At the end of this year, Joe Amato, Mannington’s Vice President of Residential Styling and expert behind the Cup of Joe blog, will retire. Joe started with Mannington fresh out of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he majored in illustration and had every intention of becoming a freelance illustrator. Instead, Joe decided to work at Mannington as a designer, where he quickly realized he was able to fulfill his dream of becoming an illustrator drawing and painting various flooring designs of wood and stone.
Throughout Joe’s 39 years with Mannington, he has played an integral role in the success of the company. In the mid-1980's, Joe became interested in computers and digital design. He saw nothing but an opportunity with this new media, so he introduced the concept to Mannington. This new technology allowed designers to create styles, pattern repeats and colors that were unachievable in the past, giving Mannington a leg-up in flooring design and innovation. Working for a company that has always valued product development, innovation and aesthetics, Joe and his talented team strived to put the best designs and colors forward so that customers and retailers always had something new available to them, no matter where the trends were pointing.
With his retirement fast approaching, Mannington sat down with Joe for some final thoughts:
What has been your favorite part of your career in design?
Without a doubt, my favorite parts of my career have been being creative, developing products, and working with a talented and fun group of people.
What's your best memory of working at Mannington?
There are so many! Working everyday with the Mannington family, seeing our products completed and displayed at Surfaces, the international flooring show, and of course, celebrating Mannington's Centennial anniversary.
What’s your favorite product that you’ve designed?
Early in my career, it was developing a product in the sheet vinyl category called Naturals, a product that had the most realistic looks of wood and stone visuals on the market. Lately, my favorite products have been many Hardwood products - Maison, Mercado Oak, and Pacaya Mesquite, to name a few. Each of these have unique staining techniques and Surface texture.
Why were you with Mannington for 39 years?
When you work for a great company and with great people, it’s easy to stick around.
What have you learned throughout your career?
Embrace change; don’t live in the past and build relationships and create win/win situations with everyone you work with as often as possible.
What’s the biggest change from when you started at Mannington to now?
The artistic and creative developing of design, color, and product through the use of digital technology. I started by designing with pencils, rulers, and paint and moved to computers, software and digital printers.
Any advice for newcomers in design?
Build positive relationships, add “attention to detail” with everything you create and develop, and enjoy success and victories, but be prepared to move on to the next great idea. Stay humble and have fun!
What's next for you?
Hopefully getting back to my other creative passion - playing my guitar. I loved playing music in college with my friends, so I’d like to make time to do that. My wife and I love to travel, so there’s going to be plenty of that in the future!
The Mannington family is extremely grateful to Joe and all of the contributions he has made to the company in the last 39 years. Thanks to him, Mannington is proud to offer a variety of aesthetically pleasing and innovative developments, including the patented NatureForm® texture manufacturing process and the growth of LVT. Joe is also credited with leading the styling development for the ADURA®, ADURA®Max and ADURA®MaxAPEX collections.
Upon Joe’s retirement, Mannington is proud to welcome Terry Marchetta as she steps into her new role as Senior Director, Residential Styling. Terry and her styling team, Cristen, Renee and Ed, will be bringing you design tips, trends and inspiration through their new column The Stylist's Take launching in January!