Pilants look to fill used furniture niche
Longtime downtown business owners Dianne and Howard Pilant saw an opportunity and an opening when their rental property kept losing its tenants.
“We’ve owned the Downtown Laundromat for 13 years and a few years ago when the owner of a building right next door passed away, we thought it would be a good business venture to buy his place,” Dianne Pilant said. “We rented it out for a few years, saw businesses come and go and finally we thought ‘well, maybe we should just take it over ourselves.”
The Pilants, along with their son Aaron, opened the Downtown Furniture and More Store earlier this month, specializing in high quality, gently used furniture and business has been booming.
“We had rental properties for years and we were always looking for furniture to furnish them,” she said. “So we’ve had the idea of a furniture store for a while now and when we saw the property empty, we thought now would be a great time to make it happen.”
Pilant said while there are some antique stores in the area that sell furniture, there isn’t a dedicated used furniture store.
“We’re not in the business of selling broken or cheap looking furniture,” she said. “We get most of our items from area auctions and we always make sure it looks nice. I think people can sometimes have a stigma when it comes to used items, but honestly, furniture was so much better made than it is now. It’s a lot more likely to last.”
Downtown Furniture and More specializes in couches, chairs, washers, dryers, refrigerators, mattresses and lamps, among other things. And while the building has been around for years, Pilant said many customers don’t recognize it when they walk in.
“It used to be a bar and everything was just black from years of use,” she said. “So right away we scrubbed and scrubbed, repainted it, put new carpet in and redid one of the front windows. It’s bright and airy.
“We’ve only been open about a week or so but so far business has been going well. I think people are really seeing our commitment to downtown and to bring people a quality, low-price product.”
The Downtown Furniture and More Store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, at 208 E. Main St. For more information, call 826-5987.
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