By Cathy Wharton
For Hometown News
Entrepreneur Mike Fine knows the furniture business well -- he's been in it most of his life.
When he was 12 years old, he started buying furniture -- used, of course, but reselling for a profit. He also learned the business from his father and mother, who owned a furniture store. Now in his mid-40s, the Florida native picked up where his parents left off.
In 2000, Mr. Fine opened a store specializing in quality pre-owned furniture and it's been going strong ever since. The store, Madelyn's Furniture, on Nova Road in South Daytona, carries a large selection of household furnishings suitable for almost any taste or fashion. Over the years, the operation became so successful Mr. Fine decided to expand. In December 2012, he opened a second store on Ridgewood Avenue in Port Orange and similar in size to the one in South Daytona.
Among the many items Madelyn's Furniture has on the floor and ready to go are sofas, end tables, lamps, recliners, dining room sets, curio cabinets, barstools and accent pieces. There also are mirrors, wall hangings and other decorative pieces -- "everything for the home," Mr. Fine said.
When it comes to bedding, Madelyn's has an ample selection of brand new quality mattresses and box springs, plus a number of nearly new, pre-owned sets.
Mr. Fine is particular about the type and condition of the inventory he carries. About 70 to 80 percent of the furnishings are acquired through individuals who are looking to sell their pre-owned, "gently used" items. Also, a significant number of items, including rattan, come from manufacturer closeouts, primarily out of Orlando or Miami. Other sources include model homes, builders' homes and real estate companies that showcase their properties.
Though the vast majority of items at Madelyn's are "like new" before they leave the store, Mr. Fine made it clear "we stand behind what we sell." If any customer is not satisfied with his or her purchase, "we'll swap it out, if necessary. We want to make you happy, one way or the other," he said. Mr. Fine also said he and his staff, including store managers Tom Presley in South Daytona and Tony Reuter in Port Orange, are "low pressure," which allows customers to browse at their leisure and look for just the right item.
A good portion of Madelyn's business comes from past and/or repeat customers, or from those who have made referrals to area newcomers, many of whom may have relocated to a manufactured home community. While most customers are looking for that special item to enhance their home décor, others have need for a complete roomful or houseful of items. Whether a new home owner, apartment renter, condo dweller or someone who has just purchased a second or seasonal home, buyers generally are seeking high quality, inexpensive furnishings. Whatever the customer is looking for, Madelyn's Furniture is ready to serve. Also, since the inventory at both stores changes fairly regularly, the business makes an effort in finding unique items, especially when it comes to a customer's specific need.
Another aspect of the business is Madelyn's offers "new furniture services." Essentially the service provides special pricing on new furniture. Thus, for those who prefer something new, rather than pre-owned, the store is able to accommodate those needs as well. The service also allows the customer a broader selection of items to choose from. In order to use the service, however, the buyer must be specific about the item. Catalogs, for instance, give ample descriptions of the pieces they feature, also the part and model number of each piece.
Once the required information is provided, Madelyn's can likely order the exact piece the customer wants. To make buying even easier, the store also provides delivery and set-up.
Named for his daughter, Madelyn, the furniture business that Mike Fine established more than 12 years ago is here to stay. "We plan to be here forever," Mr. Fine said. "Customer confidence is our number one priority. We wouldn't sell you anything that we wouldn't have ourselves."
Madelyn Furniture's South Daytona store is at 2800 S. Nova Road; (386) 788-6998. Madelyn's Port Orange store is at 4090 S. Ridgewood Ave.; (386) 756-0700. Hours for both are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday - Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. Website is madelynsfurniture.com.