Abbey Carpet staff members make new projects easy and convenient for customers

With over 1,000 options to choose from, the staff at Abbey Carpet works with customers to find the flooring product that’s just right.

Abbey’s tight-knit team of flooring experts, from left: Alex Downer, Olivia Hooper-Downer and Wes Wilson.

Decades of experience and a good-humored staff keep flooring fun, while ensuring quality


It’s no easy task, taking a two-story carpet and flooring showroom and making it feel like home, but the staff at Mounds View Abbey Carpet & Floor has made it look simple. 

In the middle of plush carpet samples and gleaming hardwood panels, staff members’ laughter rings through the store as banter flies back and forth over “Star Trek” memorabilia and the latest product swatches. 

“They tell me what to do more than I tell them what to do!” owner Wes Wilson jokes of his staff, before going to the kitchen to make what he calls, “the worst cup of coffee in Minnesota.”

“We do all get along really well,” says Olivia Hooper-Downer, the store’s administrative assistant. “Didn’t you say the other day that we have dinner at your house more often than your brother does?”

“Yes!” Wes confirms. 

Olivia sits directly across from her husband, Alex Downer, who works as the store’s design consultant. They moved to the Twin Cities from Maine almost two years ago and are now in the process of buying a home. When it comes time to install flooring in their new place, they’ll look to Abbey.

“Of course we’re going to buy it here,” says Olivia. “We don’t sell anything that we wouldn’t put in our own homes. We have every intention of doing just that.”

Luckily, Abbey has quite a few pet-friendly options the couple has a cat and an 80-pound dog. Alex and Olivia’s pets, and Wes’s eight kids, mean that none of them would install flooring that can’t hold up to regular use. 

“In general, you’re putting in a flooring product with the expectation that it’s going to last 10-plus years,” says Wes. “The stuff that we carry is going to last 15, 20, 25 years, under normal wear conditions.”

While Abbey carries a wide selection of high-end flooring, including three different designer labels, its main focus is on value, emphasizing the quality of a product over the number on its price tag. 

“We’re going to sell only the best products,” says Alex. “If somebody’s looking for flooring and they’ve got a certain budget, we have a wide variety of price points.”

Asking the right qualifying questions up front streamlines the selection process. Staff can quickly pull three to four samples that fit both the customer’s needs and wants, eliminating the headache of sifting through hundreds of products. 

Although Wes jokes about letting his employees run the show, he brings over a decade of industry experience to the table as owner. He started as an installer and uses his practical knowledge to help clients select the best product for their unique home situations. 

“Because our manager has the installation knowledge as well, we can help make sure that people are getting exactly the right product,” says Olivia. “Not just the thing that they like, but the thing that’s also going to serve them best over the next 20 years.”

The small, hard-working team at the Mounds View location takes on massive projects and makes them feasible for customers. With more than a decade of experience, Wes and his staff manage to make flooring fun.  

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