Originally Published in the Rolesville Buzz, March 2017 …
Part 7 in a Series on Local Small Business Success Stories
At the corner of East Young and North Main streets in Rolesville sits a large building, the cinderblock exterior painted to look like brick, and signs regularly adorning the windows to advertise the latest sale. There aren’t many people around town who aren’t familiar with Rolesville Furniture or who haven’t stopped in at least once to check out the newest inventory.
The business is known for offering good pricing, availability of online searching, quick delivery and friendly service. Store owner Rick Eddins and son Kevin will go out of their way to make a customer happy and will even sell display inventory if a customer wants it.
Customers will attest to that fact.
Ella Santangelo, who purchased furniture when she first moved to Rolesville, said she “likes the store because I know I’m supporting a local business and they always offer competitive pricing.”
And Connie Wilson said when she needed good-quality furniture quickly at a reasonable price, Rolesville Furniture had a large selection of name brands at discounted prices.
“In one hour, I purchased several rooms of furniture, and it was delivered the next day,” she said.
The store has been a fixture in what is the original town center since 1980, when the late Herbert Eddins opened a flea market in an old livery stable and his son, Rick, began to sell furniture next door.
Since then, the property, like the town, has changed, and as Rolesville experiences tremendous growth, Rolesville Furniture is likewise poised to move with the times rather than get stuck in the past.
When Herbert Eddins passed away in April 2015, Rick Eddins began to consider what might lay ahead for the store. He spent the next year thinking of his father, who he’d seen nearly every day, and thinking about the future of his business, and how the town was changing.
“It took me a year to sell 90 percent of what we had in the flea market. … While that was going on, I was thinking of ‘what if,’ ” he said. “ ‘Where are you going to move this, move that.’ ”
Eventually, he and Kevin decided to expand.
While the decision was practical – the furniture store had limited space, and excess inventory was kept in tractor trailers behind the main building – Rick Eddins said it was also a testament to his family’s confidence in the town where he was raised. He believes Rolesville will continue to move in a positive direction, and he feels good about investing in its future.
They had the flea market building removed, salvaging as much wood as possible, and constructed a 6,400-square-foot building for an additional showroom and a second building for a staging area and warehouse. The additions have allowed them to improve access for deliveries, house more product and add outdoor furniture to their inventory.
Much of the daily operations are now overseen by Kevin Eddins, who has worked closely with his father over the past 11 years to learn every aspect of the business. The son, who grew up at the store and spent weekends as a child attending auctions with his father and grandfather, didn’t originally plan to take over for his dad, but a year after he graduated from NC State University, he decided he’d like to give the furniture business a try. Rick Eddins took him under his wing and showed him the way he’s always done things, and Kevin’s role grew.
Kevin Eddins transitioned the store from paper receipts to a computer-based point-of-sale system four years ago, updated the website and expanded digital marketing efforts. He also introduced two kiosks with oversized display screens that allow customers to easily peruse different furniture offerings, all but replacing the paper catalogs of the past.
Kevin Eddins said he’s looking forward to the future and maybe someday branching out.
“My dad always says, ‘If you’re not getting bigger, you’re getting smaller,’ ” he said, adding that the store “put me through college.”
“I have a five-year-old son,” he said. “The goal is for this to put him through college as well.”
With the expansion complete, Rick Eddins and Kevin Eddins are now focused on aesthetic changes. The father pointed to other buildings nearby and how the owners and occupants all are working hard to look good as the town grows. He and his son have been painting the exterior trim and already have changed the awnings to create a more cohesive appearance among the buildings on the property. They upgraded the parking, built a fence and added landscaping.
And if customers should happen to come by and find Rick Eddins outside on a ladder, paint brush in hand, they shouldn’t be surprised.
“There’s always more to do,” he said, and he and his son will be the ones to do it.
Categories: In the Forest