When Country Living magazine and Universal Furniture approached HFA member Ralph Holley of Holley’s Home Furnishings, about taking part in the magazine’s promotion to furnish a house on nearby Lake Martin in Alabama, Holley didn’t hesitate.
“We thought it was a great way to help a cause and give us some added exposure to a community we already do a lot of business with,” said Holley. “It was really an easy decision to make.”
Holley was right. In the end, Country Living magazine’s Lakehouse of the Year on Lake Martin raised more than $10,000 for Children’s Harbor, an organization that serves seriously ill children and their families, and helped Holley’s Home Furnishings strengthen its ties with the resort community.
Here’s how the arrangement worked: Earlier this year Universal Furniture agreed to furnish the Lake Martin house for Country Living and Holley agreed to purchase the furnishings at a steep discount as well as supply the furniture and accessories in their Alexander City and Montgomery stores.
From June 26 through July 9 nearly 1,000 visitors toured the show house, which pointed out that the furnishings were available Holley’s.
“It’s been great to have a house close by where consumers could visit and see our furnishings in use,” said Holley. “Inspirational settings help them kick start new projects in their own homes.”
Holley said he has no specific data to indicate the arrangement helped boost sales. But on a recent Wednesday afternoon he said the day “was incredibly successful. A lot more sales than we usually have on a Wednesday. I’m convinced a lot of that has to do with the lake house.”
Lake Martin is an exclusive resort community near Alexander City with homes that reach up to $2 million. “We already have a lot of connections with people there,” he said. “This only makes us more visible to those people. I grew up on that lake so it’s always nice for me to help people furnish their homes on the lake.”
Located on Lake Martin in central Alabama, the 2,897-square-foot house featured furnishings from Universal’s Curated and Authenticity collections in the living, dining and game room.
“Ralph and his team have been supportive of this project at every level,” said Universal Furniture Director of Marketing Neil MacKenzie. “And we’re fortunate to have a retail partner so close to Lake Martin.”