When you enter Rackley Furniture, you are at first greeted by a sea of sofas and rows of plush recliners. The atmosphere is welcoming with a faint sent of new leather and wood polish. As you walk further into the store, it is easy to imagine a new leather sectional fitting perfectly in your recently remodeled living room. And it can be assured that you will be greeted with a friendly, “Hi, how can I help you?” from Tracey Rackley.
Tracey was fifteen when her parents, Carl and Pearl Rackley, purchased a furniture business from the Lemley family in 1978. Almost 40 years later, Rackley Furniture in Atkins has become a household name across the River Valley.
A family-owned business since its inception, Tracey runs the Atkins store with her father while her brother, Mike Rackley, manages the Morrilton location.
Managing a furniture store is not a one-task job. In addition to waiting on customers and answering the phone, Tracey can be found helping load the delivery truck, assembling hardware and keeping the displays looking sharp.
“When dad first bought the business, I started just helping around the store with what ever I could do: dust, clean mirrors and the like,” Tracey said.
Tracey said the best part about her job, though, is the friendships that blossom from getting to meet new people.
“I’ll tell them about my granddaughter and they will tell me about their grandkids and we have a really good visit on top of shopping for furniture,” Tracey said. “We’ve maintained those friendships through the years.”
Today, Rackley Furniture offers an array of home furnishings and bedding items. Customers can choose bedding from Serta and choose from multiple brands in upholstery including Best Home Furnishings, Flexsteel, Broyhill, Mayo and Ashley to name a few. The store still offers free delivery with furniture purchases, which Tracey said not many businesses still do.
For some, the idea of working closely with family members could feel like a daunting task. Tracey joked that, “sometimes the building isn’t big enough,” but that working together has made her family closer. “It’s just different when you work together every day and then you get together at Christmas and you’re like ‘I saw you yesterday’ and for most people it’s not that way,” Tracey said.
Tracey attributes the decades long success of Rackley Furniture to the loyal support of Atkins and the surrounding communities. “We have a lot of people that make the drive from Russellville, Dardanelle and Danville just to come shop with us,” Tracey said. “We appreciate the support so much because if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”
Occasionally the steadfast dedication of shopping at Rackley Furniture has spanned generations for some in the River Valley. “We’ve sold to all four generations in some cases; great grandparents, grandparents, parents and the kids,” Tracey said. “And that’s what is so neat about being in a small town and a small community.”
Giving back to the communities that have supported the business since the beginning is high on the priority list for the Rackley family. The business sponsors ball teams in the summer and other community events throughout the year. “This is where I grew up,” Tracey said. “My brother and I played ball when we were younger and we had parents that volunteered to coach. They put in their time and someone sponsored us. It’s important to me for kids to have an opportunity to play sports and learn sportsmanship.”
Rackley Furniture has also been a sponsor for the Quail Unlimited Youth Hunt for the past two years.
“They host a banquet to raise money for the youth hunt and I always buy tickets and donate something to their auction,” Tracey said. “I like to donate so kids who wouldn’t get the chance to shoot skeet or get to go on a hunt get to go.”
Rackley Furniture may seem like it’s only a store, but this family-owned business knows a thing or two when it comes to preserving a strong community connection.
“If you don’t have the support from your customers you’re not going to make it,” Tracey said. “Hopefully we’ve been doing something right. We’ve been here for 39 years.”