As Newnan’s population continues to boom, reaching new residents is a challenge facing most established small business owners. This third-generation family business uses lessons from its 65-year history to find new ways to serve its customers.
The name Knox is synonymous with fine home furnishings in Coweta County. Just south of the Court Square on Greenville Street, Knox Furniture is a staple for customers looking to fill their homes with furniture and accessories.
It all began with founder Roy Knox, Sr. A WWII Navy Veteran, he epitomized the qualities of The Greatest Generation: honor, duty, work-ethic, and sacrifice. In the Navy, Roy Sr. worked as a Seabee, becoming a master electrician and plumber. When he returned to Newnan after his service, those skills and traits came with him.
In 1955, Roy Sr. founded what is now Knox Company, Inc with his wife, Virginia. Initially it began as Coweta Contractors, but the business adapted to selling appliances and then furniture.
“His focus was to increase footprint to display more merchandise,” said his son Mark, who now runs the family business with the help of his wife, Danette, daughter, Sara Knox Rund and nephew, Paul Deyton.
Along with selling home furnishings, the Knox family helped pass along life lessons and a strong work ethic to the third-generation. And running a family business means making everyone feel like they’re a part of it.
“My grandmother emphasized to treat everyone as family as soon as they walk in the door,” Sara said. “We want to get them excited to be here.”
Taking a stroll through Knox’s 65,000 sq.ft. showroom feels like the perfect combination of the traditional, small town retail experience, while offering a large variety of merchandise inclusive of every stage of life.
Like many small business owners, Sara says the company is working hard on reaching the new residents of Coweta County who may not know about Knox, while still serving the customers who have patronized the store for generations.
“I think everyone deserves to feel inspired in their own home and we want to help,” Sara said. “Shopping has changed, but we still strive to give customers the experience they’re looking for by providing everything from their first home, to their dream home to their retirement home.”
Paul said some of the greatest lessons learned from his Uncle Mark are attention to detail, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
Doing the job properly also requires accountability and accessibility – two important traits Paul prides Knox on possessing.
“Customer service is what sets us apart.”
As family owned company with local ties, the staff at Knox is dedicated and passionate. Terry Andrews has spent most of her career at Knox, working in the office for nearly forty years. Store Manager, Jeff Peek, grew up in a family business, Jack Peek’s Sales in Palmetto.
The talented sales team of Donna Duff, Rebecca “Bunny” Guy, and Miranda Flores are complimented by Carol Albano in the office, and Warehouse Manager Greg McKnight.
The full-service staff also includes a delivery crew. Generations of young men have worked in this role, some joke that it is a rite of passage in Newnan. The current crew includes a future Marine and collegiate golfer.
Everyone at Knox is there to ensure that customers have a hospitable and informative experience, while finding exactly what they’re searching for. And once you find that perfect piece, whether it be a special order or merchandise on the floor, the team will deliver it or help you load it.
“Just bring a truck, back it up and you can take it with you,” Paul said.
Like Roy Knox Sr., his family is always looking forward and never afraid of hard work.
“Work ethic – that’s probably the greatest gift my grandfather gave us,” Paul said. “It’s all hands on deck here. We’re a staple in our community and want to carry that legacy into the future.”