Custom Futons Owner
As Printed in “The Golden View” May 2014
After 8 years in business Custom Futons owner, Andy Parker, has decided to convert his shop into an online store. Opened by Parker in June of 2006, Custom Futons sits on the corner of JFK and Asbury and houses some of the highest quality futons Dubuque has to offer. He decided to open his store after working at a futon shop in Iowa City while attending The University of Iowa. “I knew I wanted to open a brick and mortar and I’m grateful for the experience” said Parker. “Leaving our storefront will be hard in some ways, but I know it’s time for our business to make a change.”
Andy Parker, Custom Futons Owner – Dubuque, IA 2006
In 2011 Parker noticed he was being regularly contacted by out-of-state customers in search of custom sized mattresses for antique beds, window seats, RV’s, etc. “Some of the requests I get are kind of fun,” he said. “It really goes to show you that people think of using futon mattresses in all sorts of ways.”
While reducing overhead was a large objective in Parker’s decision to close his doors, he notes that this transition is about more than saving on costs. He says that by moving to an online model, Custom Futons can cater to Dubuque customers and, at the same time, maintain relevance in a world of commerce that is continually being reshaped by the internet. “We are adapting,” said Parker. “If running a storefront has taught me anything, it’s simply how important it is to adapt to change if you want your business to grow.” Liquidation of inventory has already begun and Parker says he believes they will depart from their physical storefront sometime this May. He will, of course, still be available online at www.customfutons.com.
From the Archives
As Printed in the “Telegraph Herald” June, 2008
Recently married, Andy Parker and Jenny (Sewell) Parker both grew up in Dubuque and graduated from the University of Iowa. Together they own and operate Custom Futons, a retail store specializing in futon furniture located on the corner of JFK and Asbury. “I worked throughout college at a futon shop in Iowa City and after Jenny and I were engaged we decided to open Custom Futons,” said Parker. “We both grew up in Dubuque and felt there was an opportunity to open a specialty store here.”
Custom Futons Owner: Andy & Jenny Parker
Due to recent product improvements more people are using futons to furnish their homes. According to Parker, that is why their store targets middle-aged individuals as well as college students looking for alternative furniture. “Its quality furniture that can convert from a couch to a bed,” he said. “People don’t always realize just how comfortable and practical these pieces really are.” Mattresses are made on-site and come with a product warrantee.
When asked about how much someone could expect to spend on a futon Parker said, “We really try to offer something at every price point.” He noted the importance of having more affordable units for college students but also stressed that many of the items they carry are of a higher quality than what you might find in a college dorm room. “That’s why college students aren’t the only people buying futons, he said, the product looks and feels so much better than it used to so it’s become a logical choice for home owners who are furnishing guest rooms and other living spaces.”
The Parkers just celebrated Custom Futon’s two year anniversary and extended their gratitude to all of the customers that have been supporting their business. “We are very fortunate,” said Parker. “We’re lucky that people in Dubuque understand the importance of supporting small businesses. These first couple years have been a real blessing in that regard.”
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