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Q&A with Jason Jabara: CEO of Jabara’s Carpet Outlet

When it comes to local TV jingles that aren’t the annoying and obnoxious TV car sales type, Jabara’s Carpet Outlet is definitely up there. They’re one of the long time family owned businesses that have been going strong for over 40 years.

Jason Jabara

Last year, the family owned business named a new CEO and today we honored to have him here as the latest guest of the Wichita By E.B. Q&A Series.

That gentleman, ladies and folks, is Jason Jabara. Please place your phone down or computer mouse to the side and welcome Jason with a warm applause.

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Eddy: Jason, first thank you for joining us. We go pretty far back having gone to college together but for those people that don’t know you, could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

Jason Jabara: Born and raised in Wichita, Ks. Graduated from Wichita Heights in 1995 and from WSU with a BA in Secondary Education in 2000. I married my high school sweetheart Cheryl Jabara who is a Pediatric Physical therapist at Heartspring. We have 2 daughters, Madelyn (12) and Allison (9). I enjoy gardening, hunting, fishing, traveling, and rooting for my teams (Shockers, Royals, and Chiefs).  

Eddy: So those who have been living in Wichita for a while may recognize the name “Jabara”. There’s a popular TV and radio ad jingle associated with it. What is your role within business?

Jason: Currently I am the CEO of the company and am in charge of all day to day operations. When I came back to the company in 2004 I started off in sales and moved up until taking over in my current role in January of 2015.

Eddy: Growing up, did you know you were going to be a part of the family business?

Jason: I’m not sure if I knew, but it was probably in the back of my mind. I always worked at “the store” in some capacity growing up. I’d work after school or weekends during high school and college, but I made it a career choice after my wife and I decided to move back from Kansas City to raise a family. Prior to that, I taught high school History, debate and speech for four years.

Eddy: Since you’ve been a part of it, how has the industry changed? What have you guys done to evolve over the years?

Jason: It’s changed a lot. Especially the number of competitors in the market and where your customer is coming from. We still advertise quite a bit, but those advertising dollars have shifted from traditional print and radio to internet SEO and PPC. Whereas a customer used to look you up in the yellow pages and call your store, they now just Google search “Wichita carpet”. Luckily we come up number one. It used to be you could be found on TV, the radio or in the newspaper. Now we have to cover not only that form of media in some way, but also our website, all forms of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc), review sites like Google and Yelp, Angie’s list or Houzz; the number of places that have eyes to see your business is endless. It also doesn’t help that there is more competition in the market. 15 years ago there wasn’t a Menard’s, Home Depot, or Lowe’s on every corner like there is now.

Eddy: For those in the market for laminate, wood, carpet, whatever it may be, why choose Jabara’s over other competitors in town?

Jason: I think there are several reasons. The first would be that we are the largest stocking, full service dealer of flooring in town. We’re unique across the region like that. Most flooring retailers order all of their material from showroom displays. While we do have a beautiful showroom with every type of floor available, we also have our Outlet that is chalk full of first quality flooring at the best prices in town. We compete against all flooring stores, but our main competitors are the box stores because they are the only other ones who stock much material. Aside from price, selection, etc. I think our biggest asset as a company is who we are as a company. I like to use the tag line’s “home grown and family owned” and “we’re not a box store or a chain store, we’re your store”, in some of our advertising spots because I think it’s important that consumers know who they are dealing with. Flooring is all we do, so when you come into our store, you know that you are speaking with an expert in their field. I guess those are a couple of reasons why someone should choose Jabara’s over our competition.

Jabara’s Carpet Outlet

Eddy: You guys have truly been home grown. I have had a countless number of friends work there in the past and one thing that should be noted is the support in the community you guys do. Changing directions, let’s talk sports for a moment. It’s a common bond we’ve had from all sorts of sports but let’s talk Shockers real quick. Your family are season ticket holders. What are your expectations for this season?

Jason: Same as they are for every season: be entertaining. I like that we win. I like that we are expected to win. I like what we’ve built at WSU in the last 15 years. I also remember how it was in the mid 90’s when I was in college when we didn’t go to basketball games because of how bad we were. This team will be young, but I think we may be a better “team” than last year when all is said and done. We’re also season ticket holders in every other ticket offered sport at WSU. We enjoy going to volleyball and baseball games as well. Its good family entertainment and winning doesn’t hurt.

Eddy: I know you’re a big foodie and you know this was going to be asked. You have to choose just THREE restaurants in town. What are they going to be?

Jason: Man three types of food would be easier than whittling it down to three restaurants. It would probably all change the next time you ask me, but today I’ll go with: N&J’s because I think it probably the most authentic Lebanese food in the city and reminds me the most of my grandmother’s cooking. Pho Hein because I just ate there and I think they have the best bowl of noodles in the city. Lastly, I’ll go with Red Rock Canyon Grill. I think I’ve ate everything on the menu once and have never had a bad thing there. Plus my wife really likes it and I don’t like to eat alone.

Eddy: Well Jason, keep up the great work at Jabara’s. We definitely appreciate you having here and being a good representative for local Wichita businesses.

For those looking for more information on them, check out their website: http://www.jabaras.com/

If you know of anybody that would be great as a guest of the Wichita By E.B. Q&A Series, feel free to e-mail me at wichitabyeb@gmail.com. I’m looking for anybody who impacts Wichita in any sort of way whether they be business owners, restaurateurs, volunteers, whomever. Thank you!

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