3600 Walnut Street

Is this not the coolest building you've ever scene? This is the Westminster Church built in 1904, located at 3600 Walnut Street in Kansas City, and the coolest building I have ever scene.

I found it on Loopnet about two years ago when I was searching for a larger warehouse for my furniture business. I about did a backflip when I saw it.

This is it!
This is Unruh Furniture!

I called the listing realtor and got my dad to go look at it with me. It is so cool! We explored the whole thing for a couple hours and left thinking, "That is a sweet building, but there is no way I could fix it up enough, no way I could get city approval, no way I could truly convert it into a furniture shop."

So I bought another building instead (the building I'm in now). Then in January of this year we began to outgrow our new space and the search was on again. And again I returned to 3600 Walnut.

Over the last few months I have made dozens of visits and poured hundred of hours into figuring out a way to make this building work for Unruh Furniture. Literally hundreds of hours. Why?

Because I believe my furniture sells and my business succeeds on our Story. Right now we are "Young men in their twenties who are local and who like each other and who like making furniture." It's a great story. But how much better is: "A bunch of young guys who build furniture in an old stone church in Midtown." And combine that with, "And these guys are all friends and you can visit the church for tours of their operations, and they have a showroom in the balcony that overlooks the whole building."

That is a killer story! And if our story is our lifeblood than this church is worth the work.

I think most businesses would wait to announce a big change until that change was a sure thing. This church is still a ways away from a sure thing, but in the spirit of being Open, which is the thesis of this blog, I am happy and excited to say I am working hard to make it work. And I will keep you updated for good or for bad.

By Sam Unruh

I started Unruh Furniture in my garage in 2012 when my wife was pregnant with our first. Today I have 4 kids, 20 employees, and plenty of fires to put out every day. It's a great life and I am a happy man.

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