This Family Owns the First Ever Black-Owned Furniture Brokerageby Greater Diversity News August 6, 2018 0 comments
Houston, TX — Texas Wholesale Furniture Co., based in Houston, Texas, is owned and operated by Prairie View A&M Alum, husband and wife team, Brandon and Naima Townsend. Their company works with 200 manufacturers nationwide, and specializes in wholesaling high-end residential and office furniture.
Unlike traditional retail furniture stores, Texas Wholesale Furniture Co. allows the general public to buy furniture factory direct at wholesale prices. On the business front, this power couple is changing the way furniture is bought, using social media to create jobs and business opportunities nationwide. The company projects bringing on 500 brokers and sales representatives throughout the U.S. by 2020.
Texas Wholesale Furniture Co. was founded by two newlyweds, Brandon and Naima Townsend, upon graduating from Prairie View A&M University and purchasing their first home. The couple was in search of high-end designer furniture at factory direct prices.
After shopping around, the couple quickly realized the advertisements and promises of up to 70% off at Houston retail furniture stores did not match what was actually available in their showrooms. “The ads and TV commercials were often a tease to get customers into the store and upsell,” Brandon says.
Remaining diligent in their search, they contacted family friend Jermon Malone who knew a few furniture manufacturers and as a result they were able to furnish their home at 70% off retail.
Naima remembers purchasing a custom living room set factory direct for $1,800. A week later, she saw the same exact set at a major Houston area furniture store for $3,699 plus tax! That was the moment it all came together. The couple immediately began to help friends and family save their hard earned coins by taking them directly to the manufacturer.
“In the beginning it was another stream of income, and we would use the extra earnings to invest or take a vacation. It was really about helping our friends and family save. We didn’t have a website or anything. If you knew about it and asked, we would help you. We’re not pushy sales people,” Naima says.
At this time, the couple also realized they were able to create jobs for delivery and sales people they knew. Creating jobs for people changed the dynamic as they were able to play the “Black Wall Street” game by empowering and partnering with other businesses in the Black community.
Turning a side business into an empire
Over the years, however, Texas Wholesale Furniture Co., which was just a side business at the time, began to grow and so did the careers of the two young entrepreneurs. Naima was working towards becoming an athletic director equipped with her Masters in Education Administration. Brandon was an engineer/ data analyst at Lockheed Martin and NASA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering climbing the corporate ladder.
With a newborn son, a 45-minute commute to work, and the side business growing, the couple soon decided that time was more precious than what the corporate world had to offer. So, in Brandon’s words they “prayed about it and let God order their steps.” Naima transitioned out of her teaching position, and began to run the business full time. Brandon remained working as an engineer, but focused on sales and marketing. As word spread, people from all over Texas began to call and thats when it became apparent to the couple they needed to work with more manufacturers in order to meet the needs of their newly established client base.
They were working out of their office near the Houston Galleria at the time, and they considered opening a regular retail furniture store. However, they saw that no store carried all of the inventory they needed so they began to develop personal relationships with manufacturers who were open to new sales strategies. Once 20 manufacturers were on board, their furniture brokerage came to life.
Today, Brandon and Naima contract and employ several other minority-owned businesses and incorporate them into their projects. Now their web site, www.TexasWholesaleFurniture.com, is a force to be reckoned with creating jobs nationwide via social media and using their platform to create business opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
Follow them on Instagram at @texaswholesalefurnitureco or call 832-590-0697 to learn more about this exciting Black-owned furniture brokerage, the first of its kind!