New business offers unique shopping experience

Thursday, May 27, 2010
Furniture and more Democrat Photo Towneley Furnishings, which is owned by Chuck and Pat Pilant, of Cassville, offers upscale used furniture and home decor items. The business is located at 613 Main St. in Cassville.

Towneley Furnishings, located at 613 Main St. in Cassville, will offer the local community more than upscale used furniture and home decor. The business, which is owned by Chuck and Pat Pilant, will provide store visitors with a unique shopping experience.

"The business offers consigned furniture, and we will bring in some new items once in a while," said Chuck. "We will have a lot of new home decor items. We will also offer greeting cards for 25 cents while supplies last. We will be adding little things all the time.

"We plan to have specialty food products for taste testing," said Chuck. "We will offer new types of food, such as sauce to make meatballs in or barbecue sauce. I think we will be starting with some different types of dips. We will keep it interesting. We want people to say, 'I wonder what they are doing this week.'"

Although the idea for Towneley Furnishings began as a project to fill Chuck's free time, the idea has flourished into a quest to offer something new and unique in downtown Cassville.

"I have been wanting something to do," said Chuck. "When we moved back, we built (daughter) Michelle's house and our house. Since then, we have been thinking about what kind of business we could put in Cassville that fills a need and people will use.

"If you are looking for furniture and don't want to buy new, it is hard to find quality items," said Chuck. "In Oregon we went to a store like this shop all the time. It was a fun outing, because the store was always changing. We thought, 'Why not do that here?'"

As the business idea for Towneley Furnishings developed, the Pilants knew they wanted to locate the business in downtown Cassville. When the building at the corner of Main and Seventh Street became available, it seemed like the perfect space for the business.

"We wanted to be on the square," said Chuck. "We would like to see the square come back and become a retail area again. When I was a kid, the square was always active. On the weekends, it was packed."

After selecting the location for the business, the Pilants and their daughters, Angela Pilant and Michelle Bredeson, went to work on renovating the space.

"There was paneling on the walls that we tore off," said Chuck. "Under the paneling there were 11 coats of wallpaper, which we stripped."

As the family worked to remove the wallpaper, they found that they could use the wallpaper to create a textured look on the walls. They applied paint to the remaining wallpaper and left areas that has been stripped to the brick exposed to give the shop a unique look and atmosphere.

"I spent a week sanding this floor," said Chuck. "They had placed tile on the floor at one time, which left a lot of glue residue. Then, they had removed the tile and placed carpet on the floor, which left more glue. All of that had to be sanded away."

In addition to sanding the floors, the Pilants placed new carpeting in a loft area at the back of the store and in the storage area of the shop. The showroom features the newly sanded hardwood floors.

With the business nearly ready to open to the public, the family began brainstorming names for their new store.

"When we were trying to figure out what to call the business, we went through all kinds of names," said Chuck. "Then, I think it was Angie, came up with Towneley."

The business is named after Towneley Hall, which is located in Burnley, England, where Pat was born and raised.

"Towneley Hall is a huge manor in the middle of the town," said Chuck. "The kids remember going there when they were young and running around the manor. It is an unbelievably beautiful place."

In the future, Chuck hopes to place a photo of Towneley Hall on one of the store walls to showcase the business' namesake.

All community members are invited to visit Towneley Furnishings to view the business' wide variety of home decor and furniture. The store offers everything from rugs and wall hangings to dining room sets, couches and book shelves.

Towneley Furnishings will celebrate its grand opening on Friday, May 28. Hotdogs, chips and drinks will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shoppers will also have the opportunity to sign up for door prize drawings.

Individuals interested in consigning a piece of furniture or other items with the business should e-mail a photo of the item and a suggested sale price to Chuck at

Towneley Furnishings is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The business is closed Sunday and Monday.