HOME IMPROVEMENT: Labor of love: Stevens liked This Old Couch so much, she bought it
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2021
RUSSELL, Ky. — Jenny Stevens loves furniture.
She and her husband, Jason, own the furniture consignment shop, This Old Couch, in downtown Russell, Kentucky.
“This Old Couch has been open since 2005. In May of 2017, we purchased it from the Fletchers,” explained Stevens.
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She had been a frequent shopper at the store and had entertained the idea to open her own shop since she liked the business so much.
“I shopped her all the time and I had been interested in the consignment business,” she said. She contemplated opening up a store in the old Dottie’s Pies store, since her brother owns the building, but it was a bit small. “I went and looked at it, but I don’t know if it is even 1,000 square feet. When you’re talking furniture, that isn’t much room.”
She was in This Old Couch one day and she and Lisa Fletcher were talking.
“She told me she didn’t know how much longer she could do this. She had some health issues herself and her mother-in-law was having some issues too,” Stevens said. “So, I came back to pick a check up after I had sold something. I asked her if she ever thought about selling and she said ‘We would love to sell.’ And that’s how it started.”
While she wanted to buy the business, she wasn’t sure what her husband would say about it.
“I really thought he would say no,” Stevens said. “I went home and told him ‘Lisa Fletcher told me she didn’t know how much longer she could do it.’ And he said ‘Did you ask her if she wanted to sell it?’ It shocked me when he said it. I said no and he said ‘Why don’t you ask?’”
They started in December 2016 and it took until May 2017 to get everything transferred over.
The building was originally built in the 1950s to be a grocery store and then it became a restaurant in the 1990s when the Fletchers bought it before they turned it into This Old Couch.
She said consignment is a tough business sometimes. Jason has two other jobs and is still her main help for picking up and delivering furniture.
“All of that makes it tougher, but as far as loving it, I find this to be a ministry,” she said. “The Lord led me here. I asked him to close the door if he didn’t want me to do it — he opened the door. And I am very much a people person, so I like all my customers.”
She said one of her customers comes over and they will sit and visit for hours.
“I love that part of it,” Stevens said.
As for what her customers are looking for, it is older furniture made from wood, while antiques don’t sell as well as they used to.
“I like to get sofas in, because they are so hard to find right now,” she said. “Stuff from the 20s is very popular.”
Technology is a big part of her business, with people sending pictures of items Stevens may be interested in. They also deal with families who are having estate sales and getting rid of items. But they still go to people’s houses to check out what might make a good addition to the store.
This Old Couch is open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. It is located at 342 Bellefonte Road, Russell, Kentucky. Their phone number is 606-836-0800.