June 14, 2018

Unusual Furniture Store The Find Moving to Larger Space in East Memphis

The Commercial Appeal

By Tom Bailey

An unusual local furniture store has succeeded in doing what its growing base of in-the-know customers love doing: Hunt and capture.

The Find — Designer Home Outlet needed more space than its 5,000 square feet on the Highland Strip. The five-year-old family-owned business launched a search for just the right spot and found 12,400 square feet at Boyle’s Regalia retail center on the Poplar Corridor in East Memphis.

The move from 531 S. Highland to 6150 Poplar will happen by this fall.

That’s similar to the kind of search-and-find experiences that The Find’s customers enjoy.

The business owned and operated by Chris and Neala Hester has access to weekly shipments of furniture that manufacturers have closed out, overstocked or judged to have minor imperfections.

“We get one or two pieces of a particular style, but we get it at a significant discount,” Chris Hester said, adding that he’s got some exclusive agreements with some manufacturers.

“So it’s only that one piece that we would have,” he said. “Most of it is not something you will find at another furniture store in Memphis but you might. Even if you do, it’s going to be significantly less (here).”

The Hesters consider themselves highly selective on what mid- to high-end brands they sell. They also are choosy in selecting specific items of a brand. The result is a showroom of pieces that “are not something you typically see in the Memphis area,” Hester said.

One reason why: Every day The Find’s social media manager posts photos or videos of a handful of new items that the store received.

First come, first served.

“We often get told there is the thrill of the hunt,” Hester said. “And we will oftentimes have a few people competing over one piece within the store.”

Not every customer is alerted by social media. The Find draws a strong word-of-mouth business as well, Hester said.

The store will fill a space in Regalia shopping center that has been empty for about 15 years.

A building permit that became public about a week ago shows the renovation of the Regalia space will cost more than $300,000.

 “We couldn’t have found a more perfect user,” said Jonathan Aur of Boyle Investment Co., the Regalia landlord.

The existing stores in the retail center offer clothes, boutiques and restaurants.

“Furniture is one of those things that people can still — while they do buy online — go sit on and check out,” Aur said. “From all angles it’s fantastic. I think it will drive people to the center.”

The way retail has evolved, the kind of “experiential shopping” offered by The Find is increasingly important, Aur said.

The Regalia space The Find will occupy has been vacant so long in part because its configuration is so unusual. The front is tucked into a corner behind a patio. Also, the store space is unusually deep and angled.

The last tenants there were a toy store and salon.

“We’re lucky to literally find the perfect tenant for that space,” Aur said.

The Hesters don’t mind at all that their spot at Regalia is deep in a corner not easily seen from Poplar.

“In fact, we like the location,” Chris Hester said. “Not only the shopping center location but we like the location in the center, being tucked away. Because we’ve always been a destination spot here on the Highland Strip…

“… That goes with our name: Being a find.”