Meet the Runyon's

Meet the Runyon's

Meet the Runyons

The Runyon family talks about finding success in the furniture business, turning their high-end home store into a full-service custom design center, and the constants that keep them grounded as their company continues to grow.

Who are the Runyons?

Andy and Bo Runyon met when Bo came to Texas to spend the summer with her older brother. During her visit, Bo’s brother introduced her to his friend Andy, a real estate entrepreneur. She quickly decided to extend her stay, and she never left.

Three decades and four kids later, Andy and Bo are partners in life and in business as the owners and founders of Runyon’s Fine Furniture.

Their business partnership was forged in 1994 when the couple bought a warehouse building in Haltom City, Texas, as a real estate investment. After seeing the space, a friend in the furniture business suggested it would make a great showroom.

“I’d intended to sell the building after hanging onto it for a few months,” says Andy. “But we decided to give the furniture business a shot. Here we are almost thirty years later, and we’re still doing it.”

Bo works with the artisans and customers, curating the store’s collection and overseeing the custom design projects, while Andy handles the business side of things and all of the grunt work behind-the-scenes.

“They’re pretty opposite, but they complement each other very well,” says their daughter Sadie, who joined the family business full-time after graduating college.

Sadie now helps manage the storefront and handle the day-to-day operations. “I really enjoy spending time with my family,” she says. “Getting to work with mom and dad every day, it’s awesome. Not a lot of people get to do that.”

While she hopes to one day be a designer like her mom, Sadie admires her dad’s role in the business just as much. “Dad taught mom what it takes to be an entrepreneur. He’s always had that mindset and always wanted to be his own boss. They’re an amazing couple.”

When did Runyon’s find their niche?

After years of selling mattresses, bookcases and other home essentials, Bo got tired of selling the same things that you find in every furniture store. She wanted to build a collection all her own. Something unique. Something special.

“When we opened the second location, I was determined not to be like all the other stores,” she says. “So I started designing, and I started working with local artisans. Over the last 30 years, I’ve been able to make some amazing connections with artisans and manufacturers who’ve helped me create pieces you won’t see anywhere else.”

Western is the Runyon’s specialty.

“I love what Western stands for,” says Bo. “It’s a lifestyle.”

The leathers and textures get Bo particularly excited as a designer. “With Western, there’s so many things you can do. We love working with Tibetan sheep, and it’s amazing what you can do with different hides and leathers.”

When customers walk into the Runyon’s showroom, it’s as if they been transported to Yellowstone. “It’s Yellowstone with a little more romance and elegance to it,” Bo says.

Every display is thoughtfully designed with mixtures of top grain and exotic leathers, hair-on-cowhides, shed antlers, iron hardware, reclaimed teak, driftwood, and natural pine — all hand-dyed, hand-tooled, hand-carved, hand-painted and hand-finished.

“We started to get really good feedback, and the business has grown from there,” says Bo. “Our return customer clientele is just fabulous.”

“I had a couple come in and buy one of the pieces from my Jason Scott collection. They were an older couple, and they had two daughters. Their girls loved it so much that one the daughters claimed it. She said, ‘If anything happens to you, I get that.’ So they came back in, and they told me that they had to buy a second piece, so that if anything happens to them, both of their daughters will inherit a piece of furniture that they actually want,” Bo recalls with a laugh.

Bo Runyun

How has the business evolved since?

Today Runyon’s Fine Furniture is a one-stop custom shop with everything you need to put together your perfect home. From dining room and living room sets, accessories to one of a kind unique pieces —Runyon’s has it all. And if they don’t, they’ll find it or make it for you.

In fact, custom projects are what they do best.

They will hunt down the perfect focal piece for your mantle to bring your great room together; they’ll transform the old saddles you found in your grandfather’s barn into barstools; they’ll turn your cowhides into upholstery so that you can proudly display your ranch brand on your office chair or accent poufs. They even do custom bedding and window treatments.

“We help our customers create their look, so they don’t have what everybody else has,” Bo says. “We help you bring the ranch, the farm into your home, so that it’s a reflection of you and your lifestyle.

“We have hundreds of leathers and fabrics, so it really comes down to what the customers like. We’re here to guide them and give them options. When you buy a piece of furniture, especially here at our store, it’s an investment. We go above and beyond. So the customer has to love it.”

“When we’re designing an entire interior, we start with the furniture, then move on to the wall décor and the lighting. We help put it all together and hold their hands through the process,” says Bo. “We know it can be stressful. For example, a husband and wife may come in and he wants masculine browns and she wants color and bling. It’s our job to find a compromise so that they’re both happy with the end result. When we leave a home, the customers have to be happy and the home has to be complete.”

“One of the things my wife and her designers do is they make it fun for our clients, instead of it being something difficult,” says Andy. “They really take their time, spend a lot of time with them, and we have a lot of really satisfied customers.”

What keeps their customers coming back?

It’s Western, Old World and Elegant Ranch designs unified by a strong sense of exquisiteness. The handcrafted details that make each piece unique. It’s the long list of local artists represented. The books-on-books of fabric swatches and endless customization options.

But above all else, what truly sets Runyon’s apart is not the one-of-a-kind furniture; it’s the one-of-a-kind experience.

Walking into the store, you’re greeted like an old friend (most likely by Bo, Sadie, or Karen who spend most of their time on the showroom floor).

They’re attentive but not pushy. They’re there to answer your questions, as well as ask them, to help you find (or create) exactly what you’re looking for. And if you aren’t quite sure what that is, they’ll help you figure it out. They want to get to know you. They want to hear about your family, your lifestyle and what, for you, makes a house feel like home.

“We make everybody that walks in the store feel welcomed,” says Bo. “We give them 100 percent of our attention, and we listen. They become part of the family, they really do.”

Why do the Runyons find their work so rewarding?

For Bo, it’s getting to do what she loves every day — designing beautiful spaces and growing the Runyon’s family.

“My passion is reflected in everything I do here,” she says. “I like the whole process. I like getting to know my customers and going to their homes so I can look at their décor. It’s fun. They pick out their fabrics, we put it all together, and they get excited. And that makes me really excited.”

“I know her passion is here, for the store, for what she does,” Sadie says. “It takes lots of long hours, and she’s puts so much time into it. It’s been pretty incredible watching her be a mom of four and start her own business. It’s very inspiring to a lot of people, including me. Now that I’m in the business, I am even more aware of all the hard work she puts into it, and I think it’s apparent when you walk in. All of this is because of my mom.”

Getting to follow in her parents’ footsteps and work with them every day is what Sadie loves most about Runyon’s. “It’s not just a job,” she says, “because it is our family business, it holds a special place in my heart. I get great satisfaction from it, and I love coming to work every day.”

She even transferred schools while in college to be closer to home and help out more at the store. “As I was getting older and thinking about my career, I became more interested in the business and wanted to give more time to it. Being able to work with mom and dad every day, it’s amazing. I feel very blessed to be where I am and to have the parents that I have.”

Where’s the company headed next?

“It’s got so much more to give,” says Bo. “We’ve started concentrating on our marketing and website more, and this year we partnered with The Cowboy Channel [television network]. It’s been an amazing experience, and I’m looking forward to what we can do with them and show them in the future.”

Last year, Andy reached out to The Cowboy Channel on a whim, sending an email about his interest in collaborating. To his pleasant surprise, he quickly heard back from the network’s owner, Patrick Gottsch, who invited the family to visit the studio in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Runyon’s is now the official furniture partner of The Cowboy Channel and has not only redesigned its permanent studio sets but also created the sets for the network’s various stages at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. They’ve even furnished the new Cowboy Channel Western Sports Bar that opened down last year in Fort Worth, and the whole Runyon's family was featured in a thirty-minute special on Rural America Live (watch video below).

“I really want to spend more time on projects like The Cowboy Channel and not be here at the store as much,” says Bo, “to be developing and creating the concepts for the next NFR, focusing on what we can do with the stages there.”

For her to do that, Sadie is taking on a larger role in running the store. “I want to be here all the time because there’s always something to get done,” she says. “I see how my mom is always pulled in so many directions… she and my dad, they built this business, and they worked so hard to get here. I want to take away from their stress so they can enjoy it.”

She’s also being groomed to join the design team. “I know some people are born with that design eye. For me, I’ve had to learn what hides and leathers go well together, things like that,” Sadie says. “I’m still learning, and one thing I want to start doing is designing with mom. I think it would be really cool for us to create a unique look and design together as mom and daughter.

“I believe I have what it takes to carry it on, and that’s what I want to do, to keep the family business a legacy and a family business.”

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