“Every time I walk into Fairfield, the staff makes me feel like family,” says Stephanie Bourounis, a longtime customer of Fairfield Galleries in Fort Wayne. “They bend over backwards to help you get exactly what you want. They’ve furnished four homes for us over the years and are just amazing. I never leave the store disappointed.”
Bourounis is one of many customers who wouldn’t think of going anywhere else but Fairfield Galleries to buy furniture.
“We thrive on repeat business,” says Fairfield Galleries Owner Don Polley. “We just want to make our customers happy and that’s why they keep coming back. That’s why their kids come here and their neighbors come here. A customer referral is wonderful. They know we’re going to take care of them and work with them, no matter what their budget is.”
“That is so true,” says Bourounis. “One of the homes Fairfield furnished for us was a lake house and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it. We were able to completely furnish the house and stay within our budget. Also, I don’t think people realize the product range at Fairfield. It has everything.”
“Because we’ve been in business for 78 years, we have a massive amount of resources,” says Polley. “It goes way beyond what most other businesses around here have. We have an unbelievable list of manufacturers that we work with and our upholstery and leather lines are, I’m sure, unmatched by anybody in the area. We consistently have better pricing, too.”
Fairfield Galleries carries nearly 30 different lines of furniture, including Bernhardt, Rowe, Hancock & Moore, Lexington, C.R. Laine and Taylor King. It can also special order outdoor furniture from manufacturers such as Winston and Tommy Bahama.
“We sell quality furniture and quality furniture is more money, but it’s going to last you longer,” says Arianna Brock, store manager/sales/design. “We would never pressure a customer into buying something. We don’t do that. We don’t have sales people — instead, all of us here are experienced designers and consultants. So yes, we are selling things here, but we’re focused on the look and making sure it’s functional for you. We offer home visits at no extra charge and our design services cover everything from floor plans to fabric. We can get things pretty quickly. We have a sofa company that ships within six weeks and a custom-made Amish furniture company that can ship in six to eight weeks. It’s very encouraging in light of what happened during the pandemic.”
Both Polley and Brock say everything seems to be back to normal from a business standpoint following COVID.
“Once the lockdown was lifted, it was crazy busy,” says Brock. “I think after all those weeks of being stuck inside, people started noticing how old or worn their furniture looked and they were ready to freshen things up.”
“Things appear to be steady again,” says Polley. “We’ve seen a lot over the years since my grandfather, Wilber Polley, opened the business in Fort Wayne in 1945. I started working for the business when I was 12. My parents eventually became the owners and then I bought the business from them in 1988. My mom, Nadine, still works here and my son works here, too. Even our employees who aren’t blood relatives seem like family to me. I love it when a second or third generation of a family comes in to buy furniture from us. I think that says a lot about the integrity of our business and that’s always been important to us.”
Styles come and go and the staff at Fairfield stays on top of that.
“Right now, casual contemporary is very popular, but that doesn’t mean you’re locked into getting that style if it doesn’t work in your space,” says Brock. “We might not have exactly what you’re looking for on our showroom floor, but we can order it for you. That’s what’s nice about being able to send our designers out to your home so they can help you find pieces that coordinate with what you already have.”
Another trend right now is buying online, but Polley warns against it.
“It’s a big mistake to buy furniture based on a little picture you see on some random website,” he says. “Upfront, it might be easier and cheaper to buy something online, but what are you going to do when there’s a problem with the furniture? Maybe you buy a chair online and 30 days later, one of the legs breaks. They’re not going to come out to your house and fix it, but we will. We take care of any problems that arise and we do it right away. That’s the way we’ve always done it and always will because that’s how we treat our customers.”
Bourounis, who is a local business owner herself, says she is always amazed by the professionalism and genuine sincerity of the entire team at Fairfield.
“Don’s mom, Nadine, is just the sweetest and she spends a lot of time helping me pick out things or find things that will coordinate with our house. I am so grateful to have a business like this here in our community and I am always telling other people about it. You just don’t find that kind of customer service anywhere else. It is truly a gem.”
Owner(s): Don Polley
Address: 5010 US-33, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46818
Phone: (260) 489-5526
Years in Business: 78
Number of Employees: 15
Products & Services: Family-owned furniture and design store.