The year was 1944. A vision and plan had set into motion what many did not know would be the beginning of a thriving, sustainable business in downtown Russellville.
F.C. Peters and W.A. Baldwin had just opened a new furniture, hardware and appliance store in the heart of Russellville, Peters-Baldwin Company. It was not until the mid-1950’s that Peters bought out Baldwin, leading to the name later changing to F.C. Peters & Sons. Upon F.C.’s retirement in the early 1970s, his sons, Flave and Bill bought the store and ran it together as a furniture and appliance store, Peters Family Living, until Flave’s retirement in 2001.
Currently, Bill Peters is the proud owner of the still very family oriented, Peters Family Living.
“My father was an excellent businessperson,” recalled Peters.
“I grew up in this business. When I was in my early teens, I was down here sweeping floors, cleaning appliances, things like that. I worked on the delivery truck, and evolved as a person who was really interested in the business and I understood the business,” said Peters.
Bill credits much of the business’ success to his father instilling the philosophy of treating customers right and earning repeat business. “Both of those are essential in a small business. My father always said if you want customers to come back you have to treat them right,” said Peters.
Many businesses may operate with similar ideology, but through the years, Peters has changed his philosophy from “if you want customers to come back, treat them right,” to “treat the customer right because it’s the right thing to do.”
It is obvious from the minute you are greeted by the smiling faces beyond the front door that there is defined culture and mission pumping the heart of this local business. After further investigation, you will find that this culture and mission is simple: Peters Family Living is family owned and operated and, from your first step into the store, you are part of the family.
Although Peters’ focus is more on maintaining the described atmosphere rather than finding the next sale, he finds the preservation of this kind of environment — in a world that has lost the meaning of customer service — is what allows his business to thrive.
“We have in-house financing. When times are hard and people have a hard time getting credit, they can come here and we will find a way to help them. We trust people, we do not do credit checks. We have a customer base that is loyal to us because we are loyal to them,” said Peters.
Peters believes we are in a time where people do not trust government, big corporations and organizations, and stresses that everyone pays the same price at Peters Family Living. “To me, the sign outside this building is symbol of trust between our customers and us,” said Peters.
“The Lord has been good to me; everything is a result of my blessing. I feel an obligation to pass that on to our customers and take care of them like I should,” added Peters.
As a business owner in downtown Russellville, Peters is excited to see the area “on the move,” and “thriving more than ever. “As far as our location goes, I would not want to be anywhere else. Downtown is picking up with the restaurants coming in. It is a great place to be, and it is only going to get better and better as foot traffic increases,” said Peters.
“I love being in a Russellville because this size area allows us to develop a warm and fuzzy relationship with customers. If we were in a bigger city, we would not be able to operate the way we do,” said Peters.
Located at 201 N Arkansas Ave., Peters Family Living is ready and equipped to satisfy all of your furniture and appliance needs. For more information, stop by their store and meet the family, or reach them at 479-968-2929.