Childhood Inspiration Turned Passionate Entrepreneurship: Building Commercial Office Environments


As children, we often find inspiration in our parents’ pursuits and passions. For me, that inspiration came from witnessing my father’s entrepreneurial spirit and my mother’s creative endeavors. Their influence planted the seed of ambition in me, driving me to create a business where I could find fulfillment and success. 

A Father’s Dream, A Mother’s Artistry

Growing up in Indianapolis, my father worked in the heavy construction business. However, he yearned for more and saw an opportunity to bulldoze work for farmers in southern Indiana. Alongside my uncle, he started his own business, turning his passion into a successful venture. Witnessing his journey taught me the invaluable lesson that being your own boss and achieving financial prosperity was possible through hard work and determination.

But my father wasn’t the only entrepreneurial influence in my life. My mother, initially a homemaker, demonstrated her artistic flair by transforming a small antique museum into a thriving antique store. With her keen eye for potential, she would find neglected pieces of furniture, and restore them into magnificent works of art. Seeing both my parents genuinely enjoying what they did ignited a desire within me to seek a career that I would love and transform into a successful business.

From Real Estate to Chairs

Life has a way of bringing unexpected opportunities our way. Through my involvement in the real estate business, I had the chance to meet influential people and make valuable connections. In addition to my contacts in real estate, my good friend from college was in the design industry and inspired me to interview for a job selling chairs. The experience was delightful, as I interacted with numerous people, rolled chairs around town, and had moments of childlike fun. Some of my fondest memories involve sitting on chairs and gliding down parking garage ramps, accompanied by a friend who willingly joined in the adventure.

One such friend, a client I had furnished a car dealership for, offered me a position at his retail furniture store. Although tempting, I knew deep down that I craved something more. I wanted to be a leader and shape my own path. With this realization, I approached him with a different proposition—starting an office furniture dealership.

Building a Vision, Seizing an Opportunity

To my surprise and delight, my client agreed to embark on this new venture with me. Together, we forged ahead, drawing up legal agreements, consulting with professionals, and devising a business plan. Soon enough, we secured a space, signed a lease, and with a chosen name, our entrepreneurial journey began. In the early days, our office space lacked even basic amenities like carpet and furniture. However, through a stroke of luck, a customer offered us their unused furniture for temporary use, allowing us to showcase those offerings until we could order the ideal pieces for our showroom.

Navigating Manufacturer Transitions

In the early stages of my business, I aligned myself with a manufacturer named Shaw Walker. They recognized my potential and provided me with the opportunity to represent their products. Just as I was about to open my doors, my representative informed me of their departure to another company. Although disheartened, I pressed forward,  determined to make the most of my new venture. As time passed, Shaw Walker underwent a change in ownership, causing me to lose the manufacturer’s support. However, an opportunity presented itself when my friend from the industry, now with Haworth, reached out to me. We discussed the possibilities, and despite initial hesitations due to another dealer’s presence in the market, Haworth eventually extended their partnership to me. Since then, I have proudly been a Haworth dealer for three decades and I couldn’t be happier.