ADDRESS: 233 SW 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR 97330
PHONE NUMBER: 541-753-4851 / 800-782-4851
OWNERS: Eric and Judy Blackledge
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 112 (Fourth generation family-owned business since 1901)
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 17
WHAT THEY SELL: Home furnishings and beds
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: For quality home furnishings that will retain their value. Blackledge Furniture employees enjoy helping customers select the very best items to meet their needs.
For more than a century, the Blackledge family has been providing high quality home furnishings to residents of the Mid-Willamette Valley. Located in Downtown Corvallis, Blackledge Furniture offers a wide selection, with an emphasis on home fashion and design. Both long-time and first-time customers attest to the outstanding service and exceptional products. One grateful customer described her experience at Blackledge Furniture this way: “Thank you for being a furniture store that truly stands behind each and every product you sell – as well as having knowledgeable and attentive staff who don’t pressure you into buying something that you’re looking at.
Judy, when and why did you and Eric start your business? The store was founded by my husband’s great grandfather, Oliver J. Blackledge. He came to Oregon from Iowa in the 1890’s. Originally, Oliver sold furniture, bedding, rugs, paints, musical instruments, and even undertaking services—which was common for furniture stores at that time. Eric and I have been running the store for over forty years. We moved the store to its present location in 1970. Blackledge is the area’s oldest and largest home furnishings center.
Tell us more about your services. With 35,000 square feet of sales area, our store offers us the opportunity to emphasize home fashion and design with an expanded selection of high value and higher quality products. You always get our guaranteed low prices and other exclusive benefits.
What are your specialties? We feel custom ordering is our current specialty. The wood furniture made right here in Adair Village is a big seller. We also offer custom-made furniture. A personal favorite is our extensive line of power furniture, zero gravity beds and chairs with angel options. I think it’s the wave of the future.
What does being featured as the Local Business of the Week mean to you? Pride in being part of this community is huge. This community has a good heart.
Does your business fill an unusual niche? I have a story to share with you. A while back a very petite, older woman walked into the store with a Stiffel lamp she purchased many, many years ago from Blackledge Furniture. She was polite with her request to find out why it was not working, and we fixed it while she waited. We pride ourselves in offering middle to upper middle furnishings—quality that will last.
Why should people patronize your business? Our store policies are very customer friendly; refund or reselection, you really can’t make a mistake. Seeing repeat customers is important to us. Not only did we do a good job the first time, but they know caring was involved.
What is your relationship to the community? What organizations do you support or participate in? We give back very generously to the community. We recently replaced bedding at the Pastega House that was originally donated by Blackledge Furniture. We work very closely with Benton Furniture Share, as well.
How important is sustainability to your business? We take anything on a delivery to the Benton Furniture Share. We reuse as much as we can. Paper and cardboard are all recycled. Our products are progressively becoming more green. Plus, selling quality furniture means it will last longer.
In addition to company and local sustainability efforts, we were early members of the Sustainable Furniture Council, which supports sustainable wood products and practices throughout the furnishings supply chain. Eric has also been a member of their “Green Leaders” sustainability education program, and he participates in national lobbying for sustainability legislation as an associate member of the American Sustainable Business Council.
Please give us your one-sentence take-away message about your business. Home is where the heart is. It is the center of who we are, and it’s nice to be in an industry that supports that core value.
(Interview and article by Debra Hascall – August 4, 2013)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).