Donny Phillips, Owner, Atlanta Flooring Design Centers

If you know about Atlanta Flooring Design Centers in Suwanee, then you know owner Donny Phillips because he is unforgettable. Not only has he had a successful business since 1985, which moved to Suwanee 20 years ago, Donny is also known for his kindness, high level of customer service, leadership and expertise. He is one of the many people who make Suwanee a great place to live, work and play!

What inspired you or led you to your current career?
After college I was working in the banking industry for a couple of years in Dalton and for some reason, living in Dalton, people tend to gravitate toward the carpeting business. My father and uncle had a small flooring company and I worked there for about two years, and  I guess the entrepreneurial spirit was nipping at my heels. I decided to go out on my own in another town with my dad as a partner. A friend who lived in Duluth let me live with him while I found a location and built our first building in May 1985, Atlanta Carpet Company. Twenty years later we moved to Suwanee and became Atlanta Flooring Design Centers to encompass all types of flooring.

What is your favorite restaurant in Suwanee?
It’s Chick-fil-A because of the mentality and generosity of the company with their servant attitude — and the chicken is good, too! I also like Uncle Jack’s Meat House in Duluth and Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ.

How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
12 years.

What has kept you here?
My business of course, and also it’s nice to part of a dynamic city such as Suwanee. I also love the location because of traveling north for business or to my hometown of Blairsville.

How big is your family?
My wife Sandra for the last 20 years, a 19-year old daughter, Blakely, who goes to school in Highpoint, N.C., and 17-year old son, Hunter, who attends Buford High School.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
You [Julie Perdue]. I like the way you have been grassroots promoting Suwanee with the business alliance, connecting businesses, networking and some of the organizations you’re involved with through the alliance, such as the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Nothing But the Truth, who collect food for hungry school children, Cooper’s Crew and other local charities. I think you’re very connected to what matters and I feel that we align with that, too.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I would love to go to Ireland and play golf and see the beautiful green landscape.

What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
The Jungle Book, around 1967. We had no theater in Blairsville and had to travel to go to an indoor theater or drive-in.

Would you rather speak to 500 people or sing to 50 people?
Definitely speak to 500. I am not a good singer and if I did, it would be a great way to clear a room! On our honeymoon, there was karaoke and my wife, who sings beautifully, sang and then the karaoke man insisted that I sing. I tried to insist not! Finally, I took the microphone and sang one verse and then the microphone was taken away and he said, “You’re right! You cannot sing!”

What advice would you give a crowd of people?
Be a good steward of the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.

What is something on your bucket list?
To visit New Zealand and Australia. I have been to Israel twice and would like to go back.

If you could take anyone to lunch (dead or alive) who would that be and where would you go?
My father and we would go to Rexall Grill in Duluth.

What is your favorite music? Name three bands you would like to see.
Christian praise and worship music. I would like to see Lauren Daigle, Alabama, and MercyMe.

What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
Justin’s nightclub at the Holiday Inn in Suwanee. I used to go there when I was in college.

What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
I love that I live very close to work! I also love that our community is very diversified with the people living here, the various restaurants and groups that I get to know at my church. It is enjoyable to see how people from other parts of the world live, and Suwanee is a great environment in which to raise my kids in a great school system. We love the amenities that Suwanee has to offer.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still spending time being engaged with Atlanta Flooring but spending more time traveling for pleasure and volunteering at church.

What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I played golf with Vice President Dan Quayle. I enjoy working with the youth group at my church, taking them on trips and encouraging them in life.

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