Overcoming hard economic times has proven difficult for many businesses, especially small, local companies. For one Thurston County furniture store, success has come from a multitude of factors—beyond just the product.
Woodshed Furniture, located at 6127 Martin Way in Lacey, has been a staple to the Thurston County furniture business for 35 years. As a small, family-run company, Woodshed Furniture knows what it takes to keep its doors open.
“It’s been a hard couple of years for a lot of furniture companies. There have been a lot of stores and manufacturers go out of business,” said Jed Hart. “Being able to stick around through hard times is a success.”
Woodshed Furniture has been in Hart’s family since 1988. As a family owned and operated business, it takes more than offering quality products at affordable prices to stay in business. The Woodshed family puts its customers first and truly does have their best interest in mind. Lynda Hart, owner, has always said that the company’s theme is to “treat people fair, be honest and work hard.”
“Those three simple things, along with a great staff of employees and loyal customers, have carried us through these tough times,” Trisha Claridge said. “My parents also run the business a little old-fashioned. We are closed on Sunday’s and don’t overextend financially. Those are core qualities and values that have unfortunately been lost in retail America.”
Claridge has grown up with the store, working there whenever possible. The business has not just provided a living for the Hart family—it has also been their way of life, she said. Jed Hart, along with his mother Lynda Hart and sister Claridge, work day in and day out to ensure the successful operation of the company, while father Ned Hart, brother Neil and sister Tanny are their continual support system.
Aaron Jones has been with the company for six and a half years. He began his work with the business doing furniture deliveries, and he currently works the sales floor. He originally began working at Woodshed Furniture while waiting to start a career in a different field. Years later, he’s still there, and now even more a part of the Woodshed family than he imagined.
“We’re here to guide them, rather than push furniture on them,” Jones said about his customers. “We want people to come in here and relax and not feel like we’re trying to force them to buy something.”
Customer satisfaction is Woodshed Furniture’s number one priority. It extends beyond just the sales floor.
“Word of mouth advertising is the best form of advertising. People will listen to a friend’s recommendation long before a commercial or print advertising,” said Claridge.
In order to achieve customer satisfaction to their fullest, Woodshed Furniture only carries furniture they’re confident in and stand behind.
“We have always tried to carry quality products at a decent price. We don’t carry the real inexpensive stuff, we’re right in the middle, which fits a lot of people around here,” Hart said. “A lot of the cheap stuff, if you buy it, it breaks in a year or two. The nicer stuff is great, but a lot of people can’t afford it.”
Twenty years ago, Woodshed only carried unfinished furniture. Since then, their product lines have evolved and expanded, turning them into a full-line furniture store, offering a wide range of household furnishings (both finished and unfinished), upholstery, couches, recliners, memory foam mattresses and miscellaneous decoration pieces. Woodshed Furniture focuses on selling well-made furniture and products, with pricing that people can afford.
Woodshed Furniture has more than 10 different types of wood available for any given piece, and more than 15 different manufacturers they purchase from. Some of the products are made locally or throughout the U.S., while other pieces are imported overseas.
Woodshed Furniture’s product lines leave customers with the freedom of choice. Customers can purchase unfinished furniture which can then be matched to an existing piece. Also, customers can buy a full bedroom or living room set, either finished or made to the color of their choosing. All finishes are done locally by hand at Mr. Oak Antiques & Refinishing in Olympia.
Woodshed Furniture makes sure to know every detail of each piece of furniture to fully ensure customer satisfaction—from what it’s made of, to where it’s made, to how it’s made, to the quality of the materials, and more.
Selling wood furniture is a huge market, one that Woodshed Furniture has capitalized on. There are few furniture stores in Thurston County that have been around as long as Woodshed. For more than three decades, the Thurston County community is what has ultimately helped the business flourish.
Hart said about 85 percent of Woodshed Furniture’s client base is Thurston County residents. Some customers come from Pierce, Lewis or Mason counties, but Thurston County is to thank for all of their achievements.
All Woodshed Furniture employees and family members live in Thurston County. To honor what they’ve been a part of for so long, Woodshed Furniture does what it can to give back to the community. In addition to being a member of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, Woodshed Furniture helps support the fundraising events of many local schools by donating items for auctions.
“We feel strongly that the best place for us to put our donations is in education of children in the community,” Claridge said. “We also are very active in participating in youth sports, PTA [parent-teach association] and the schools in the areas we live in, and we try to use our knowledge of how to run a business in those volunteer activities.”
Woodshed Furniture’s strong customer relations, business practices and work ethics have made them a great “home away from home” for Thurston County furniture shoppers.
Now through June 4 is Woodshed Furniture’s storewide anniversary sale. Don’t miss out! See for yourself the great things Woodshed Furniture has to offer. Visit their website and stop by the store!
6127 Martin Way
Lacey, WA 98516