What an exciting day for Office Furniture Warehouse, winning the 2014 Small Business of The Year award. On behalf of my business partners Jason Flowers, and Beverly Jerman we are so blessed and appreciate all the hard work of our staff and support from our friends and clients who helped us achieve this prestigious award.
We are extremely blessed to have met some key people along the way that contributed to our growth. When I moved to the area in 2008 I knew no one. With the help of Cathie Keegan of the Comdyn Group, she got me involved in the chamber as a member and Ambassador and opened up her Rolodex. Getting involved with the Chattanooga Chamber was one of the greatest things that happened to me personally and to our company. As a Chamber Ambassador, I have had the opportunity to meet so many chamber members, to many to list, which have been big supporters of OFW and have encouraged, some became clients and many who helped us along the way and still do!
Office Furniture Warehouse started out in June of 2008, during one of this country’s worst recessions, in very humble beginnings in an old used gas station garage in Cleveland Tennessee complete with squirrels and raccoons. Fortunately, we soon moved into 2,000 sqft space in the Chattanooga Business Development Center, where we got great support and guidance from the director of the BDC Kathryn Foster and The Tennessee Small Business Development Center. Another great supporter and friend of OFW Paul Mallchok the Director of Real Estate at Eastgate Town Center provided us the opportunity to secure over 25,000 sqft of space where we experienced explosive growth. Recently with the help and guidance of Pryor Bacon we were able to partner with him and Pryor Bacon III to obtain our new home a 137,000 sqft facility.
We believe in the philosophy, “to whom much is given much is expected in return”. Along the way we have worked to give back to the community in many ways through our Wish Well program, taking corporate furniture donations and turning them into cash for non-profits. We also contribute money, furniture, our time and our facility where we can to support other non-profits including Susan G. Komen, Habitat for Humanity, Chattanooga Junior League, ZeroLandfill and Second Life Chattanooga to name a few.
Our next adventure is international and we are working to take our OFW+Med from domestic sales to international sales. By providing refurbished medical furniture; hospital beds, stretchers, exam tables etc., to regional and rural healthcare facilities and clinicians here and abroad we are trying to contribute to making healthcare more affordable.
GREEN—in addition to helping our clients save money on high quality pre-owned furniture; we are helping our planet by reducing landfill. We keep hundreds of thousands of pounds out of the landfill every year by acquiring inventories for resale or helping our clients extend the life of their existing furniture. When a customer buys used office or refurbishes their existing furniture, not only are the reducing landfill, but they are reducing the consumption of natural resources to make new products.
Thank you OFW staff, Chattanooga the Chattanooga Chamber and all our clients, vendors and supporters for helping us to achieve this goal as Small Business of The Year! God Bless–JJ