by Kelsey Gerhardt Staff Writer
Many times children dream of being a doctor or firefighter when they grow up. Rarely do children dream about owning their own furniture store.
Dream Furniture has moved from being just a dream to reality for owners Larry and Pam Mize.
Dream Furniture had been a longtime hope of Mize.
He had worked in many finance occupations throughout the Middlesboro area, but wanted to follow his childhood dream.
“Why was that his dream? I don’t know. It’s the furthest thing that it would’ve been for me, but he did it and that’s how it got its name,” said Heather Burkhart, Mize’s daughter and vice president of the Middlesboro location.
In 1994, he opened the first Dream Furniture store in Harlan. As a result of that store’s successes, Mize decided to expand by opening the second location in Middlesboro in 2006.
To better benefit the people of the area, the two stores have very different items in stock due to the needs of the different communities.
The family has overcome many hurdles over their nearly 20 years in business, including a thorough remodel, flooding and economic hardship.
The Middlesboro location was built into the former mall, but before they could open the store’s doors they had to tear down many of the mall’s interior walls from a former restaurant, bank and clothing store to create furniture galleries.
Dream Furniture was able to provide for people during the Middlesboro flood by ensuring plenty of mattresses were stocked for purchase as the community was rebuilding.
The most traumatic event to affect the store was the announcement of mine closures.
“That’s huge. It’s definitely changed the way we do business. People still need things, but they can’t pay for it up front so we’ve tried to be accommodating to that,” said Burkhart.
Dream Furniture continues to keep its doors open due to their Christian family values and word of mouth from satisfied customers.
They are located in Middlesboro at 465 N. 12 Street and are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Their Harlan location is on U.S. 421 south.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-248-1010 ext. 204, email@example.com.
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