For any business startup, lasting six months can be a daunting challenge, let alone a full year. An impressive achievement, then, for Webber’s Carpet Warehouse in Annandale, which last year celebrated its 40th birthday.
Proprietor Grahame Webber, 65, is rightly proud of the business he and his three children have built over that time. Originally a carpet layer from Bankstown, Grahame first set up his carpet business in a small shop in Booth Street. “The decision to locate in Annandale was because I recognised it as a growth area,” he says. It was a prescient decision – one informed by the potential he had spied working in electrical retailer H.G. Palmer’s in Leichhardt.
Along the way, Grahame has certainly suffered his share of setbacks. Unarguably the most serious was a disastrous fire on the location of the current premises some 20 years ago, which forced the business to find alternative accommodation for 18 months.
Webber’s is very much a family business, with Grahame’s sons Mark and Matthew, as well as daughter Michelle, playing an integral role. The business has a hard-won reputation as one of the best showrooms around with a wide range, including prior recognition as the best carpet sales warehouse on the east coast by Wools of New Zealand. As one of the longer-established businesses in the area, and with the kids taking the business forward with, in Grahame’s words, “computers and that sort of thing!”, the business seems set to be a fixture on the Annandale scene for a while yet.