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The Furniture Heartland: Meet The Businesses Behind The

Katherine Ryder Published: November 1, 2011 11:17 AM
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Weaver's Fine Furniture: If You Can Dream It, We Can Make It

Wayne Weaver began his career in the spring of 1992 by selling outdoor furniture at a small lot near Belden Village Mall in Canton, Ohio. Three years later, he built what is now known as Weaver's Furniture store and showroom. The business started growing immediately from there. Wayne's brother, Roy, worked as an insurance agent until he came over to the store to be a salesman.

Now Roy manages the store and Wayne works full time in ministry.

The business began selling indoor furniture from the start of the new opening and currently ships to 46 out of the 50 states.

"If a customer wants to personally design their piece of furniture, we start by sitting down with them and drawing up whatever they want," Roy said. "Then we sit down with the craftsmen and detail the customer's specifications. When the piece is built it is brought back into our store to be stained and finished."

Roy acknowledges his pride in Weaver's European high-end finish that the business has been using for the past 16 years. It's part of what has established Weaver's name as quality and service.

"Once the piece is completely finished, we pack it and deliver it to the customer's home or business," Roy said. "We use our own trucks, our own deliveries within a 150-200 mile radius."

Roy also explained that the business recently hired a designer with AutoCAD experience to help draw up designs for customers. This program, which is used to create interactive blueprints and digital photos for architecture designs and commercial buildings, and Roy's plans to expand the store into a new and bigger space are part of his and the staff's goals to further improve the business.

"We've been extremely blessed with business," Roy said. "The Lord has blessed us."

Custom designing and dcor ideas are Weaver's niche.

"We give the customer a lot of ideas when it comes to creating furniture that they will love for their home," Roy said. "We buy our accessories to match our furniture and we paint our display walls to match the dcor."

With 15,000 square feet of showroom, showing anything from patio furniture and grills to the finest of indoor furniture, locals and tourists alike make Weaver's Furniture a must-stop.

This fall, Weaver's is planning to open an all new England Comfort Gallery, an upholstery design. For more details check out the business' website.

Weaver's Fine Furniture is located at 7011 Old Route 39 NW in Sugarcreek. Store hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information visit www.weaversfurniture.com or call (330) 852-2701.

Green Acres Furniture: Closeness, Craftsmanship And Customization

Green Acres Furniture first began in 1988 by Paul and Naomi Swartzentruber. As a small family business, Paul and Naomi wanted to create a small furniture and retail store. Although Paul was originally a mason and loved to build things, the Swartzentruber family didn't perceive that their small family business would eventually grow into what it is today.

Less than a year after the family started, the business really started to take off and Paul began constructing the first part of the workshop that now sets on Massillon Road's hillside.

Within three years the business began to grow significantly and Steve, Leon, David and Ruth Ann " Paul and Naomi's children " quickly became involved.

"As we grew into the business we developed a partnership," Steve said. "Today, we're all shareholders."

The first major accomplishment came when the family opened the workshop.

"We saw our niche," Steve said. "Something that could make us different from the other stores. We could manufacture and design our own pieces right on-site."

For 23 years the Swartzentruber family has been working together day in and day out, overseeing Green Acres operations and acting as equal decision-makers for the business that Paul and Naomi started.

"It's my favorite part of the job," Steve said. "Looking back to where we started and seeing where we are...we're now into our third generation. It's very rewarding that our children are interested in the same goals that we had when we were their age."

The main focus that the Swartzentruber family strives to reiterate to the community and their customers is that the furniture they are providing starts and finishes in the facility. From timber to dining table, Green Acres Furniture works to produce all pieces on site, by its own employees.

Green Acres Furniture designs, manufactures and retails furniture made in "heirloom" fashion " durable and beautiful; designed to be handed down from generation to generation.

Family owned and operated since 1988, and Green Acres Furniture is known for its fine, handcrafted, hardwood custom Amish furniture, produced by skilled craftsmen in their own workshop facility using their own unique custom furniture process.

The business offers the Closeness " the customer works directly with the manufacturer; Craftsmanship " Green Acres has been building high-quality furniture since 1988; and Customization " if you can dream it, they can build it.

Green Acres Furniture is located at 7412 Massillon Rd. (two miles North or Mt. Eaton on SR 241). Store hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and closed Sundays. For more information visit www.greenacresfurniture.com or call (330) 359-6251.

Troyer Furniture: A Relational Business

For over 24 years, Troyer Furniture has been providing customers with furniture of the highest quality and craftsmanship Started in 1984 by Norman Troyer, what once occupied a 1,500 sq. ft. space now spans across more than 22,000 sq. ft.

In 1992, Matt Beachy and his wife, Liz, took over Troyer Furniture.

"We decided to leave the name the same because of the base it had in the community," Matt said.

Over the years the Beachy family has built a friendly staff. Above anything else, Matt commits relations' sales as the key to the business' success.

"We love to wow our customers with our customer service," Matt said.

In 2001 the business expanded yet again, adding another 13,000 sq. ft. Seven years after that Matt purchased a building down the street to use for a finish shop and warehouse.

"I thought having our own finish shop on-site would provide better control and quality for our pieces," Matt said.

Born as a Mason, Matt worked in construction prior to owning the furniture business and come the colder seasons he was a truck driver. Liz worked in the extension office of Ohio State.

The transition from their previous careers to this one has come with a learning curve.

"It's all about relation," Matt said. "People work with people they like. I've had to learn how to approach people as well as the process it takes for someone to purchase furniture."

An important aspect to understand when it comes to buying furniture is the nature and time it takes for most individuals to make a decision.

"Furniture is a huge investment," Matt said. "The buying process it takes for a couple or an individual to actually purchase a piece doesn't happen in their first visit."

An interesting aspect of Troyer Furniture is its actual relationship with the community and its customers.

"We do testimonials and surveys with our customers," Matt said. "They vary on occasion, but ultimately we like to get feedback from our visitors not only about the furniture they've purchased, but also about their lives."

Such surveys include how a couple met and fell in love. In the showroom there is a wall lined with stories of various couples from all over the U.S.

"I've tried to make everything we do relational," Matt said. "It helps build our customer base. So many companies spend so much money to get new customers and they don't continuously work hard enough to keep the ones they have."

Troyer Furniture is located at 985 W. Main St. in Sugarcreek. Store hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information call 330-852-4752 or visit www.troyerfurnitureinc.com.

Homestead Furniture: Building To A Customer's Specification

Developed in October of 1990, Homestead Furniture started as a means to get quality hardwood furniture to the tourists coming through the area.

In the process of building the business, there wasn't a specific plan in place. The owners of Homestead Furniture simply wanted to build furniture and they wanted to build it in the same specs that they were building custom cabinets.

"The business started to grow and we realized this could be more than we anticipated," said Ernest Hershberger, manager of Homestead Furniture.

Roughly six years later, Homestead had its furniture in 25 states across the country from visitors stopping in to purchase and taking pieces home with them. At that point it was decided to bring manufacturing on-site.

In 1999 the business expanded to 25,000 sq. ft. with its own shop, warehouse and showroom. In 2001 Homestead moved into its new facility.

Today, Homestead has its furniture in all 50 states and six different countries.

"We started by our relationship to the customer," Hershberger said, "giving them exactly what they need."

Homestead Furniture focuses on custom design for the majority of pieces crafted and sold.

"Custom is our DNA," Hershberger said. "It's the heart of what we're doing."

At Homestead, customers are given the opportunity to fashion each piece to their likes, looks and color. In the growing business of furniture, custom design is a competitive field. Building to a customer's specifications is essential.

The majority of Amish furniture owners have purchased with the mindset of investment. Furniture that is bought today comes with the intent of lasting past the buyer's lifetime.

"We take our slogan very seriously," Hershberger said. "We fully expect the piece of furniture to be passed down to the next generation."

As Hershberger explained, part of buying furniture is the experience that goes into it. People at Homestead like to expand on that experience, making the customer an integral aspect of the crafting process.

"Our customers are given a shop tour and they can watch their furniture being built," Hershberger said. "It's part of the experience...watching what goes into building a piece of your furniture that will last your lifetime."

As part of Homestead's goals for the future, Hershberger aspires to keep the business growing.

"I want to build a business that will go at least three generations," Hershberger said. "It's not about me."

Homestead Furniture is located at 8233 SR 241 in Mt. Hope. Business hours are Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information call 1-866-674-4902 or visit www.homesteadfurnitureonline.com.

Walnut Creek Furniture: Welcome In. We're Glad You're Here.

Over 20,000 sq. ft. of showroom space give you the wide variety of styles that Walnut Creek Furniture is known for.

In addition to wood furniture, Walnut Creek has a large selection up upholstered furniture, as well.

Customize your furniture. The business carries many items in stock, but it also offers you the chance to customize your furniture to fit your personal tastes and needs. Choose your style, your wood species, your finish, your fabric, and your hardware accents, and their craftsmen will create it!

If it sounds too daunting, don't worry. Walnut Creek staff has the experience they need to help you make important decisions.

Starting in 1989 at originally 1,100 sq. ft., Dale and Regina Miller purchased the business when it was only four months old.

"I always wanted a business for myself," said Dale Miller, owner of Walnut Creek Furniture. "My dad was in the finishing and manufacturing industry. That's how I was introduced to the furniture business."

When the new building was built the business grew to 5,000 sq. ft. However, at present Walnut Creek Furniture resides at 25,000.

With a focus on customer service and quality furniture, Walnut Creek Furniture has grown into the success that its owners anticipated.

"My favorite part of the job is being able to complete an order to exceed a customer's expectations," Miller said.

Along with customization, Dale Miller and his team are able to create truly unique pieces of quality furniture that surpass most modern styles that are seen so frequently today.

Growing farther than the retail market, Walnut Creek Furniture strives to work for business organizations as well.

"My main goal is to continue to grow," Miller said. "I also want to do a better job delegating to and motivating my employees."

This goal is in a constant effort to keep the business expanding.

"We're currently working on putting better processes into place that will benefit both the employee and the customer," Miller said. "It will make what we do more efficient."

With quality care and a desire to take care of their customers, the staff at Walnut Creek Furniture continues to go above and beyond.

"Our relationships with our customers have been our biggest success," Miller said. "We have twenty-year relationships that are still going...that's something to be proud of."

Walnut Creek Furniture is located at 3473 SR 39 in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Business hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information call 330-893-3383, toll-free 1-877-893-WCF1 (9231) or visit www.walnutcreekfurniture.com.


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