Beaulieu of America
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Beaulieu Dalton, is the third largest tufted-carpet company in America. An offshoot of a major European carpet manufacturer, the company is the creation of Carl Bouckaert, a successful industry leader, innovator, and community leader.
Bouckaert, the oldest of seven children, was born in 1954 in Waregem, Belgium. The son of a surgeon, he was educated in rigorous Jesuit schools and then studied engineering at Louvain University. He married the daughter of Roger De Clerck, owner of Beaulieu Belgium, the largest carpet business in Europe.
When De Clerck decided to expand his business into the emerging market of the United States, he chose his future son-in-law to start a company concentrating on the woven polypropylene Oriental rug market. Although U.S. sales of this product already totaled around $1 million, De Clerck believed that there was still room for growth and charged Bouckaert with proving him right. In 1978, taking over the facilities of the bankrupt Barwick Carpets, Beaulieu America was founded in Dalton, the heart of northwest Georgia's carpet industry. The company's growth resulted from the synergy of family and personal leadership, good ideas, careful acquisition, total integration, and a consistent, workable long-range plan.
In a few years,
The economic recession that began in 2000 brought stress to the entire carpet market, particularly Beaulieu, which was the most integrated in the industry. By 2003, after some shuffling of top management, Beaulieu was again strong and profitable. The company also manufactures medium-priced commercial carpet under the Cambridge label, high-end specified carpet under the Bolyu label, and needlepunch floor covering through Murray Fabrics and its surfaces divisions.
The Catholic church, St. Joseph's, to build a new church capable of accommodating the large number of Hispanics who have been drawn to the carpet jobs in Dalton. Beaulieu also is helping to offset the environmental impact of carpet production through recycling. The company's Marglen operation in Rome manufactures polyester carpet from the recycled fiber of plastic bottles. More than one billion bottles are washed, flaked, re-extruded into fiber, and spun into polyester carpet.