Former store owners and newly arrived Nevadans George and Winnie Kubin, seen here visiting the Grand Canyon, won’t miss the Michigan snow.
Longtime Michigan member sells store and moves west
By Andy Kriege, YSN
After 45 years of manning Kubin’s Furniture & Mattresses, owner George Kubin is calling it a career.
The St. Louis, Mich.-based BrandSource member is in the process of selling the business he founded in 1978 to a bright 22-year-old upstart named Wyatt Minor. Minor has been working at Kubin’s for about three years while completing his degree at Michigan State University.
“Wyatt is a perfect fit,” Kubin said. “He has done every job in the store and has proven himself in every way. I’m confident that the business is in good hands, and am happy that the entire staff is staying on.”
Kubin continued, “You do business in a small town, you see some owners that never let go and die off working in their stores without ever getting a chance to enjoy themselves. As I got older, I realized I wanted to take time to travel and do the things I never had time to do. My wife Winnie and I plan to stay active, traveling primarily around the western part of the country.”
Kubin’s retail journey began at age 20 with a $2,000 loan from his grandmother to start a waterbed store. The business would later transition into a sleep shop and eventually into a full-line furniture store. “I took my own circumstance into consideration when I committed to selling to Wyatt,” he said. “No one would finance me to start a business at my young age. I needed someone to take a chance on me, and I feel the same about Wyatt.”
Aside from his four-and-a-half decades at the store, Kubin is most proud of his service to St. Louis, a small town in Central Michigan where he served on the city council for 36 years, including 18 as mayor. “I am the longest elected councilperson and was the youngest mayor in the city’s history,” he said. “It sounds funny now, but when I was first elected, I thought the ‘old guys’ in office needed to be replaced. It’s time now for this old guy to make room for fresh new faces and ideas.”
Kubin is also stepping down from his role as a director on BrandSource’s Michigan Region board, a seat he has held for eight years. “I enjoyed being a voice for the smaller stores,” he said. “Interacting with all the members and being a part of the BrandSource family has been very rewarding.”
Kubin further described his time on the board as humbling. “I’ve learned so much about business and life from so many members,” he said. “I used to see other dealers as competitors and adversaries, and now see them as friends who are happy to help each other out.”
Kubin and Winnie, now married 42 years, are looking forward to their next chapter, in Henderson, Nev. While he’s happy to no longer shovel snow or mow grass, he will dearly miss his staff, his customers and his fellow BrandSource members. “Their insights and friendships have made me a better person,” he said.
YSN wishes George and Winnie many happy years to enjoy their well-earned retirement.
YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.