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All about excitement at Godby Hearth & Home

INDIANAPOLIS -- Founded in 1989, Godby Hearth & Home has found success reaching out to others, working along with builders in the Indianapolis area and striving to create partnerships with designers.

 Founded in 1989, Godby Hearth & Home has found success reaching out to others, working along with builders in the Indianapolis area and striving to create partnerships with designers.

 Godby's showroom is a work in progress. The retailer will expand its space with an outdoor patio and also plans on opening three or four stores in the future.

"If you want design-driven business, you want to have designers be a part of it," said store manager Ron Randall.

Godby's is on the fast-track toward change. Hearth products are the majority of its business. Working with builders associations, the company installs hearth products and shower doors, but the retail portion of the company is evenly split between the category and casual furniture sales.

"(Casual furniture) is a fun category," Randall said. "It's easy to get excited about and easy to get customers excited about."

Since Randall joined Godby's Hearth & Home in January, he has been hard at work reading the industry's trade publications, researching the market and reworking the showroom floor. All of his hard work is paying off — Godby's had a very good year, with patio sales up 25%.

The store is gorgeous. Vignettes are carefully organized, and accessories are more than just an afterthought. In addition to lines from Artisan House, CBK and Gardner, Randall recently bought accessories from Vintage Verandah, WeatherPrint by Open Air Designs and rugs from Anji Mountain Bamboo Co.

"Our customers like to have nice things in their house," he said. "Accessories keep them coming back after a patio purchase."

To compete with mass merchants in the area, furniture at Godby's falls in the mid-end price point range. Furniture from Tropitone, Telescope and PolyWood and umbrellas from Galtech are a mainstay. Other vendors include hearth products from Monessen, Empire, Golden Blount and Napoleon plus fire pits by Tri-Pro and grills by Broilmaster, Big Green Egg, Beefeater, KitchenAid and Lynx.

A 30×60 open patio to be constructed in the spring will expand the showroom to 18,000 square feet. Plans also are underway to shift Godby's from a single store operation to a multistore, with plans to open up to four more stores.

All of these plans are in place to enable Godby Hearth & Home to form a partnership with the American Society of Interior Designers. "I want to get the showroom to a certain level and 'wow' them," Randall said.

At Godby's, large dining sets, bistro sets and bar tables are most popular, and Randall said he'll turn his attention to the condo market, carrying furniture for homeowners with smaller outdoor living spaces.

During the winter season, furniture stays on the showroom floor, but focus shifts to fireplaces and hearth products.

"The bottom line is, everyone wants something unique," he said.

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