24 Jul STIR BREATHES FRESH AIR INTO OFFICE FURNITURE INDUSTRY
For the past seven years, husband-and-wife duo Tina Turner and Steve Walters have brought much-needed creativity to the manufacturing representative side of the office furniture industry. We recently caught up with them to discuss their firm STIR, their thoughts on return-to-work trends, and their overall approach to business.
Why did you choose to name your company STIR?
Our name stands for Steve and Tina’s Interior Resources. STIR is not just a moniker; it’s a play on words. When we transitioned the business from Harry Lindsay in 2013, we felt the manufacturer’s side of the industry needed a bit of stirring up; a little movement. We wanted to inspire dealers, push the envelope, and approach the business with more creativity.
What makes STIR unique?
Selling office furniture can be thankless at times, with so many details and things that can go wrong. Because of this, we make sure to show our appreciation to our staff and the sales associates with whom we work. Also, we aim to exceed expectations and serve as a resource to dealers by offering them a wide range of creative solutions.
In addition to showing gratitude, we also like to have a good time. We like to say that “we put the fun back in furniture.” Our business is all about developing relationships, and our dealer contacts have become friends, across the board.
How did you get into the business?
I grew up in this business. My mom, aunt, and sister all worked in office furniture. In fact, my mom was one of the first saleswomen in Denver. I left contract furniture sales for a few years, but I had to come back. I missed having my finger on the pulse of the business community.
I worked in commercial design for many years. Tina and I met when I was working on the Southern Pacific Railroad account. In 2000, I left to start my own design firm, working with Coors, Miller Coors, and Molson Coors. In 2013, Tina and I joined forces to form STIR.
What trends are you seeing in workplace design now that people are returning to work?
It’s all about health and safety right now. Companies are using an overriding sense of caution to protect their staff, so we are designing spaces in which employees can work and collaborate safely. That means designing separate spaces. Planters, for example, are a beautiful way to create space and division. Also, businesses are taking a close look at the clean-ability of textiles and surfaces. They want to ensure that the pieces they purchase can withstand the cleaning chemicals used to fight COVID.
What is most important to you when working with a dealer?
Shared values and partnerships are huge. Our most successful projects are when we truly partner with the dealer to help them define the best product solution for their customers. They value our input and expertise and don’t view us as just another vendor.
Why do you love about this industry?
The industry is full of creative, unique, and fun thought leaders. We get a chance to see cool spaces, new products, and upcoming trends. We belong to a national representative network, and it’s fun to see what’s happening across the country.
Working with Contract Furnishings?
We love Contract Furnishings because they are authentic, honest, loyal, and fun. They’re committed to doing the right thing and nailing solutions for their clients. And, of course, we love that they are dog-friendly.