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About the Carillon Flooring Center

THE RICE FAMILY TRADITION

Bob Rice was the fifth of seven sons born to Clark and Gladys Rice of Vero Beach, Florida. All of the sons grew up working in the Rice Brothers dry cleaning, laundry, and rug cleaning business. Everyday they went to work at 4:30 A.M. to "fire-up" the boiler to start washing and came back after school to fold towels, press linens, and make deliveries.

After graduating from college, Bob became a naval pilot and spent several months on duty in the Mediterranean area. It was there that he became intensely interested in the ancient art of oriental rug weaving. In Turkey he sought out the oriental rug weaving centers and watched in fascination as rugs were designed and knotted by hand on looms.

Years later, in 1964, Bob brought his wife Jeanne and seven young children to Clearwater where he built the first rug washing specialty plant in the area. A few years later a retail store was added with an Oriental Rug Gallery and a Carpet Center featuring all types of floor coverings and service. Oriental rugs, as works of art, now became a special part of his life as the gallery grew and Carillon became well known for its expertise and knowledge of oriental rugs and their care and restoration.

Carrying on in the family tradition, all of their children learned how to clean and repair rugs at an early age. Tyler Rice and his father Bob have been active for over two decades in the Oriental Rug Retailers Association (ORRA) and are both past officers and members of the Board of Directors.

The second generation of the Rice Family has now assumed active management of Carillon. Tyler and his sister, Kathie Rice, opened a new 12,500 square foot store in North Clearwater in 2006. They are now leading Carillon into the 21st Century and carrying on the Carillon philosophy of providing the finest in quality products and service


BUYING TRIPS

Bob and Tyler Rice travel to India, Pakistan, China, and Turkey to build and strengthen personal relationships with the people who design and make the best rugs in the world. During these trips, the Rice's personally hand select only the finest quality hand woven oriental rugs. These relationships make it easy to provide Carillon customers with custom rugs to meet their specific needs.
As you can tell from the pictures, Tyler is assisting with the dying of the wool fibers.

Tyler assists with the dying of wool fibers
Bob Rice is holding up a skein of dyed yarn, among a batch that is drying in the sun.

Bob Rice among scains of dyed wool
Bob is watching hand weaving on a loom in Turkey.

Bob watches rug weaving in Turkey
Oriental Rugs being woven in the villages of India.


 

Every rug is thoroughly washed prior to export.

Rugs are then hung in the sun to dry or laid flat in the sun to dry.

In the finishing process, sections of a rug are sheared to show off the true colors and design.

Each rug is thoroughly inspected down to the finest detail.

 


Military Service

Bob Rice served as a Navy Pilot from October 1951-1955. From his base in Atlantic City, he served on several cruises throughout the Mediterranean Sea as part of the "Night Hawks". He flew off several carriers including the USS Monterey, USS Lake Champlain, USS Wright, USS Coral Sea, and the USS Intrepid.

His first encounter with oriental rugs was while aboard the USS Coral Sea anchored off of Beirut, Lebanon. His roommate purchased a large Persian Bijar rug and from there, Bob started his plans to import rugs to the USA.