Jeff and Jennifer Tinius, both 34 years old, have been happily married for almost eight years, and they have both been business owners for the same amount of time. Eight years ago, Jeff opened Cabinets Unlimited on Salem Drive, and Jennifer began Embellish, a boutique originally housed in the Old Towne Center on 18th Street.
Jeff and his business partner, Stanley Greer, knew that at the end of their five-year lease, they wanted to purchase a building to house the business. Meanwhile, Jennifer’s boutique had been short on space for a couple of years.
About that time, Risley’s at 2920 Frederica Street closed, leaving the building for rent. After a few weeks of conversations, Jeff was able to convince owner, Mark Risley, to sell the building to him and his partner. Since the building was already somewhat divided, Jeff realized the opportunity allowed Jennifer to move the boutique to a larger space as well — a win-win, he said.
With Cabinets Unlimited housed in the left side of the building and Embellish on the right, both businesses are prominently displayed in a newly-remodeled building right on Owensboro’s main street.
Jeff and Stanley did most of the remodel of the former Risley’s building themselves with the help of local designer, Brian Bumm. Jennifer took care of the design of her own store, and Jeff provided the labor at night and on weekends.
Jennifer’s goal for her boutique is to offer unique pieces of clothing for all age groups that help them feel beautiful and confident, she said. Her bachelor’s degree in textile, apparel and merchandising, love of fashion and previous experience working at the former Elizabeth’s Wedding and Formals offered her the inspiration and knowledge to open a successful boutique.
Jennifer describes Embellish as “eclectic, with a little bit for everyone of all age groups and personal taste.” She and her three employees try to get to know each shopper on a more personal level and she wants customers to feel at home in her store.
“I want them to feel like they are shopping with friends,” Jennifer explained.
Right next door, Cabinets Unlimited offers a very different type of shopping experience. Specializing in both pre-manufactured and custom-built cabinets, the business can offer cabinetry for just about any purpose. In addition to kitchen and bathroom storage, they also design, build and install cabinets in laundry rooms, closets, entertainment or built-in units, just about “any specialty project a customer may have,” Jeff said.
“When I was young, I always played out in the garage with my dad. I had my hands on something at all times,” Jeff said.
During his college, years, Jeff was employed at a property management company. After graduation, he began purchasing houses and remodeling them for resale. All this experience led him to work in cabinetry.
Cabinets Unlimited currently employs five full-time and one part-time staff member. Jeff said that the biggest responsibility he feels as a business owner is to provide for his employees and their families.
“When I hire someone at my company, I don’t think it’s as simple as just giving them a job,” Jeff said. “I must ensure that they always have work to do. If there isn’t any work, then eventually they won’t have a job. As I depend on them to come in everyday and do their job, they depend on me to be able to provide for their family.”
One would assume that sharing a space means the couple would be able to see each other often, but that is not the case. Even though only a door separates the two businesses, they may only see each other for a short time when they are able to eat lunch together.
“It’s nice to have each other right next door in case we need help with something,” Jeff said. “You know you always have someone you can just go grab in the moment. On the flip side, if I ever get in trouble at home, well, now I’m at trouble at work, too.”
While the couple stays so busy during the day that they may not have time to walk through the door to see each other, there are many benefits to being so close during the day. Jennifer is able to bring their two daughters, Miller, age 4, and Lillian, 16 months, to work with her and plans on continuing this trend when their third baby girl arrives in March.