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Golden rule helps local furniture store surpass 68 years in business

June 10, 2019 | 3:30 am

Updated June 9, 2019 | 6:14 pm

Store manager Pat Franey, who has been with Mudd’s Furniture for the past 39 years. | Photo by AP Imagery

Lawrence Mudd could easily be remembered as a man who appreciates a good bargain. Originally a native of Bardstown, he began his career in retail as an auctioneer on the corner of 3rd and Bolivar Streets in downtown Owensboro. Purchasing train cars of “scratch and dent” furniture and household items, Mudd lay the groundwork for a beloved Daviess County business that has withstood the test of time.

Established by Callista and Lawrence Mudd in 1951, Mudd’s Furniture has long since continued to provide Owensboro with quality furniture at affordable prices. Now second generation owned by their son David, the store continues to flourish.

Over the span of the past six decades, Mudd’s Furniture may have changed in both appearance and size, yet the commitment to serve others is still very much a huge part of the family-owned business today. Adhering to the “golden rule,” the Mudd family has remained loyal and dedicated to their customers generation after generation.

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Known for his zeal, his bold faith in Christ, and his hard work ethic, the influence of Lawrence Mudd has left a lasting impression on the business he and his wife so dearly loved. Both are remembered as the “glue” that bonded such a thriving pillar within the Owensboro community.

“Mr. Mudd had a real love for used furniture and antiques in the early days,” store manager Pat Franey said. “He had a knack for purchasing items with minor wear and tear and selling them.”

Franey, who has been with Mudd’s Furniture for the past 39 years fondly remembers the Mudd’s as a couple who made everyone they came into contact with feel like family.

“They were such warm people, they made it a point to invest in their employees and customers,” Franey said.

The showroom at Mudd’s Furniture today is over 25,000 square feet. An additional warehouse measuring over 20,000 square feet is just down the street. Brands like La-Z-Boy, Jamison, and Broyhill are staples as well as many others. Specializing in quality furniture, from the best manufacturers, Mudd’s prides themselves on value and unbeatable prices.

A staff of 14 employees in delivery, warehouse, sales, and management all “help and support” each other, which adds to the overwhelming success of the local business.

“These aren’t just co-workers,” manager Pat Franey said. “This group laughs together, prays together, celebrates together. I truly believe the success of our store is because of the camaraderie of our team.”

As the furniture business has evolved over time, the popularity of HGTV and designers like Joanna Gaines from the brand Magnolia Home have heavily contributed to a whole new demographic of customers. Mudd’s offers in-store planning with an experienced sales team, as well as the option to order home items online.

“I would estimate over half of our business now comes from special orders,” Franey said. “Custom pieces are extremely popular within a whole new generation of customers.”

Regardless of how different the business may appear from its humble beginnings, there’s one thing that Franey is certain of.

“We’re still the very same store. This business was founded on Christian values and principles,” Franey said. “I truly believe that God has blessed us, and will continue to do so because we treat folks with dignity and respect. Customer service is always first with us, if you’re going to do it, do it right.”

Franey describes his job with Mudd’s Furniture as “fulfilling.”

“The most satisfying part of this job is knowing you didn’t just sell something,” Franey said. “There’s a satisfaction in knowing we helped in a dire time of need.”

Reflecting on tragic events, such as when a customer comes in to purchase furniture after a house fire or other emergency, Franey said there is satisfaction in knowing that they helped in a dire time of need and “didn’t just sell something.”

“It’s humbling to have a customer return to thank us for our patience and kindness during a trying time,” Franey said. “That’s what just means the most to us, knowing we helped to the best of our ability. That’s what makes this job worthwhile.”

This July, Mudd’s Furniture will celebrate their 68th year in business. A celebration sale is set to honor the store’s anniversary, and customers are encouraged to register for a chance to win a recliner which will be given away during the festivities.

The Mudd Furniture “family” is open to serve customers needs Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit their website at www.muddsfurniture.com or look for them on social media.

June 10, 2019 | 3:30 am

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