• Cinde Ingram

Patios Plus, Sunshine Furniture win Apollo Awards

Apollo1Sunshine Furniture President Gail Williams celebrates winning her store’s first Apollo Award along with staff members, who are attending their first Casual Market.
The International Casual Furnishings Association went coast to coast as it presented its 2012 Apollo Awards to recognize retail excellence in the sales and marketing of outdoor furnishings.

Patios Plus, based in Rancho Mirage, Calif., won the Apollo Award in the multi-store category while Sunshine Furniture, of Vero Beach, Fla., won the Apollo Award in the single store category. All 10 retail finalists were selected because they demonstrate outstanding accomplishments and commitment to customer service.

"I've been waiting for this award for a long time and it is a huge honor," said Sunshine Furniture President Gail Williams as she stood with her staff to celebrate the store's first Apollo Award. Williams
Apollo2Amanda Schultz, her father Jim Schultz and aunt Kristin Schultz Hutchinson after Apollo Award ceremony.
credited her father for helping her purchase an extremely small store 21 years ago. "He taught me if you don't love what you do then you won't do it," she said, noting how the store developed and expanded to its current 35,000-sq.-ft. location.

Williams recognized great manufacturers, customers and her sales staff "that comes in to work even when they don't feel good. The best reward of all is having a son that loves the business as much as I love the business. The cool thing about this industry is that it's multi-generational."

Jim Schultz, who owns Patios Plus with his sister Kristine Schultz Hutchinson, also spoke of family being important within the industry. "I'm proud my daughter Amanda has been working with us for five years," he said. "We just love this industry."

Schultz thanked his employees who he said are "so hard-working in servicing all of our customers." He welcomed all of the manufacturers and retailers who are new to the casual furnishings industry and challenged them to continue to raise the bar of standards higher.