As I walk into Affordable Furnishings for the first time, I see a showroom that is deceptively large — showrooms usually are. Like any good showroom, different rooms from a typical home are staged so you can get a feel for what you are looking for. Living rooms, bedrooms, entertainment areas, dining rooms, kitchen & dining, home office — well you get the point.
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The proprietor, Sherry Hall, greets me and we strike up a conversation. It turns out we both went to Westerly High and graduated within 1 year of each other. We know some of the same people and start to get caught up like old friends.
This is the hallmark of a family owned business with strong ties to the community. This is an example of the type of customer service you get in your hometown furniture store.
As we walk around the showroom, Sherry shares some history about the store. Affordable Furnishings has been in business for almost 17 years — August 17th will be their anniversary. Sherry and her parents started the company, and Sherry has taken over full-time for the last 6 years. Her parents started vacationing in Florida, and Sherry saw the opportunity to “take the reigns”.
Owning a business in a small town is all about customer service and going “above and beyond”. They have built up a loyal customer base using word of mouth and little advertising.
Their customers range from locals to out-of-towners who need to furnish their cottages at the beach, to local businesses who need mattresses and beds.
High quality furniture and top brand names are present everywhere — Ashley, Therapedic, Coaster, Corsicana, Hughes Furniture, Amesbury Chair, Carolina, Liberty Furniture — just to name a few.
Daybeds, bunkbeds, dining room sets, bedroom sets, couches, sofas, leather chairs, bar stools — all with that traditional/country New England style. They have contemporary furniture as well, if that is what you are looking for.
The level of trust they have built with their customers has allowed them to furnish their customer’s winter homes in Maine and New Hampshire. The customer’s who went this route rented a uhaul, and after purchasing the furniture right off the showroom floor, loaded up and moved themselves.
Affordable Furnishings sells directly off the floor, allowing them to keep their inventory fresh and with a new look. They have the inventory to furnish your home – arriving weekly – from basement to bedroom, and will deliver to your home with reasonable rates. Their mix of traditional, contemporary, nautical and modern designs are all handpicked by Sherry and her mom. They provide excellent value while allowing you to pay for what you need.
Sherry and her mom pride themselves on building relationships with their customers, helping them with more than just furnishing their home. They run their business very fairly and don’t mark-up their prices as high as other places – big box stores.
Sherry and her parents are also civic minded, with donations to charity events and auctions the norm, rather than the exception. They also sponsor a mens softball team in the spring and have become the longest running sponsor for the league.
Part of our mission at WesterlyLife.com is to promote local business and the “shop small” wave that is sweeping the country. Everything you need is right in your backyard, and with big companies focused on the bottom-line rather than customer service, it’s nice to know that there are still businesses putting customer service first.
Click here to go to Affordable Furnishings listing in the Greater Westerly Business Directory