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Wednesday, February 19, 2020/Categories: Customer Stories

Everyone needs furniture. Whether it’s a beanbag chair and a cardboard-box table, or a high-end sofa and imported side chairs, furniture has become a necessity even at a very basic level. When a family has over a hundred years of experience in this industry, clear indicators of knowledge and dedication combined with market demand allow for an entrepreneurial edge recognized by a bank that appreciates economic value and strategic partnerships.

Trove has just that type of strategic partnership with Heartland Bank, and the three owners are very quick to emphasize that they appreciate the relationship and understand the significance within their operating structure. Cindy Barker, Lauren Lemoine and Breane Walter, owners of Trove Warehouse in Central Ohio, believe that their financial stability and continued success can be attributed in part to the comfort level associated with every aspect of their banking portfolio.

 When the idea of owning their own furniture business became a reality nearly 10 years ago, the mother and two daughters had no idea that they would expand into a second location, much less into a very sophisticated, chic Central Ohio neighborhood. New Albany was their choice for their second home, and unlike how they started Trove – slowly, with much of their own funding – this second opening would require a much different approach. This location would need to be a sister store to the first Trove location in Upper Arlington, from day one. It would have its own personality, but when visitors walk through the door, they would need to feel the Trove vibe right away. There was no luxury of time for this store – no time to acquire and contemplate. The trio would need to stock, transform, and arrange vignettes before opening. This was totally opposite of the way they opened their UA location, and it would be a challenge to everyone and to their resources.

At this point, it’s imperative to take a step back and review the Trove style. This consists of the “living furniture store” format - the ladies assemble spaces where small, intimate furniture vignettes are ever-changing to encourage shoppers to visit often for inspiration and motivation. The traditional stores displaying furniture pieces lined in aisles offer very little creativity, and these three are driven to offer something at the other end of the spectrum.

As their UA location became known for maximizing every inch available to highlight and accentuate their unique pieces through the living furniture style, the sister location in NA would also need this feel, right-off-the-bat. The ladies were banking on Heartland to help them make this happen, and at least this challenge came with some experienced guidance - their Commercial Relationship Manager, Kelly Law. He was their partner and a financial resource that assisted with meeting customer expectations. “Calling Kelly on Saturday was like calling my dad to get advice. He was there answering my questions and giving that piece of advice when we needed it, on a Saturday…that was awesome. You can’t do that with other banks. And not that Kelly wants us doing that every Saturday,” laughed Lauren and Breane at the thought of interrupting their banker every weekend.

“It was really important to put the horse in front of the cart. With Heartland Bank, we were able to be organized and have people in place that needed to be in place, because opening in UA was different than opening in NA. Opening in NA, we had to have what we have here,” added Cindy.

“Opening in UA, we only had furniture, then we grew into accessories, art, rugs and lighting with a different goal in mind each year. At NA, everything had to be set. That was definitely a different beast for us, not to mention customer expectations that were set for another Trove location,” shared Breane.

With the support of amazing families and an established community bank, Trove found success at both locations throughout 2019. They are thankful that Heartland found value in their three different, yet determined, personalities, understood their genuine business outlook and shared the same essential core values – promote local, support local and thrive local!