Furniture store to cater to customers

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A new furniture store in Craig aims to let the customer be the boss.

Custom made furniture by Sofa Direct in Craig, located at the former Moffat County Lumber building, will allow buyers to choose the style and fabric of sofas that will be made on-site.

"Because we manufacture them here, there's no middle man," owner Merilee Thiele said. "That can help us keep prices low."

Sofa Direct has operated a store in Steamboat Springs for the past 11 years, but owners have decided to open another store in Craig. The Craig store, which is slated for a grand opening Dec. 3, will serve as the factory for wood furnishings for both locations. Those pieces will be sent to the Steamboat store to be upholstered, Thiele said.

"Everybody who has seen our work thinks it's so neat," she said.

The store will offer as many as 250 different fabric designs to tailor to customers' tastes. Photographs and examples of some of the store's offerings will be on display, Thiele said.

Sofa Direct decided to move into Craig after having success with local weekend sales, co-owner Matt Sowash said.

"I think people will like it, because we can make furniture on site," he said.

The business venture may be adding a couple of new jobs, too.

Tom Flavin, director of the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership said the new business is a good economic indicator for Craig.

"I think it underscores our focus of trying to support local businesses," he said. "There's a lot of opportunity for local businesses here."

Thiele is thrilled with the store's location, near Craig's downtown core on the south end of Yampa Avenue. The building's former business also has a lot of name recognition.

"People are familiar with it," she said. "You tell people you're in the former Moffat County Lumber building, and they know right where that is."

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