Nelson’s Furniture Company has grown a lot since it was located in a little store on Main Street in Centralia. Since they relocated to a much larger building on Gold Street, they have been able to expand their offerings. Don’t worry though, for those who remember when the business was Nelson’s Just Wood, you’ll be pleased to know that they still carry a fine line of unfinished wood furniture.
“We carry a variety of furniture, mostly in the middle-priced sector. We still have the wood, and we have a few particle-board products. Many people don’t want particle board, but for some, those pieces are simply more affordable,” explains owner,Tom Nelson. The wood for the furniture comes from within Washington State as well as Canada, with the unfinished pieces coming from back east. “We can finish furniture to almost any color the customer wants,” says Tom. “That’s what really sets us apart from other furniture stores.”
Son, Nick, enjoys the hands-on part of finishing and repairing wood furniture. He learned some techniques from others who were employed in the family business, and is also self-taught. But his favorite part of the business is the same as his dad’s – the interaction he has with people. “I love making deliveries and talking to the customers,” he smiles.
An additional bonus for Nick is that his best friend since first grade, Jesse Kincaid, works at Nelson’s Furniture as well. Jesse loves working on custom furniture. “I have the freedom to do what I want with custom jobs,” he says. His most unusual project was a big desk with stone marble inserts for a gentleman who used to work for a masonry company. Jesse feels the same about working with Nick as Nick feels about working with him – “I get to work with my best friend. What more could you ask for,” he says with a smile.
Nick will be taking over Nelson’s Furniture in the not-too-distant future, and is very excited about the idea. Tom is already contemplating what he’ll do for fun when the times comes to turn the business over to his son. “I like to camp by the river and hike,” he says with that faraway look that says he’s already picturing it in his mind.
In the meantime, however, Nelson’s wanted to expand to offer a bigger selection to customers. So they now carry a very large variety of upholstered furniture. Couches, love seats, and recliners of all shapes, sizes, and colors, entice you to sit, get comfortable, and picture yourself relaxing on that piece in your own home. Tom says that every furniture store carries upholstered furniture, but even with the competition, it still sells well for them.
Nelson’s doesn’t have a catalog to order from. “It’s hard to order upholstered furniture out of a catalog. You really need to sit in it,” advises Tom. Each piece can be stuffed a little differently so it’s important to feel how comfortable it is for you and how it fits your body. However, Tom says, “There is such a variety available that I could fill the entire store and still not have everything someone wants,” he laughs. But he loves seeing new products come out, and deciding which items to carry. Nelson’s also has lamps, and will be expanding to include more lamps and will bring in some rugs. “There’s always something else to add,” he smiles.
One surprise that has happened since expanding their offerings is that several customers have decided to buy pieces for their whole house since it’s all available right there at Nelson’s. “I was shocked the first time a couple pulled up in their pickup and said, ‘We’re here to buy everything for our house,’ and they did!” says Tom.
Tom says, “Nelson Furniture Company continues to be a unique one-of-a-kind furniture store. A family operation offering a full line of upholstered furniture in addition to dining, bedroom and bar stools. We don’t offer as much unfinished furniture as we have in the past, but it continues to be a vital part of our business. We are one of the very few stores that still offers custom finishing on our unfinished pieces. Namely bunk bed, twin, full, queen and king beds, and chests of drawers, dressers, nightstands, and book cases. The vast majority of our bedroom and all our bookcases contain no particle board.”
Another very important aspect that sets Nelson’s apart from other furniture stores is that no one is paid on commission. “You will find a very no-pressure shopping experience,” says Tom. When customers walk in, they are greeted and welcomed. But if they say they don’t want any help right now, they are left to walk through the aisles of furniture, sitting on the chairs and couches, admiring the beautiful lamps, or opening and closing dresser drawers. Tom keeps a close eye on them, watching for signs that they would now like to ask some questions about a particular piece or pieces. Then he will happily answer all their questions and arrange for purchase and delivery.
Nelson’s Furniture Company
1601 S. Gold Street
Centralia, WA 98531