Amish furniture store faring well in Coates
Think "Amish" and images of horses and buggies, bearded men and farm life may spring to mind. At the Amish Furniture Showroom in Coates, Amish means quality handcrafted furniture made with real, solid wood.
Eric and Lori Heil of Wabasha opened the warehouse/showroom in Coates last November in addition to their original store in Nelson, Wis.
The showroom in Coates is filled with furniture of all sorts and sizes. Dining room sets are the most popular, Lori said, but they also have bedroom and living room sets, chairs of all kinds, cabinets and more.
There isn't an overwhelming demand for Amish-made furniture, but the business has its loyal customers.
"We're a small part of the market, but our customers are tired of the particle board," Lori said.
Amish furniture is made of solid wood, which means that not only will it not break apart easily, but when it does get scuffed and worn after 50 years, it can be sanded down and refinished, Eric said.
The quality of construction is higher than many of the Heils' new customers are accustomed to.
"(The Amish) are very conscious of their work," Lori said. "Very proud of their work."
For as much as their customers get from the furniture, the cost is similar to that of lesser-quality products. The reason is simple.
"The Amish don't have jets," Eric said.
The Amish Furniture Showroom has a lot to choose from on the sales floor, but that's only a fraction of what the store can offer its customers. Furniture shoppers can have any piece custom made.
"Choose your wood, stain and hardware, and we will build it for you," is the store's slogan, Eric said.
Eric specializes in designing custom furniture, and the Heils also own their own construction company. With that knowledge base, they understand that standard furniture may not fit into a home, and know how to provide a solution.
"We really specialize in helping the customer," he said.
The showroom in Coates is located at 16191 Clayton Ave., on the west side of Highway 52. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The store in Nelson is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Furniture can be viewed online at www.amishshow room.com.
The online presence also means that the Heils can serve customers all over the United States, and even have some from Canada.
That also means they have a much larger customer base.
"We're extremely busy," Eric said.
Proof of that is in their order book. It's about six inches thick.