King Business Interiors started in 1998 in the home office of Dave and Darla King. I should know; I lived in that home. My father was not employed at the time; he was a stay-at-home Dad to my sister Chelsea and me. My mother was the sole breadwinner as an outstanding office furniture saleswoman. She had grown the furniture division of the business and was looking for more. With more sales, they would need to hire more Designers, more Project Managers, and more Sales Assistants. Her employer had other ideas for the office furniture division, and they did not include giving my mom the power to build her vision of what an office furniture company could be in Columbus, OH.
The part that comes next was the scary part. We were a middle-class family with enough income to be comfortable. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much upfront investment it would take to start an office furniture empire. You can start a business out of your home, but you can’t fit too many people in your living room to work for you! The initial investment completely drained my parents’ life savings. They quite literally pushed the chips into the middle of the table and bet on themselves to build this company into a well-oiled machine.
Dave and Darla King were not your typical business-minded people who saw a “can’t-miss” opportunity to strike it rich. Darla King had a vision, a mindset, and a proven sales record. That was their business plan. They also had two children to take care of and when they started to hire employees with children, my mom came up with a rule that we still follow today: “Never Miss A Ballgame.” That expression rang true for my Dad especially because he coached almost every team my sister and I played on. They knew how stressful it can be to balance work and life schedules. Not every kid’s extracurricular activity is scheduled around the 8am-5pm work day. They understood work-life balance and culture before they became “a thing.” It wasn’t all about the bottom line for them. Trust me, if it was we wouldn’t be in the office furniture industry (a topic for another day).
Our company is now 25 years old. We have 70 employees. We survived the downturn of 9/11, the Great Recession, and now we see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel.
How? Because we live by our Core Values. What are those you ask?
“We are a dedicated Team, who respect each other, working with a positive attitude to always do the right thing by keeping our customers first,” …and Never Miss A Ballgame.
As we approach our 25th year in business, we reflect on the past. Every success and especially every failure is an opportunity to learn and teach the rest of our King team how we got it right or how we got it wrong. As an office furniture and commercial flooring dealership we find ourselves being pulled into discussions with architects, designers, and contractors, all of whom expect us to be experts in our field. It is our job to be honest, forthcoming, and reliable. We refer to ourselves not only as a vendor but oftentimes a trusted advisor, because how often do most companies buy commercial furniture or commercial carpet? For some people it’s once in a lifetime and all they really need is someone there to help guide them down that path to new office space planning and a refreshed work space.
We do not walk this path alone. Thankfully we have partnerships with some incredible manufacturers and manufacturer reps. Our most important partnership is with Haworth. Their Chairman Matthew Haworth is the third Generation of Haworth family members to lead the company. Haworth is also celebrating a milestone anniversary: 2023 is their 75th year in business. We’re excited to reach 75 years ourselves. In almost 25 years of creating commercial furniture and flooring solutions, we’ve stayed family owned with a strong succession plan to carry that torch from first to second generation King leaders. We are very excited to keep growing our business along with Haworth as we work together to help our clients LOVE WHERE THEY WORK!