If you're at all familiar with the world of interior design here in Salt Lake City, then we feel confident that you’ve at least heard of Forsey’s Furniture. The keystone fixture of “furniture row” on Highland Drive, Forsey’s is a locally-owned and -run family furniture business. Having been in the industry for close to 65 years (!), these guys were preaching the good word of good design long before many of us were even a twinkle in our parent’s eyes. Whether you seek the mid-century stylings of Milo Baughman or are a collector of the more traditional Stickley furniture, the gang over at Foresey's has you covered (get it?). These guys have built and maintained the relationships with some distributors over a half a century, and their reach is expansive. They're peddling American-made furniture that's built to last. These are investment pieces that can be passed down through generations, just as the company itself has been. To get a touch more insight on just how you make it stick for nearly 70 years, we sat down with Jack Forsey and his father, Bob, the current, 3rd-generation owners of Forsey’s, for a little Q & A.
Forsey's Furniture | 2955 S Highland Drive, SLC | 801.463.0777
How did Forsey's come to be? We know it's a family owned business, but let's talk roots. How did it start? The business was started in 1951 by my grandfather, Jack Forsey, and his brother, Harry. Their father had worked in the furniture business as a book keeper for much of his career at Standard Furniture, and as a result, Jack and Harry had started working in furniture delivery at a young age. They had exposure to the furniture industry. After WWII, my grandfather flew and worked as a professional pilot. When he grew weary of travel, he and his brother--who was selling appliances at the time--sat down with their father and began to brainstorm how they could start their own furniture company. They had two defining ideas that really made the business plan a good one: 1) Because of their exposure to higher-end product at Standard, they decided to specialize in that same level of quality furniture, and 2) They decided to target a growing southern area of the valley to open up shop, and chose a location that had some distance from the downtown area. In doing so, they essentially started furniture row on Highland Drive.
Forsey's has some serious longevity...to what do you credit this? Well, I’d say there are a few factors. Most important is our reputation and commitment to carry quality product. For decades, the name Forsey's has been synonymous with quality. I think when Utahans get to a point in their lives where they want to create that perfect space and make that personal investment, our reputation brings them back here to us. Another factor is our service. My grandfather had a saying at the close of a sale: “Service doesn’t end with the sale.” People still bring that up when they come in and tell us about how their parents and grandparents have furnished their homes with our furniture...and now they're doing the same thing for themselves. We're also local and family owned, which for a lot of people--including myself--is very important. And finally, I think we've always had a keen eye for design. People know that they can come to us not simply for a single piece of furniture, but also to get advice on designing spaces for nearly anyone.
Where does the majority of your business come from? Our primary customer base is made up of individuals that have an appreciation for quality and design. We specialize in not only quality design, but also niche markets. As a Stickley dealer, we cater to a small but dedicated client base that have been fervent collectors of this particular style for over a century.We also do a huge amount of business with the local design community. Local designers and builders know that if they have clients who want quality furniture--be it contemporary, mid-mod, mission, traditional, outdoor, or transitional--they can find it at Forsey's. Most importantly, our customers have to be willing to make an investment in their home and in quality. We don’t sell $400 bedroom sets made from paper. We sell real wood products, built by craftsmen and designed by some of the biggest names in the industry. We are reasonably priced and strive to give our customers the best bang for their buck...but we'll always maintain our quality and design standards. Our furniture is more than a chair or a dresser...they are works of art and extensions of our customer's personalities.
How do you perceive design in Salt Lake City (relating to interiors and furniture)? Where is it now? What has it evolved from? Where is it going? We see design in Salt Lake City quickly evolving and heading toward a more contemporary, mid-century modern look. For many years, Salt Lake City focused primarily on very traditional styles of design, but as our community has become younger and more diverse, we have seen an exciting change to sleeker design styles. One thing we love about Salt Lake is the unique mix of niche markets when it comes to design. While there is an abundance of mid-mod and contemporary design out there, we also have one of the largest concentrations of craftsman-style bungalow homes in the United States. Mission and arts-and-crafts style design is also a continuing trend we see as our state's dedicated Stickley dealer. We don’t see that going away anytime soon, either.
Do you have an ideal customer? Really, anyone who has a passion for quality furniture and design!