godby home furnishings
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Godby Home Furnishings Celebrates a Half-Century of Service

Jim Godby was born on December 10, 1941, and grew up in a farming family in Sheridan, Indiana. He spent his youth in 4-H, FFA, and athletics. He feels these activities taught him commitment, self-confidence, leadership and determination.

“If you compete to the best of your ability, you can be successful at whatever life throws you,” says Jim.

These valuable tools would be the foundation later used to serve his country and start a successful business.

Jim studied agriculture at Purdue University. He graduated with distinction while completing the ROTC program. He then served his country in Vietnam.

Coming home from the service, Jim began a career in agriculture until a friend in the furniture business offered him a job, which he accepted. After about three years he thought that it was time to try it himself. He moved the family back to his hometown of Sheridan in 1974, and a family member co-signed a $5,000 loan so he could start his new venture.

godby home furnishingsOn September 1, 1974, Jim opened a 600-square-foot showroom in Sheridan. He displayed four sofas, a few recliners, a bedroom suite and a mattress set. When something sold, he went to a wholesale furniture warehouse in Indianapolis and bought its replacement. He accepted help from friends and family whenever he could. It’s not uncommon for customers to tell the staff how they purchased their first piece of furniture at the Sheridan location.

Jim was content with the status of the company when his son, Jeff, approached him about joining the business several years later. Jeff saw the potential to grow the company to multiple locations. Jim wrote a letter trying to dissuade him, but in the end they agreed to give it a try.

Jeff began working with his father in 1992. In that time they succeeded in their goal of adding stores and increasing visibility through more advertising. A few years later they learned the expansion project on U.S. Highway 31 was going to take over their Westfield store, so they purchased land on U.S. Highway 37 at 146th Street. In 2005 the store was built to serve the growing areas of Fishers and Noblesville, and house the Godby corporate headquarters. The location has far exceeded their expectations, and serves customers from Hamilton County and beyond.

godby home furnishingsJeff is now the second-generation owner of Godby Home Furnishings. Jim has retired, although he’s still very much a part of the business. “My dad’s not wired to sit around,” says Jeff. “He’s officially retired, but he still does what he calls the fun stuff, like mowing the yard at the warehouse and trimming the bushes. He’s also still a mentor to everyone because his work ethic is unmatched. He doesn’t know anything besides working, which garners a lot of respect from our employees.”

The team at Godby Home Furnishings takes great care in providing a comfortable work environment and recognizing individual talents. “It’s amazing when I go down the roster and see how long many of our staff have been with us,” says Jeff.

“We employ around 100 people, most of whom have been there for a decade or more,” says Jeff. The current staff has over 800 years of combined service to the company.  They enjoy great benefits including a 401(k) program and a yearly Christmas party, with bonuses based on years served with the company, and describe their co-workers as a big family.

godby home furnishingsMany of their veteran sales staff members have been a part of the team for so long that they are now selling to their original customers’ grandchildren. Brian Cox, for instance, is a Sheridan resident who has worked at Godby Home Furnishings for more than four decades, having started right out of high school.

“He’s still one of our lead salespeople at the Carmel location,” says Jeff. “He has generations of people who come in and ask for him.”

Godby Home Furnishings employs around 100 people, the vast majority of whom have been there for a decade or more. The current staff has over 800 years of combined service to the company. They enjoy benefits including an unrivaled 401(k) program and a yearly Christmas party, with bonuses based on years served with the company. Most of them describe co-workers as a big family.

Several of the current sales staff at the Fishers location, including Donna Rhodes, have been selling furniture there since the doors opened in 2005, and many have passed the 10-year mark for their years of service. Still others have worked their way up the corporate ranks. Matt Johnson started at the Noblesville store 14 years ago and has proven such dedication, and he is now director of store operations. “We love to promote from within whenever possible,” says Jeff. “Those people already know our system and share our goals, which makes for a greater experience for our customers.”

Their loyal customers come back, time and again, not just for the superior service, but also because of the high-quality product.

“That’s in our company motto: ‘Quality furnishings at affordable prices,’” says Jeff, noting that their starting price points are incredibly attractive. Plus, they treat all customers the same and never play games when it comes to cost. They are not about negotiating deals with customers. Everyone who walks in gets their best sale price.

The motto has been the foundation since opening in 1974. Fifty years later, Godby has locations in Avon, Noblesville/Fishers, Carmel, and a clearance store in downtown Noblesville. They’ve become one of the largest furniture companies in the Midwest.

The stores are constantly refreshed with new product. Their aim is to help their customers create their dream home at any budget. From the furniture to the accessories, down to area rugs, they take pride in providing everything needed. All of their sales associates have extensive mattress training because a great night’s sleep is the key to the comfort and well-being of their clientele.

godby home furnishingsHaving their own 75,000-square-foot distribution center in Westfield allows them to stock most everything you see on their sales floor. You can have your new furniture delivered in a matter of days by their own team of drivers, or pick it up yourself on the same day.

Godby Home Furnishings is involved in philanthropic efforts to help the community, especially for causes that are important to their employees, such as Little League, church outreaches, or charities that employees are passionate about. They also are big sponsors for local programs like the Sheridan Youth Assistance Program.

“We had success in those early days because lots of friends and relatives came to that first store in Sheridan to make the whole thing happen,” says Jeff. “They wanted to see a local kid in the community make good.”

And that he did, in so many ways. Happy 50th anniversary, Godby Home Furnishings!

Godby Home Furnishings is open seven days a week, and is located at 14550 Mundy Drive in Noblesville. For more information, call 317-214-4321 or visit godbyhomefurnishings.com.

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