Hometown Furniture Celebrates 10 Years
A decade ago, Dennis and Elaine Neigel were at an exciting, but uncertain point. Starting a business of their own was something the couple had always thought about doing. When Elaine noticed several furniture delivery trucks coming into town every day, it sparked an idea.
“I felt people shouldn’t have to drive three hours and pay expensive delivery fees, so we decided a furniture store would be a good fit for our community,” says Elaine.
At the start of their entrepreneurial journey Dennis and Elaine enrolled in Four Bands Community Fund’s CREATE (Cheyenne River Entrepreneurial Assistance Training and Education) class and developed a business plan. After graduating from the class, they obtained a loan to purchase the building and initial inventory needed to launch Hometown Furniture. Dennis ended a 19-year career to work full-time on the showroom floor, and Elaine would provide office and bookkeeping support for the business while continuing her regular job. The Neigel’s four sons help with the business by unloading trucks and going out on deliveries.
While Hometown Furniture has expanded their product lines over the years, Ashley furniture remains their biggest seller. Elaine says that being a small business located in a small, rural town is a challenge in the furniture business. Some furniture dealers require large minimum orders, and others won’t even do business with retailers on an Indian reservation.
“It is a very cut-throat industry, but we do our best to keep looking for new options for our customers,” says Elaine. Over the years, they’ve added home décor, switched up appliances, and started offering TVs.
Elaine says that Hometown Furniture continuously strives to be competitive. Unlike many furniture stores, they will sell items right off the showroom floor so people don’t have to wait several weeks to get their items. And, they offer free local delivery.
“It’s hard to believe, but we really are competitive in our pricing. A lot of people are surprised that they can get the same things right here as they can in Pierre or Rapid,” says Elaine.
Elaine and Dennis say they owe the success of their business to the loyal support from all of their customers and family.
“If you take one or the other out of the question, we just would not have a business,” says Elaine.