February 4, 2006 was a Saturday and – after months of planning and hundreds of hours of work (primarily by volunteers, though staff too) – Jubilee Furniture opened for the first time.
An article which ran in The Daily Herald on January 19, 2006 is titled “Hotel donates to local outreach organization” and describes “the furniture sales to benefit Outreach Community Ministries are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m on Saturdays in February and March” with an expected goal of raising between $25,00 and $40,000.
We all know that’s not what happened. A full-time general manager (me) was hired in October of 2006 and primarily through the efforts of an extremely dedicated volunteer board, amazing donors and awesome customers – the last nine years have been an incredible ride!
Oh, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. A microburst in February of 2007 extensively damaged the Wheaton Christian Center building where we were located at the time and the furniture store was closed and didn’t reopen until September 29, 2007. Why I wasn’t let go and the store permanently closed – I’m not sure other than my boss – Chris Ellerman (and Outreach’s CEO) felt there was still untapped potential for what Jubilee Furniture had to offer.
And he was right. We added Friday hours on January 25, 2008 and had total sales of $75 that first night. Me and our warehouse manager joked that we’d have to lure customers in with wine and cheese (we never did but I still like that idea!).
A looming rent increase in the fall of 2013 caused us to look at buildings in the area for sale and on Friday, April 4 of 2014 we opened in our current space. The very next week we added Thursday hours and that Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 8 and Saturdays from 9 to 4 store schedule continues today.
The other – and much more important than buildings and hours – part of the Jubilee Furniture story is those who’ve been impacted by the programs and services through Outreach (which sales from the store are helping to support). Though December 31, 2014 $1.1 million in profit has been generated. Unbelievable. My heart is full of gratitude to every volunteer, every donor and every customer. Every. Single. One. Of. You.
Before I get all teary-eyed let’s take a look at some of our current inventory (and don’t forget about the Furniture Gallery!):
lovely, shades of green, leaf patterned sofa in great condition – priced $65
gorgeous muted colors on this chair and ottoman in excellent condition – priced $125
beautiful Drexel Heritage dining table with two leaves priced $75; four lovely dining chairs – all four for $100; Drexel Heritage buffet with lots of storage and heat resistant serving top for $65
very nice two drawer file cabinet by Bush Furniture – priced $45
fabulous sleeper sofa by Karpen – in excellent condition and a neutral color that would go with also any room – priced $65
there is something about this yellowish/antique finish on furniture that I absolutely LOVE! This is a one piece curio cabinet/china cabinet/bookcase/lots of options with amazing details (beveled glass to name one) priced $235
here’s a similar piece that’s also gorgeous, also has beveled glass AND is lighted – priced $225
this unassuming table with four chairs has a secret. It goes from sitting four to six (or eight if you’re all related or super friendly) with a simple turn of the top and flipping! Rush seats are a wonderful detail and it could be left as is or stained or painted to up the wow factor. Priced $135
I love the lines of this sofa – either needs to be thoroughly cleaned and the pillows fluffed or to be reupholstered. Priced $65
this too is a great little piece – fun blue micro-suede and it opens to be a bed! Also needs to be cleaned – priced $35
lots of potential with this round butcher block table with four chairs. Caning on the back of the chairs is in perfect condition. Table top need to be re-oiled and – though you know I LOVE plaid – somehow the fabric on the seats don’t quite go with the wood. But for $95 for the whole thing well worth a little time and money!
LOVE this executive desk – use some goo-be-gone on the remains of paper stuck to the top and you’ll have a gorgeous piece. Front is finished. Lots of storage. Priced only $55
large American of Martinsville dresser w/two mirrors (peeking out behind the dresser). Dresser has been – somewhat – updated. Original plates behind the drawer knobs have been removed and there was once more gold trim on the dresser than there is now. Excellent condition – priced $125
fun THREE drawer (looks like nine little ones but it’s really just three long ones) in great condition – priced $75
fabulous Bassett five drawer chest priced $65; matching three drawer nightstand for $45. Both in excellent condition!
here’s another dresser/nightstand combo that’s fantastic! By Drexel Heritage the dresser with triple mirror is priced $55 (what a steal) and nightstand for $25. Both in excellent condition – love the details on these pieces!
lovely full size four poster bed (headboard, footboard and side rails) for $215 (price does not include mattress and box spring)
electric lift chair by Pride (gently lifts you to your feet) – needs some spots cleaned – priced $95
dining table with one leaf and six chairs – green stain on table legs and chairs – in great shape – priced $195
lovely Pem-Kay sofa with bench seat (single cushion which I love because it stays put better than multiple cushions do) priced $55
elegant Drexel Heritage sofa in excellent condition priced ONLY $45
gold painted wood base supports a thick (1/2” to 3/4”), heavy, piece of glass. Very fancy! Priced $35
dark blue (not quite navy) fabric cover these two smaller wingback chairs both in good condition. Priced $25 each
gorgeous antique bed is a unique size (donor said wider than a twin but not as wide as a full). Price of $135 include the custom mattress and box spring
really beautiful Lloyd Flanders wicker sofa and rocker – being sold as a set with fabulous cushions – priced $315 for both pieces
three matching bookcases – good condition – priced $35 each
these two wingbacks with ottomans have to be the deal of the week because they’re priced $10 for each chair/ottoman combo! There are tears on the arms – but you could clean up these puppies and place throws over the rips and have a dandy set (they’re also comfortable). Or reupholster ‘em! Structurally in great shape with fabulous legs!
Though we had no idea the direction Jubilee Furniture would take nine years ago we’re super excited about the future. Our Employment Opportunity Program is up and running and as we wrap up “phase one” of our building expansion – phase two and three are waiting in the wings! Wow.
So, let me close with a simple yet heart-felt thank you to you, dear reader. You’re the best.