Spotlight on a trader
20 May 2019
Teddington Carpet Centre is one the of the longest standing shops in Teddington having been on Broad Street since 1962. We met with the larger than life character Rob Wilks who started working with his father at the age of 14 and eventually took over the running of the business in 1997. Rob has supported the Teddington community from the very start often paying for raffle prizes and events out of his own pocket. He is a true representative of community spirit and we are eternally grateful for all his commitment and support over the years.
How long have you been trading in Teddington?
Teddington Carpet Centre was originally founded in 1962 by my father, Leslie Wilks and his two partners Henry Wooding and Ronald Rayner. My father originally started out selling carpets, furniture and bedding for Garrud Brothers of Teddington following the completion of his service in the R.A.F in 1947. His career was to eventually span 50 years on Teddington Broad Street, and following his semi-retirement in 1997 he maintained an active role in the company until he sadly passed away.
How did you get into the business?
I started working as a Saturday boy for my Father in 1978…I did look very funny as a 14 year old in a three piece navy suit handed down to me by one of mum’s friends and Doctor Martens Boots!!!!
What makes the business stand out?
Personalities!! If you befriend your clients and vice versa and deal with them on a first name basis you will always find that this personal service is reflected right across all your service levels and clients appreciate it!!! Customers are characters NOT numbers!!!
What do you love about Teddington?
The fusion we have between a small village community without being a lifeless town!! Teddington beautifully captures the best of both worlds and is unspoilt to boot!!
Besides your own shop what is your favourite shop in Teddington and why?
Café Mimmos (SORRY!!) I would love to have voted for a more traditional choice but the coffee is to die for and the staff are so friendly!!
What is your guilty pleasure?
AC/DC - I'm a bit of a rocker at heart and even play in a band still.
If you could invite 3 guests to a dinner party, dead or alive, who would they be?
Michelle Obama, William Shakespeare and Bruce Springsteen - a great combination for a successful party. Politics, Literature and Rock Music!!!!
Where in the world would you like to visit if time and money was no object?
I would love to go to Marina Bay for the Singapore Grand Prix
In no more than three words describe yourself
Tall, Dark, Handsome, Optimistic….Oops that’s four words!!!
What do you see in the future for your business?
I would like to be able to sit down one day and write a book about the experiences I have enjoyed (and suffered) at the hands of flooring the local community – if my children one day read it and raise a smile – mission accomplished!!