FINDERS KEEPERS

by ALAENA HOSTETTER / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

Southwest Florida residents and designers looking to cash in on exceptional deals on home furnishings flock to The Find Furniture Consignment in such droves, sometimes the police have to get involved.

“It was crazy; they were directing traffic on the road there were so many people,” says owner Rob Foubert, recounting a morning when a large truckload of merchandise arrived at his showroom. “We sent out an email to our customers when the truck was en route, and by the time it arrived at our showroom, there was a line of cars down the block!”

People claimed furniture right out of the truck, before it could even be unloaded into the store, according to Foubert. “We sold 90 percent of it out of the parking lot,” he says. He estimates that around 900 people showed up that day, which isn’t unusual—a similar scene has already happened three times this year.

With its original location in Bonita Springs and a second, larger outpost in Naples, the showroom for intensely marked-down designer inventory has created a cult following with an email distribution list of 20,000 strong.

When Foubert took over ownership three years ago, he upped The Find’s cache, forging relationships with big-name interior designers who stage for-sale mansions across Florida. “Some of these designers will spend up to a half-million dollars staging a $10- to $20-million home,” Foubert says.

After the homes sell, designers offload their massive inventory of unused upscale furnishings to The Find. The pristine merchandise is generally slashed to half of its original retail price, or even less at times, like a competitor’s $10,000 dining table, which was only $3,000 at The Find.

The Find has such incredible inventory and deals that designers don’t only sell to the showroom, they also buy from it. “We have really high-end product; no one can compete with our prices and quality,” Foubert says.

Foubert has also liquidated two massive warehouses of virtually untouched furniture for local big-name designers in record time. Some items arrive still wrapped in their original plastic.

“Designers don’t want to store furniture with the changing design styles every year, plus every home has a different style. They’d rather get it out of their hair,” he explains.

Up to 80 percent of The Find’s furnishings comes from designers’ inventory, while the rest consists of individual consigner agreements with Florida residents who may be remodeling or redecorating their homes and opt to offload their barely used furniture for a new look. “We’re picking up product on the east coast, the west coast—as high as Jacksonville,” Foubert says.

Inventory consists of everything one could need to decorate the home, including furnishings for living rooms, offices, dining rooms, bedrooms, and more—even wall décor—in a plethora of popular styles, like costal, contemporary, modern and transitional. The Find’s inventory changes so rapidly, its Facebook page and email blasts are the best way to keep up with what’s new.

Overall, Foubert aims to make the process of picking out home furnishings not only budget friendly but painless as well. He offers a buy-back guarantee: If the item was bought at The Find, Foubert will buy it back for half of the purchase price. “Even if it sat in a house for six months to a year,” he says.

Additionally, The Find schedules movers for clients at a discount off their regular pricing. Plus, designers are on staff at The Find to help homeowners with their purchases. They even make house calls.

South Florida’s home furnishing needs are well covered with The Find’s two outposts, which are located about 10 miles apart. The 7,000-square-foot Bonita Springs location is half the size of the Naples outpost and offers “clearance” merchandise, perfect for shoppers looking for even more dramatic discounts.

With two locations in close proximity, it’s never been easier for shoppers to reap the benefit of The Find’s finds, which can be summed up by its mission statement: “Live the Luxury Lifestyle for Less.” The company also ships out of state.

Alaena Hostetter is a content strategist, editor and journalist who writes about art, design, culture, music, entertainment and food. She can be reached at alaena.hostetter@gmail.com.