Founder of Royalty Carpet Mills
Irvine, Calif.—Mike Derderian, the founder of Royalty Carpet Mills, passed away on April 4. He was 87.
Derderian founded the West Coast mill in 1969, 10 years after entering the flooring industry as a salesman for Georgia distributor Wm. H. Green Co. His strong sales skills landed him an offer with Dalton’s Purvis Wade Carpet Mills to be its exclusive West Coast sales agent.
Derderian not only accepted the offer, he launched MD Sales Agency, hired three salespeople, four office employees and brought the agency to a 13,000 square foot warehouse in City of Commerce, Calif. The company grew so quickly Purvis was unable meet the needs of his California clientele.
In 1969, Derderian decided it was time to enter the manufacturing side of the business and purchased a tufting machine. With an organization that now consisted of 20 employees, he moved the operation to a 40,000 square foot building in the Dominguez Industrial Park in Carson, Calif., where he officially started Royalty Carpet Mills.
Royalty found a niche and sales quickly grew in California, Arizona and Colorado as the mill was able to satisfy the desires of the western consumer with an innovative, high quality product line, excellent service and dependability.
In 1973, after purchasing a fourth tufting machine, Derderian relocated Royalty to a 75,000 square foot building in Irvine, Calif., on a street that was eventually named after him—Derian Avenue.
In 1992, Royal purchased PacifiCrest Mills, and in 1999 Camelot Carpet Mills was added to the mix. That year, Derderian also started importing ceramic and porcelain tile, making the combined company one of the largest flooring companies in California.
By this time, the company had grown to over one million square feet of total space with locations in California and Arizona, and included, among other things, a yarn processing plant in Porterville, Calif. and a tile distribution center in Phoenix.
Derderian was always known for being a kind, fair person. In fact, he and his daughter, Andrea Greenleaf, president of PacifiCrest and executive vice president of Royalty, have performed every job imaginable from running the tufting machines to product development, from customer service to sales, and from mail clerk to billing agent. As a result, they have tremendous respect for all their employees and their contribution to the business’ success.
This was seen in 2009 when Royalty was honored by its customers with the Award of Excellence for best carpet manufacturer. Presented by Floor Covering News and the World Floor Covering Association, the award honors those companies who go above and beyond when it comes to service, professionalism of sales force, management responsiveness, value, product design, B2B, handling of claims, and ease of doing business.
Upon receiving the award, he said, “We are thrilled to have been recognized with the 2009 Award of Excellence. It was a great and unexpected honor, and we will strive to conduct our business according to the standards that this award represents.”
(Editor’s note: Neither funeral arrangements nor where donations should be sent have been announced. FCNews will immediately post further information upon receipt, on both our web page and social media sites. Please look for more coverage about Derderian’s life in an upcoming of issue.)