The Carpet Chemist
Executive Q&A with Brandon Cerrito, CEO of The Carpet Chemist
1851 Franchise: How did The Carpet Chemist start?
Brandon Cerrito: When I was 18, I went to a BP gas station to pick up a job application, and as I was leaving, a man in a truck pulled up next to me and said, “I could use a good looking guy like you at Stanley Steemer.” I didn’t know what that was, but I needed a job, so I showed up on Monday at 8 a.m. and got to work.
I started to learn how to clean carpets and help the crew chief with whatever he needed. I liked it. Every job was different, and it was fun. Eventually, I got to the point where I wanted to break out on my own and create something myself.
I got a $1,200 loan from my dad for carpet cleaning equipment, and I spent the next five years operating my own small business out of my car. I was making enough money to pay the bills, but that’s it.
I found someone across the country who was repairing carpets, and I thought that could be the thing that separates me from the other operations in town. So, I sold my car to afford the trip out west to attend training and learn how to do it. When I got back to Kentucky and started to advertise these services, my profits immediately shot up. Over the years, I did the same with carpet dyeing and bleach spots.
We went through a few versions of the company over the years but finally re-branded in 2018 to be The Carpet Chemist, which includes cleaning, repairing, dyeing, stretching and more.
1851: What is different about The Carpet Chemist that sets it apart from other carpet cleaning and restoration franchises?
Cerrito: In the early days of the business, I knew I needed something to separate myself from the cleaning competition in town. That’s why I sought out training in carpet repair. No one in Louisville was repairing carpet, so after the training, we put it on our website, and our profits dramatically increased. We were averaging $10,000 a month. A year after, I found out you could dye carpets and do bleach spots. Again, I found out nobody was doing it. It blew my mind. So, I learned how to dye carpets, fix bleach spots, rejuvenate faded oriental rugs, airbrush carpets, stuff like that. All of that carries through to The Carpet Chemist today. I really want to let people know what a unique service we have.
1851: What makes The Carpet Chemist a good franchise opportunity?
Cerrito: Right before I got the job at Stanley Steemer, I had just dropped out of school for animation. I didn’t really know where I was going in life. I think a lot of people get stuck like I did, and franchising with The Carpet Chemist is a perfect way to jumpstart your career again. I know it’s just carpets, but it can really change people’s lives.
The services are in high demand. Everyone needs their carpets cleaned and taken care of. And there is personal hands-on support to help structure your business and make it into a living, breathing thing.
1851: What are the goals for the brand in 2021 and beyond?
Cerrito: We’re at the hardest part right now, which is getting the first franchisee to believe in us enough to make a huge investment with the brand. Our goal is to have 10 franchisees by the end of 2021. Once we have three to five, we’ll have a good support network and validators to speak to other prospects.
1851: What were some of The Carpet Chemist’s major accomplishments in 2020?
Cerrito: Leading up to 2020, we really started diving into creating a franchise business model for The Carpet Chemist. We drove our fully wrapped van all the way to New Jersey to meet with Charles Internicola, one of the top franchise lawyers in the country. He liked what we had to offer and wanted to help us get things off the ground.
Fast forward to March of 2020, we officially launched the franchise concept, got with a marketing team, and started accepting prospects for our brand.
1851: Why is The Carpet Chemist a good investment?
Cerrito: People are spending time at home more than ever, so the demand for our services is very high and expected to stay that way. We’re just a unique brand that offers niche services with little to no competition. The Carpet Chemist has very comprehensive training to get franchisees up and running quickly as well as marketing support and exclusive territories to help protect the brand.
1851: What does The Carpet Chemist’s ideal franchisee look like?
Cerrito: It’s pretty simple. We want franchisees who are passionate and determined about life in general. They want to create something for themselves, have the determination to make it happen and want to build a lasting business with us.
About The Carpet Chemist:
The Carpet Chemist is a comprehensive resource for carpet cleaning, repair, restoration, dyeing and stretching. Trained to meet the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration and Certification standards for water damage remediation and restoration, The Carpet Chemist can clean and repair rugs and upholstery, setting the brand apart from its competitors by making it a one-stop shop for all carpet concerns. To learn more visit https://thecarpetchemistfranchise.com/