What is your hometown, what brought you to The Emerald
Coast and how long have you been here?
I am from Birmingham, Alabama and began vacationing in
Destin in 1987 and fell in love with the area. My wife, Julie,
and I were married in 1988 and I then sold my business there
and we decided to move to The Emerald Coast full time.
What is your profession and give a brief description of what
A few years after moving the area Julie and I decided to open
a furniture and interior design firm called Resort Interiors,
which grew to become the largest firm on The Emerald Coast
with four locations. In 2008 we decided to liquidate Resort
Interiors and sold all of the furniture and in 2012 we opened
Furniture South. We are located in the Commons Shopping
Center and have plans to complete an expansion to 10,000
square feet by the end of the year. We stock and display over
2,000 pieces of furniture in our showroom and discount all
merchandise up to 50%.
What led you to choose this profession?
Julie had a degree in Interior Design from University of Alabama
and I attended Engineering School there so together we
had a background in design and construction. Having worked
together before our marriage, it was an easy transition to more
residential design and furniture.
What do you like best about Destin? What makes it unique?
We were drawn to Destin with it’s quaint friendly atmosphere
and believed it would be a great place to start a business.
We selected Santa Rosa Beach for the Furniture South
location due to its accessibility to Panama City Beach, 30A,
and Destin. The Emerald Coast is booming with the growing
demand from tourists but as the vacationers retire, we are
seeing them move here for primary residence.
What do you like best about what you do?
The mild climate, low cost of live, low crime rate and zero
income tax in Florida is all driving the current boom in our
residential housing market. We work hard and get great enjoyment
from making our customers happy. We also strive to
carry American made merchandise and use the American Flag
in our logo and at the entrance to our showroom.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The importance of teamwork. Furniture South has grown from
just the two of us, to a staff of ten today. We work together and
with teamwork we can make customers exceedingly happy
and that is very satisfying.
What is one of your proudest moments in life?
I am most proud of my community service as a member of
the Walton County Scenic Corridor Board in 2002. It was very
interesting to help set the standards for which has kept Walton
County beautiful. Santa Rosa Beach and all the 30A communities
have banned billboards, have strict signage ordnances
and controls landscaping, construction and other aspects of
growth to keep this area beautiful for the next generation. We
live, work and play here so we do all we can to help local charities
including Haven House, Children in Crisis and Sacred
Heart Hospital, to name of few of the charities we support.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
I’ve checked off three exciting things on my bucket list, 1) Bird
hunting with Coach Bear Bryant, 2) Partnership with THE
Donald Trump, and 3) Moving to Destin.
What is your favorite quote?
”Treat others as you would like to be treated,” and when in
doubt…”The customer is always right!”
What do you do for fun?
In our spare time we enjoy the many amazing local restaurants,
seeing a new movie and taking advantage of the beautiful
Florida weather with various outdoor activities.
What motto do you live by?
“Focus on the solution, not the problem.” At Furniture South
we say, “Expect Something Different,” this is more than a
motto… it’s our way of doing business.
What are a few of your special accomplishments?
We were most flattered when 30A Magazine wrote an article
calling us the King and Queen of Furniture. Also, Resort
Interiors was written up in the Wall Street Journal after it was
selected as one of the Ten fastest growing businesses in the
state of Florida.