my earliest memory was at 5 or 6 watching him make a seam the old fashioned way without seam tape. As I grew, I would go to work with him on weekends.
How did that hold your interest?
My dad was different from all of the other dads. Some of my friends’ dads farmed, some were policemen, and some carried briefcases. My dad carried a giant box of tools. When you’re a young boy, a box of tools is pretty intriguing.
At one point, he was working on the restoration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s house on the Hudson. I remember watching my father recreate this staircase masterpiece. At that point I knew he did pretty special work, but to see that, in high school, really piqued my interest more. When I graduated high school I wasn’t quite sure what to do. My father offered, “You can work with me if you want.” I never looked back.
How did you get to know the company?
I’ve known of Merida for years. When Broadway sisal was introduced, I installed it in a beach house, and it was unlike any other sisal product I’ve ever installed. That’s when Merida landed on my radar. I started to see more of their product being installed. Merida was responsible for bringing sisal into the home. Before this, it was known as a commercial product and too rough for residential projects. Merida sisal was incredibly soft and had pattern and texture. It was different. When I started my own company Merida was one of my first relationships. And, one of the first acts of purchasing my new home was to buy a piece of Bali jute and make a big living room rug with a cotton border.
Four years ago I was invited to tour the Fall River, MA mill and that coupled with social media brought us together in a consistent way. Quality installers have always been important to Merida and I was now on their radar.
Why do you have such passion for your work?
There are different levels of carpet obviously, and there are different levels of installation. My dad really had an amazing work ethic. The more complicated the installation for him the more excited he was to just work, and that was passed on to me. Anybody could put in 50 yards of builder basic carpet. But if you take 20 yards and put it on a circular flight of stairs, with a border, the challenge is different. Lots of installers do not like that type of work because it’s so demanding, mentally and somewhat physically. I love the more complicated installation projects, and working with cutting edge product. It’s a passion. Now I’m glad I can take that 28 years of experience and bring it to my current position with Merida.
What excites you about working with Merida specifically?
Seeing product development happen before my eyes with our design team, weavers and craftsmen all under one roof is incredible. It’s exciting to be a part of it and making a contribution. We’re developing strategies for our work force we’ve never had before. I’m teaching our Project Managers skills they didn’t know they needed to possess for their position. That’s exciting to me because it’s productive, it’s valuable and it’s relevant. I couldn’t be any happier to do it every single day.
I’ve been here two months. A lot has happened in 60 days, and a lot more will happen in another two months. It’s a thrill to me.
What do you hope to accomplish overall at Merida?
The end goal for me is to help the company be as efficient and successful as it can be, and to ensure after all the hard work that goes in to producing each order, it’s handed off to an installer that we have 100% confidence in.
Are you scoping a demanding project? Whether or not you’re considering an installation, count on our expertise to help you think through options and manage a project smoothly.