East Texas Family Lives American Dream Through Business - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/27/02 - Longview

East Texas Family Lives American Dream Through Business

"Starting a business of your own is a lot of hard work."

Hard work for forty years has paid off for Wilkie Blake. The Blake name is well known in East Texas, for furniture. But he says it all started not with a big showroom, but a small truck.

"We'd have a truckload of living room suits come in on friday and maybe a couple of bedroom suits, and they'd be gone in just a day or two, and we couldn't get our store open because people were buying."

It was the Sixties... And after Blake got the first store in Longview up and running, his sister and brother in law wanted in.

"That's how we started Blake Furniture, by employing my family."

In most of the stores, family works side by side.

Son, Bart: "They don't understand how you can do that, but it's real easy."

Bart says everyone works well because everyone knows their success is tied to what is sold. Wilkie says the business believes in profit sharing.

"If the store doesn't make money they don't make money. It makes it easier for me then, I don't have to breathe down their neck."

He also says starting a new business, whether in the 1960s or 2002, is not a 9 to 5 job... And it's very expensive.

"Have the inititive to work hard, and make sure they have plenty of working capital."

Bart says, "If you make profits the first year, or a couple of years down the road, don't feel like you can go spend that money. You need to use that money to put back in your business and constantly improve your business."

To keep Blake Furniture improving... they've chosen to stop expanding.  It was getting a little too much.

"We had kind of created a monster there.  Instead, we're looking at newer buildings and bigger showrooms." Bart says. 

The Blake family has seen success Wilkie never imagined. 

"I started out wanting one or two stores and now have nine locations, and now if I start talking about it, I get emotional,"  he says. 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Dakar Burkes Memorial Car Show held in Louisiana

    Dakar Burkes Memorial Car Show held in Louisiana

    Saturday, May 19 2018 10:01 PM EDT2018-05-20 02:01:04 GMT
    The roar of high power engines and vintage classic automobiles were on display in one East Texas city, in an annual tribute to a young man, who was a homicide victim, who loved cars. The 9th annual Dakar Burkes memorial car show was held in Lakeport. Racers came in from thunder road Louisiana, as well as collectors from all over the state, to be part of the memorial car show. "They called us, invited us to this event, the cars behind us they run at that track so we brought the...More >>
    The roar of high power engines and vintage classic automobiles were on display in one East Texas city, in an annual tribute to a young man, who was a homicide victim, who loved cars. The 9th annual Dakar Burkes memorial car show was held in Lakeport. Racers came in from thunder road Louisiana, as well as collectors from all over the state, to be part of the memorial car show. "They called us, invited us to this event, the cars behind us they run at that track so we brought the...More >>
  • One person confirmed dead after fatal wreck on Highway 11

    One person confirmed dead after fatal wreck on Highway 11

    Saturday, May 19 2018 9:10 PM EDT2018-05-20 01:10:03 GMT

    One person was killed in a fatal crash in Hopkins County Saturday morning.

    More >>

    One person was killed in a fatal crash in Hopkins County Saturday morning.

    More >>
  • No injuries in late night Smith County house fire

    No injuries in late night Smith County house fire

    Saturday, May 19 2018 6:59 PM EDT2018-05-19 22:59:31 GMT
    (Source: KLTV News Staff)(Source: KLTV News Staff)

    Several fire departments are on scene where a large fire is burning near the toll road.

    More >>

    Several fire departments are on scene where a large fire is burning near the toll road.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly