LIMA — Myron Beggs genuinely believes in the importance of small businesses. If not, the Buckeye Furniture owner may never have returned to the retail industry.
“I still believe that small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Beggs said.
His father was a small business owner himself, working in the upholstery industry for many years. When he grew up, Beggs worked with his father, learning what it meant to own a business.
After leaving the upholstery business, Beggs worked in a furniture store before he became a traveling sales representative. In the early 2000s, he purchased Buckeye Furniture from its previous owners and began staking his claim as a small business owner.
“I always said if I ever got back into retail, I was going to own it,” he said. “The opportunity came up, and I jumped on it. I thought, ‘I can really do something with this.’ And here we are today.”
In the nearly 15 years since he purchased the furniture store, Beggs and his staff have undergone some tough economic times. The recession of the late 2000s was especially difficult, as most people stopped purchasing superfluous items like new furniture.
Through it all, Beggs said what kept him going was his belief in himself, his staff and the small business that he knew could survive.
“We’ve had some pretty bad times because the economy struggled there for quite awhile,” he said. “But I’ve always tried to be a man of integrity, so I think that’s important to people. I try to stay honest with people, and I don’t try to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes.”
One of Begg’s favorite sayings seems to signify this message, and may explain why his store was able to survive.
“‘If you take care of your customers, your customers will take care of you,’” said Buckeye Furniture General Manager Daniel Platz, echoing his boss’ motto. “That’s always what he’s believed in.”
Now that the economy is in better shape, Beggs has been able to invest more fully in his business. On June 1, Buckeye Furniture began an extensive remodel that will culminate in a new showroom for customers.
In the last two months, the business has put in new lights and decorations, expanded its recliner and mattress sections, and updated the lobby area. Now, contractors are drywalling a back showroom, adding a heating and cooling unit, and will open up an existing wall so that customers can clearly see into the back room. The next phase is creating a whole new showroom to display the business’ growing inventory.
“It’s going to be a lot nicer looking, that’s for sure,” Beggs said.
Platz added that the renovation is making Buckeye Furniture look more like a “big city store,” as opposed to having a “little country store feel.”
“Now we feel like we’re a legitimate store for the community to come out and see,” said Platz, who’s also known as “Crazy Dan.” “We want everything to look nice, and we want to give customers ample choices. I think that’s exactly what we’re doing with this remodel.”
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima
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