Juanita Horst is the proud owner of the family-run George’s Furniture. She initially started getting involved in the furniture making industry while assisting her father with work in the woodshop and helping at craft shows. Later, she strengthened her communication abilities by assisting in customer service and answering phones in the showroom. She also became heavily involved in website design and other computer needs. Juanita has now dedicated 15 years to George’s Furniture and loves every minute!
Her favorite part about working at George’s Furniture is being able to share the quality of their handcrafted solid wood furniture with their customers. She absolutely loves hearing comments like “Wow! That is a long table” or “quality handcrafted furniture is still being made today” or “that’s a strong table.” Seeing the excitement when customers realize that furniture can be constructed out of 100% solid hardwood, signed and dated by one craftsman, made their way is truly a treat. Juanita thoroughly enjoys providing woodshop tours and helping customers with their design ideas to bless their home for many years to come.
The most interesting experience that Juanita has had during her 15 years was being able to transform the George’s website and set up their accounting and customer records digitally. In her free time, she enjoys scrapbooking and reading.
Head into George’s to say hello to Juanita and the rest of the team during your in-depth woodshop tour!
Before becoming the President of George’s Furniture, Chris Horst spent ten years in the automotive engineering industry in the 90s and early 2000s. He has now been working for George’s for 12 years. Chris married George’s daughter, Juanita, in July of 2000 and became part of the family business. In 2006, Chris and Juanita decided to take over the family business causing a change in careers for Chris.
During the first three years, Chris learned the craft itself. He trained directly with a master craftsman and developed a passion for woodworking and the beauty of hardwood furniture. Chris says, “Knowing what goes into each piece gives you an appreciation for the skill and craftsmanship that is needed to design and craft a dream piece of furniture for our customers. Our customers become part of the business and a part of our family.”
Chris loves to see the customers’ reactions when they see their handcrafted furniture for the first time. It makes all the hard work that goes into each individual piece well worth it.
The project Chris enjoyed the most was designing and building a special bookcase for a small apartment which allowed cables to run through the unit, hidden by the woodwork and attached to the apartment wall for stability.
In his free time, Chris teaches a homeschooled Physics class once a week. He also enjoys reading and taking trips in the outdoors—including camping, biking, and hiking.
Former co-owner of George’s Furniture, Ava Lee Martin, has been involved with the company in various ways for 47 years.
It all started by supporting her woodworking artist husband, George. Although she has never manufactured furniture herself, she has truly enjoyed witnessing all of the unique projects coming to fruition. For many years, Ava Lee managed the showroom, answering phones, giving woodshop tours and scheduling furniture deliveries. For Ava Lee, the best part of working for George’s Furniture has been seeing all of the happy customers who come back for more handmade furniture to complete their homes.
Aside from supporting the business in any way possible, in her free time, Ava Lee enjoys flower and vegetable gardening and playing the piano. George’s Furniture is very thankful for her many years of dedicated service.
Craftsman and Finish Technician Jay Wagner has been with George’s Furniture for 19 years. Jay loves the variety of the furniture industry, and the uniqueness which comes from our company. Since we build everything by hand using original designs, no two pieces are alike.
Everyday is a new journey, according to Jay, and he loves the variety of tasks throughout each workday. Each job takes on its own unique personality with varying designs, stains, finishes, and purposes. The most interesting projects that Jay has worked on were wooden foot prints which competitive boat rowers place their feet on when rowing and sculling, and a deluxe Scrabble board as well as a Wobble board.
In his free time, Jay is a basketball and volleyball coach, and he loves playing Scrabble, volleyball, and volunteering at the Youth Center.