Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Erin Feldmeyer
For 30 years, Rick Wildrick worked as a furniture manufacturing representative, traveling the globe. In 2008, ready to put the mileage behind him, he opened a small mattress store on SR 135 and Main Street, selling mattresses and a few recliners.
“That’s back when the economy was tanking, and I was working as a paralegal,” says Rick’s wife Debbie. “Rick got into helping the soldiers at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh — giving them temporary mattresses or if they were hurt, he’d give them a recliner.”
Long-time veteran supporters, the couple only carried furniture that was made in the USA.
Rick, who had become friends with John Gerdt of Gerdt Furniture, was chatting with John one day when he told him, “John, I wish I had what you have.”
John replied, “You’re smart and you know what you’re doing. The only difference between me and you is that you’re too afraid to take the plunge.”
Rick realized his friend was right.
“So often people lament late in life, ‘I wish I’d done XYZ. But by then, it’s too late,” says Rick, who in 2012 decided to jump in with both feet and open a full-line furniture store on US 31 and Stop 11 in Indianapolis.
Debbie left her paralegal job and joined him. After six years, they got a call from the landlord who owns the center on Smith Valley Road and SR 135, asking if they’d like to move their store to that location.
“They have a salon there and Katie Douglas’ Orangetheory Fitness studio,” Debbie says. “The owner asked if we would consider moving there and being the anchor store.”
Thrilled to be in Center Grove, Today’s Home Furnishings opened two months ago — a 13,500 square-foot store with showroom, complete with the only Flex-Steel gallery on the southside. They also carry Southern Motion, an American-made reclining company made in Pontotoc, Mississippi, England Furniture, a Lazy Boy manufacturer made in Tazewell, Tennessee and Best Chairs made in Ferdinand, Indiana. They also carry a full line of Serta Simmons Beautyrest made in Janesville, Wisconsin. Today’s Home Furnishing’s tagline is: “Where we make quality affordable.”
“We like to see people buy quality furniture ,” Debbie says. “Here the furniture is customized to anything the customer wants. They can choose from all different colors and fabrics — whatever you want.”
They sell a little bit of everything, including dining and living room merchandise, area rugs, lamps, end tables, décor and other accessories.
The couple maintains that the best part about running the business is the people they interact with on a daily basis.
“Every customer becomes a friend,” Rick says. “We have loyal, repeat customers and we take care of them because we have a passion for what we’re doing. We love it or else we wouldn’t be working seven days a week.”
Center Grove residents since 2002, Rick and Debbie appreciate being able to work just down the road from where they live.
“This area has a great feel,” Debbie says. “We love coming to work every day, and we pride ourselves on good customer service. In fact, today was a crazy busy day. From the moment we arrived, it was like a revolving door of people, which is precisely what we’ve been praying for.”
When they’re not working (which is rare), Rick and Debbie love fishing with their four grown children, Blaine, Breanne, Brian and Brooke, on Minnesota’s crystal-clear lakes.
When they’re at work, however, they thrive on the energy and keeping busy doing just what they love.
“The clientele here is wonderful,” Debbie adds. “Yesterday a woman came into the store and said, ‘Wow, this is so nice! We needed a store like this down here.’ It just uplifted our spirits to hear that. We’re happy and feel so blessed to be here.”
Today’s Home Furnishings is located at 1675 Smith Valley Rd, C-1 in Greenwood at the corner of State Road 135 and Smith Valley (in the Smith Valley Shopping Center). For more information, call 317-886-7744.