From Home Furnishing Business
TAKE 5 LARRY SCHNEIDERMAN
2017 by Jane Chero in Business Strategy, Industry
By Larry Thomas
After selling his first sofa at age 15 in his parents’ grocery/hardware/furniture store in northern Minnesota, Larry Schneiderman knew he was in love with the furniture business and quickly immersed himself in the family-owned operation.
By the time he was in his mid-20s, his father essentially turned the business over to him, and Schneiderman and his brother, Russ, successfully ran Schneiderman’s Furniture for almost four decades until Russ tragically lost his battle with cancer in 2011.
That was also the year Larry Schneiderman learned he had Parkinson’s Disease, an incurable central nervous system disorder that can include symptoms such as loss of balance, tremors, and general slowness of movement.
But that didn’t stop Schneiderman from running the family furniture business. Until fairly recently, most employees of the six-store chain didn’t even know he had the disease.
He even found time to fulfill one of the items on his “bucket list” by becoming an author. Published in 2014, “Call of the Couch” is a memoir about his family’s “love affair” with the business. The book won a Midwest Book Award in the business/memoirs category, and also was winner of the Axiom Business Award for books in the business category.
His second – and he says final – book, “Nobody Knows,” was launched in October. It’s a novel about a carpet store executive who finds out he has Parkinson’s Disease while trying to straighten out his messy personal life.
Early this year, Schneiderman stepped away from day-to-day oversight of the business and sold Schneiderman’s Furniture to his son, Jacob.
Larry Schneiderman recently spoke with Larry Thomas, senior business editor of Home Furnishings Business, about the new book, his struggles with Parkinson’s Disease, and the current state of the furniture industry.