So, what does a tailor, a chef, a mechanic and a banker have in common you ask? They are the eclectic founding members of the proud Kevmor dynasty.
Kevin Mort, the founder of the organisation, commenced his working career as an apprenticed tailor. This stood him in good stead when an initial career change into the flooring industry, required the art of hand stitching Axe Minster Carpets. He went on to work for five different flooring companies including Cunninghams, Smyth &
Hickman, Huega and Westwools. This was the perfect learning platform for his future which saw him owning and operating his own company for the next 30 years. This culminated in Kevin having over 60 years of experience in the flooring and soft furnishing industry.
Kevin J Mort Agencies commenced in 1980 with his wife Shirley, mother of seven children, working from the kitchen table of their family home. Within six months the first commercial premises were opened in Burswood. During the first 10 years of operation three of their children joined the firm. Vincent a skilled chef joined in the first year of operation, followed several years later by the oldest son, Simon, a qualified diesel plant mechanic. Finally, the team was complete when their younger sister Virginia, who came from a banking background, joined the firm.
The evolution of the Kevmor company from those early years, has been long and varied. Initially offering United Carpet Mills products, it soon progressed to include upholstery fabrics. Over time, the company ventured into broadloom carpet, woven carpets, carpet tiles, rugs, accessories for furniture manufacturing, boiling water units and custom cushions.
The company was fondly known by the locals as ‘Kevmor’ which was the original short name for the six-digit code on the telex machine.
As time passed in the carpet industry, the family home was soon proudly showcasing the quality of carpet remnants and tiles. The family enjoyed fond memories of the kaleidoscope of hair carpet tile leftovers from projects that adorned their bedrooms and living areas.
Back in the early days, ‘putting the kettle on’ had a dual purpose; boiling water was necessary to shrink and adjust the natural fibres of the woven carpets. This was a skill set that only an artisan of extensive experience, could effectively complete.
Those were the days
Some of the original commercial carpet contracts Kevmor won included the Burswood Casino, Merlin Hotel, Boans, Kings Hotel and Myers, to name a few. These initial installations included hand sewing in workrooms with installations over traditional hair felt. The quality Kevmor brand and highly skilled reputation soon spread widely across the Perth metropolis.
How times have changed
The company has grown substantially over the last few decades. Kevmor now employ over 20 dedicated and professional staff in their premises, with over 10,000 m2 of warehouse and showroom space.
Over the years, the business has constantly evolved to meet their clients’ needs and keep abreast of market trends.
Today, Kevmor has grown into a complex international importer and distributor, supplying an extensive range of flooring installation tools, carpet tiles, sheet vinyl, planks, rigid core and marine carpet.
Their exclusive range of flooring removal and renovation equipment, sourced from Germany, with cutting-edge technology and high productivity, is leading the industry market.
There is no rest for the wicked in this industry
Every year the Kevmor directors travel to all the major exhibitions around the world, sourcing and developing, the latest and greatest industry technology and innovations available, supported by their trusted suppliers. During this time, extensive training is designed and delivered to keep abreast of the latest advancements in flooring technology.
This includes a training academy in Belmont where customers can see a demonstration of all available equipment and stock. This is popular and well respected by Kevmor clients, as it provides them with hands on experience with large floor removal machines.
Kevmor now has a large digital presence in the flooring market where clients can shop online. The online facility allows customers to access an extensive product range that is shipped Australia wide.
However, for more instantaneous service, the convenient Belmont location means if you are located in Perth Kevmor have all products on hand. This includes carpet tiles to installation tools, from moisture testing equipment to large ride on floor strippers. The professional and personalised service team, led by Vincent, Simon and Virginia, are continually present on the shop floor.
Kevin will be turning 90 in August, one of his fondest memories has been teaching his children, watching them come to understand the industry and take over the business. It has been extremely rewarding seeing his children continue the journey he and Shirley started decades earlier.
What is next you ask?
Kevmor are not resting on their laurels, they are expanding their training programs, introducing new products and developing new methods of installation.
Now that the world focus is on sustainability and environmentally friendly products, the industry as a whole, has seen a vast amount of change. No longer are harsh chemicals seen as acceptable, but rather new merchandise is focused on being environmentally safe for the contractor and the end consumer. For example, Kevmor now have a range of water-based adhesives that are green building certified which are imported from the USA. Initially they found that some contractors were challenged by these products, but now the industry sees the health benefits and prefers to use them over the solvent based merchandise available. In addition, Kevmor offers training and equipment that comply with the new silicosis epidemic that is now evident in the flooring industry.
Kevmor is proudly based in Western Australia, with a family leadership team offering over 100 years of experience. Their expert staff work hard to ensure customers have the best possible experience which is renowned and respected across the flooring industry both locally and nationally.