Issue 4 » Douglas Furniture: An Evergreen Family Business Grown in the SCV
Co-Owner Doug Green Looks Back on Four Decades, Ahead to the Next Generation
By Stephen K. Peeples
Furniture retailers may come and go, but not Douglas Furniture, a well-appointed fixture in Newhall since 1975.
Owners Doug Green and his wife Pat Green were in their early 20s when they opened with a single 1,500-square-foot storefront in downtown Newhall.
Douglas Furniture thrived, and eight years later the Greens purchased their current property on Newhall Avenue. By 1988, again running out of space, the family bought and built on adjoining property. The showroom now measures 30,000 square feet.
The high-end store carries most of the top American-made brands and collections for living, sleeping, entertaining, offices, bathrooms, outdoor living, and design accents, as displayed in their massive showroom, and detailed on the company’s colorful website.
With that worldwide reach, Douglas Furniture also ships to discerning customers in Hawaii, Germany, England, Japan and China.
Wealth | Wisdom | Wellness recently sat down with Doug Green on a cushy sofa in Douglas Furniture’s main showroom to find out what this company does right that others don’t.
3W: The showroom’s comfortable. Very tasteful, but still feels like home. Maybe you and your family essentially growing up in this showroom has something to do with it.
Doug Green: Our business is all about family. When Pat and I opened the store, I was just 22. Now, my son Jeff is general manager. Our daughter Erica, who was one year old when we opened, is head designer. Our other daughter has her own business. But yes, this is like a second home to us.
3W: What prompted you to open a retail furniture store at such a tender age?
Doug: Pat and I married very young, at 19. I was going to Pierce College in Woodland Hills at night and working days at a furniture factory. I became head production manager for a plant here, then corporate production manager for a plant here and one in Kentucky.
I was running both plants and realized I felt smarter than my boss – not a good thing in the corporate world. So, I thought I’d better start my own business.
By then I’d learned about furniture from the inside out. I was also in a production association and knew all the other production managers in the best U.S. furniture factories. I was able to get lines of credit and bring in product right away. I loved to sell to people, talk to people, so it just took off.
Today, we’re one of the largest furniture stores around and the largest high-end furniture store in the Santa Clarita Valley. We’re also the oldest furniture retailer in the SCV.
3W: Who’s your competition?
Doug: I don’t know that we even have any. We’ve always marched to the beat of our own drum and done it our way, whatever it is.
The two most important things to us are customer service and quality products.
We’re here for 43 years because we take care of our clients. We’re a full-service store, providing free design services, delivery and setup. A dozen employees handle our warehousing, shipping-receiving and deliveries.
And everything you buy at Douglas Furniture is real furniture, heirloom-quality. If it looks like an inlay, it IS an inlay. If there’s a leather look, it IS leather.
Lots of sofas may look like ours now, but in 10 years, 10 weeks, they won’t. When you put our furniture in your house, it will look beautiful forever. So in the long run, it’s an investment.
3W: How much of your furniture is American-made?
Doug: We work very hard to have the finest furniture made in the USA. We also want our lines to be full, so we do some world purchasing of quality items. My main job now is purchasing – used to be 10 percent, now it’s 90 percent – so I know at least 75 percent of our furniture is “Made in the USA.”
3W: How much of your business is local, how much outside the SCV?
Doug: About 40-60.
3W: And, why would someone from Beijing buy furniture from an independent retailer half a world away in Newhall? How would they even know about Douglas?
Doug: The internet. And we have strong word-of-mouth among our clients. Quality American furniture is very expensive in Hawaii, Asia and Europe, so it’s often cheaper for people to fly and shop here, and even cheaper to use our website, to purchase from us and have us to ship it back to them.
3W: Back to family – Jeff, your dad tells me your two daughters were out on the showroom floor last weekend doing a little marketing.
Jeff: Yes, Abbie and Ella, who are 8 and 6, was were putting little notes on the items, trying to entice customers to buy the items. One said, “Ooh, this is pretty! Buy me!”
3W: Looks like the third generation’s already moving in. It must feel good to know your family business is in such good hands.
Doug: Yes, I’m very happy with what we’ve done over the years. We’re all proud to live here in the SCV, too, and can hold our heads up high when we’re out in the community.
Free Delivery • Financing Available • Designer Services
23661 Newhall Avenue
Newhall, CA 91321
Since 1975 • Open 7 Days A Week