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From Home Furnishing Business

Furniture First Hosts NextGen Retreat

Furniture First, a national furniture and mattress buying group, recently held its NextGen retreat in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to share ideas and seek solutions among 27 people from 19 Furniture First retailer member companies who attended the event.

The trip was sponsored by Furniture First vendor partners Serta and TD Retail.

“We are thrilled with the level of participation,” said Amanda Daubert, director of services for Furniture First. “We started the group last year because we saw the same thing happen all the time: the next generation joins the family business and is looking for ways to innovate and improve, but is up against the history of ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ Our members want to keep the family business in the family and we want to make that easier for them to do.”

Each day of the retreat started with a meeting where the attendees participated in group discussions, including a “Best Idea” session where each retailer shared an idea that made a difference to their business, and a “Challenge" discussion where members shared difficult aspects of taking leadership roles of their family businesses and received suggestions from fellow NextGen members. Team building exercises, networking and snorkeling excursions filled out the schedule.  

“This was such a great opportunity for the NextGen in our industry to get together to meet, network, share best practices and form lasting friendships,” said Kyle Deets, of Deets Homestore in Norfolk, Neb. “The location of the event was also pretty awesome too!”

Emily Davis, of A & W Furniture in Redwood Falls, Minn. said of the trip “The fact that I've been blessed enough to find NextGeneration store owners in my industry is amazing. These people have become my friends, my mentors and my cheerleaders. The specific struggles and victories we all share within our businesses are met with so much encouragement from these intelligent and kind people.”

“I had an amazing time this week networking with my new NextGen friends!” said Erica Frizzell, Frizzell Furniture Gallery in Walker, Minn. “I am so excited to implement some of the ideas from others in the group that can help build our business. It’s so nice to know that there are others out there in the furniture business that we can go to for help and support. Big thank you to Furniture First for organizing the event and Serta and TD for sponsoring!”

Jill Thigpen of Furniture Distributors in Havelock, N.C. summed up her experience by saying “This group definitely inspires me and challenges me to think beyond my comfort zone with what they do in their businesses. So many good ideas and conversations were had over the last few days!”

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