Meet Helen Kiser, a spunky, stylish mother and grandmother who has put her stamp on the family business, Kiser’s Floor Fashions. Helen is one of the most knowledgeable experts in the Mid-South on everything from collectible antique rugs to classic and on-trend floor coverings. Say hello to Helen the next time you are at Kiser’s, and welcome her as StyleBlueprint Memphis’ FACE today!
Where were you born and raised?
Memphis! It is and always has been home.
What do you love most about living and working in Memphis?
I have lived here almost 60 years. My whole family — two brothers, my two sons — and all of my friends are still here. I still love the fact that Memphis has grown to be a big city, but it still seems to be a small town to me, as everyone knows someone you know!
What is your favorite season in Memphis and why?
I love them all, especially fall and winter. I love, love, love my fireplace!
Do you have a favorite travel destination?
I love Europe, mainly the southern part of of Italy and France, but outside of that, Destin, FL, is my second home! It is a great place to unwind and recharge for me!
What about hidden talents … anything you’d like to share?
I’m still working on this. I wish I had some. I have been looking for some, so hopefully, I will find one someday!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Or perhaps a favorite quote?
Never say never!
How have you infused the family business with your own personality and style?
Hopefully not on personality, because I am a little crazy! My style is very eclectic, so we don’t need to infuse too much Helen!
Kiser’s now carries some furniture lines, too, right? Tell us how the carpet business has evolved to meet the needs of your customer base.
Customers were coming in to pick out carpet and rugs, and mentioned they also needed a sofa or chair, and several of our designers asked us to expand into furniture. It has been a win-win!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Making people happy! Helping someone find the perfect rug for their home and seeing it all come together is so rewarding.
What is it really like to work with ALL of your boys: husband Mike and sons Michael and Kyle?
Unreal! I am so fortunate, but we really don’t get to see each other that much on a daily basis, and when we do, it is WORK, not play (well, most of the time!).
Any floor covering trends you’re seeing for 2015?
Lots of texture and, in rugs, I think color is coming back!
I know you are on the heels of the busy retail whirlwind of a holiday season. How do you like to unwind and recharge?
Mike and I love to take our grandboys to a new restaurant after their Saturday games — anywhere with a big screen TV! Otherwise, take me to Tunica!
What is one hope, either personal or for the city/country, etc., that you have for 2015?
I would love to see Memphis become a safer place. Crime is such an issue, and I would just love to see everyone come together and work towards the improvement of the city we all call home.
What three lighthearted things could you not live without?
Our dogs and granddogs, my stupid cellphone, my rugs — they are like my children — and wine!
Thank you, Helen! And thank you to Christen Jones for these lovely photos.
Stay tuned to StyleBlueprint … the SB Memphis Guide app is launching soon!