George Schroeder of Schroederís Quality Furniture & Collectibles in Medford. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Jim Craven

Home Grown

Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.

What do you do and how long have you been doing it?

I sell quality new, used and antique furniture, collectibles and accessories. I do appraisals. I do consignments ... I do whatever it takes to make a buck. Twenty years I've been doing it. I've actually been in this line of business for 23 years; I worked for an auction called Action Auction in Grants Pass for two-and-a-half years. This July will be my 20th anniversary in this building.

How long have you lived in the Rogue Valley?

My family and I moved here in 1960. I was born in Oregon City in 1953. I went to (Medford) mid-high and high school, and then halfway through my junior year my folks split up and I ended up graduating in Springfield. I went to Alaska for 15 years after that, worked retail grocery, and then I came back.

What inspired you to go into this line of work?

Working for the auction in Grants Pass, I started liking what I was doing, but I didn't want to sell the junk plus the good stuff they sold. I just wanted the good stuff.

What decision or action would you change if you could do it again?

I wouldn't do anything different; I like my life. If I'd have made too much money, someone would have been kidnapping my kids or trying to kill me or trying to take it away. I mean, I make enough. I've been really fortunate and I'm a happy guy.

What's the toughest business decision you've made?

Whether or not to close on Mondays, and it worked out OK. Most antiques stores are closed Mondays, and people realize that I need a couple days off. I was staying open Monday through Saturday, and now I can go out and play a little golf, pay bills or go to the doctor. Things are comfortable that way.

Who are your competitors?

My store is so unique, I don't really feel like I have a lot of competitors. Most of my competitors have gone out of business, and anybody else that sells anything I have in here I'm friends with.

What are your goals?

Live long, be happy. I don't really care if I ever get rich. The best thing about being here is that I have a steady stream of nice people to talk to all the time. My goal when I started this place was I wanted something neat and clean. I wouldn't put anything in here that's junk or that I wouldn't stick in my own house. And I didn't want my place to smell like feet; the other antique stores I've been in all smell like feet.

What training or education did you need?

Working at the auction in Grants Pass. They sold everything to the bare walls each week, no minimum, no reserve, and every week my job was to bring the merchandise in. We'd take and put the big stuff on the floor and then in the bleachers we'd put the lamps, pictures and all the tschotschkes. And then before the sale started, I'd hang all the pictures on the walls; I'd arrange all the furniture just like it is in my store, and then put the little stuff here and there. That's where I learned to set up my store. Also, I reconciled the sales, added everything up, and I wrote all the checks for the consignments. Plus, at that time, I met a guy that had been doing this sort of business for 40 years, and I worked with him for 10 years, and he mentored me. The auction went out of business, and this guy helped me get into my own store.

What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

Work hard, be nice and have fun.

To suggest ideas for this column, about businesses that are at least five years old, contact reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or e-mail

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