Seldens Designer Home Furnishings Celebrates 75 years

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1957 – Seldens store move to 11th & A street in Downtown Tacoma

In 1940, Seldens was founded by Sydney Selden in Downtown Tacoma as a floor coverings company. Through wartime, and economic ups and downs, Seldens has been able to grow with the changing needs of local residents and has become a full-service home furnishings retailer.
“I remember coming to the store as a child, I have fond memories of running around the vast showroom space,” said Scott Selden, current Seldens Home Furnishing President. “We’ve evolved quite a bit since back then. Our extensive designer home furnishing products and our professional interior design team allow us to serve the needs of a wide array of homes and families across the Puget Sound,” Selden continued.

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1940 – “The Original Five” Selden’s first 5 employees. (From Left to right) Ozzie Ellingson, Wally Squires, Angela (Graham) Grubisa, Edward Selden, and Sydney Selden (Founder).

Stan Selden, second-generation 83-year old chairman of Seldens, has seen the store evolve over the last seven and-a-half decades but one thing remains the same, “Selden said. “The customer is king. That was my dad’s motto from day one and it is still the guiding principle of our company.” Today Stan is very active giving back to the community working with several, local non-profit organizations.

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1946 – Seldens employee party.

The 80-employee company has seen four generations of Selden’s family management. Current general manager, and the latest generation to join the family business, Jacob Cross, explained some of the nuances of running a family business. “Respect is key. Everyone understands that while you’re at work, the business comes first and we all have to respect each other.” Cross continued, “running a family business takes a lot of patience and comes with a lot of pride. While it’s hard not to take the ups and downs of the business personally, working with my family makes it enjoyable because I have someone in my corner at all times.”

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1949 – Seldens ‘Style Show’ Sydney Selden (founder) with daughter Carol and prize winner John Gallwas.

Loni Selden-Cross, third-generation Selden and current vice president/partner, thinks the most important factor of a successful family business is dedication. “As any business owner can tell you, the work never stops. With long hours spent at the store and time off spent with family who may also have a vested interest in the business, we’re always working to create a better experience for the customer,” said Selden-Cross.

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1940s – 1141 Broadway store window display when Seldens sold appliances.

The current Seldens operation includes an 80,000 square foot Seldens Designer Home Furnishings showroom. Adjacent to Seldens is the 65,000 square foot facility home to Bassett Furniture, Seldens Sleep Gallery and the company’s distribution center.

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1950 – Seldens 2nd floor carpet work room.

As for the future of the store, the family hopes to be able to pass the legacy business down to future generations. “It’s a very personal relationship that people have with the furniture in their home. It’s a careful, long-lasting decision, and we feel very fortunate to be a part of that,” said Selden.

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1990 – (left to right) Scott Selden 3rd generation with his father Stan Selden 2nd generation. William Blanton junior and his son William Blanton III at the Fife store opening.

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