Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve lived in Barstow since 1992 and raised my family here. My three children have given us four beautiful grandchildren, ages 1 month, 2, 4, and 9 years old. Most of my free time is spent with my family, playing tee ball or soccer or swimming in our pool. I’m also an avid reader and enjoy cooking and the simple pleasure of a good meal with friends and family.
I am the current President of the Board of Directors for the Mojave Valley United Way. I feel it is important that I give back to the community as best I can. Our local United Way returns 100% of the funds we raise to our local community through local agencies that serve our community, including the Boys and Girls Club of Barstow, Desert Sanctuary/Haley House, New Hope Village, Barstow Pregnancy Center, Barstow Judo Club, Barstow and Newberry Springs Senior Centers, Boy Scouts, and the Barstow Humane Society. I am proud to belong to this community of incredible people who give so much to support the great work these agencies are doing.
One of the things we hear in a lot of our customer spotlights is that their chosen career came as something of a surprise to them. Was that true for you too?
Yes. After college I worked in several different fields, including manufacturing, mechanics, and consumer finance. In the early 1990s I was between jobs and the opportunity came to work in a furniture store in Barstow. I found the work was engaging and enjoyable. A local business friend encouraged me to open my own store. With his assistance, in 1996 I opened The Furniture Outlet, and as the years passed, I realized that I really enjoyed the business and was good at it and that I’d found a fit for me. So even though I think of it now as my chosen career path, no, it wasn’t what I initially saw myself doing for a living.
What’s your favorite part about the business?
My staff and I never forget that we’re customers too. We want an environment that is low pressure, family-oriented, with quality goods for an affordable price, and service that is hassle-free. So that’s what I’ve worked to create with my store. I don’t see my business as selling furniture. I’m more interested in having a variety of options and helping you find exactly what you want to complete your home than in what numbers we’ve produced for the day.
My wife Jennifer and I form the core of our staff, but without my employees, I would not have the store I have today. Linda White is a fixture on my sales floor. She started as a customer many years ago, went from customer to friend, then eventually to part of the team that makes up The Furniture Outlet.
I always say that my installers and warehousemen, Daniel Villalobos, Matthew Caceras, Matthew Dominguez, and John Ray, have the most important job at The Furniture Outlet, because they are the last of my staff that my customers get to interact with. They’re the ones I entrust to go into our customer’s homes. I’m very proud of how professional they are and how often I receive compliments about their courtesy, respect, and hard work. These young men have grown up in Barstow and are a fine example of our community.
Basically, I believe that service is everything. You can make your purchase anywhere, but it is the service, support, and family atmosphere that we excel in.
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