BECKLEY, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – Jennifer Bowling, owner and creator of Perfectly Planned, grew up in the furniture store business and always knew she wanted to own her own independent chain. Now, that dream is becoming a reality.
Bowling’s father owned a furniture store for nearly two decades, leaving her and her siblings to roam the aisles at a young age. Throughout her youth, she worked in furniture stores across the country, gaining knowledge and developing an eye for design along the way- two elements that are necessary to successfully restore a piece of furniture.
At 24, Bowling began professionally organizing people’s homes and businesses through Perfectly Planned; designed, built and decorated her own home; and was named in West Virginia State Journal’s Generation Next: 40 Under 40 for her work. For the last 12 years, she has worked in the design scene along the east coast.
“I was dead broke. I didn’t have anything going for me. I figured if I worked hard enough, I’d be able to do something. I worked and worked and worked and worked, and then I built a company,” Bowling said. “I have always loved old furniture- quality furniture that makes a difference.”
“My version of a fun day off would be going to furniture stores and looking around,” she laughed.
Bowling’s passion for furniture and design has led her to create Consign and Design Furniture Studio, a subsidiary of Perfectly Planned located at 580 Ragland Road in Beckley.
Through Consign and Design Furniture Studio, Bowling will consign unwanted furniture and resell it at an affordable price, provide design consultations to home and business owners, and restore outdated furniture in the businesses’ in-house paint studio.
“I believe everyone should have beautiful furniture and at affordable prices,” Bowling explained, adding that her consignment business will help everyone involved.
“Some people don’t want their furniture anymore, so they can consign it and make some money and buy new furniture. It helps people who don’t want their furniture and the people who need new furniture but don’t necessarily have the means to pay high-end prices. Right now, with the market, it’s 20 weeks out in delivery at some furniture stores.
“My passion is definitely in the design and restoration system. Bring me a chair that’s, let’s say, not so pretty, and I can take it right back there with a drill, some paint and some fabric, and it will be a whole new chair and someone will love it.”
Despite her love for restoration and design, Bowling isn’t just opening her new business for the furniture. She wants to use her studio as a way to pay homage to West Virginia and its people.
She is accomplishing this by starting her journey in Beckley.
“It’s a labor of love. There’s no better place in this world than southern West Virginia. I wanted to start here. This is tough for most people to understand, but I am very proud of being from West Virginia, and I’m very proud of southern West Virginia,” she said. “I have been very fortunate to come from very humble beginnings where you couldn’t buy groceries…I have built a successful company. I have traveled all over the world, but I will always be a southern West Virginian at heart. While I might spend time at other places, this is where my heart belongs, and I want to bless this community with affordable fashions that are reasonably priced.”
Having moved a majority of the store’s furniture alone, Bowling commented on the work ethic of the people of Appalachia.
“I think the people that live in these communities- the people that work hard carrying brick, that fact that I carry shingles and carried this loveseat in here by myself- we are good people. We sometimes get a bad rap, and there’s no reason for that, so I wanted to shine a bright light.”
Another way Bowling hopes to highlight West Virginian values is by offering a diverse and inclusive place to work. Bowling shared that she is currently hoping to hire six employees to work in the storefront as associates and supervisors, in the warehouse moving furniture, or as delivery drivers.
“I want to create a wonderfully, harmonious work environment. Beckley needs diversity and inclusion. It needs opportunity, so I am going to try to employ as many people as I can. That’s a passion for me.”
While she doesn’t believe in giving handouts, Bowling does believe in hand-ups, hiring those in the community who are looking to do right and are in need of a second chance.
Bowling will look to hire more as she expands her chain. She is currently eyeing a second Consign and Design Furniture Studio location to grow her business. She plans to have six locations in three years and grow to 24 locations in multiple states in the next two decades.
“I know this will be a success,” she said. “I couldn’t be more excited. This is going to be fantastic, and I’m excited about offering this opportunity.”
With a grand opening only weeks away, Bowling said she appreciates the support of the local community, as well as her family and friends.
“I’m very proud. My father has passed away, and I know that he would be so excited to see me open my own furniture store. My siblings and my mother are so proud of that, and I am very proud of that.”
Consign and Design Furniture Studio will celebrate its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on September 4, 2021. Bowling says there will be food and refreshments, as well as live music from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
During the event, customers can expect to shop through $150,000 in merchandise.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on opening weekend. Normal hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Bowling is currently looking to purchase old and new furniture items. Those interested in selling furniture are encouraged to send pictures to email@example.com or reach out on Facebook.
Those seeking employment can reach out through Facebook here or contact Bowling at 304-673-1050.