It's all a part of an effort to hang on to the company's loyal customers while persuading younger shoppers that Walter E. Smithe isn't just their parent's go-to store. "But we've also gotten some really nice feedback from people who are happy to see four working women on their TV.". Who are these guys? The original simple jingle and slogan was perfect. Timothy Smithe Jr. (m. 2013-2018) Kyla Lynn McCarthy (born October 8, 1986) is the daughter of politician and former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. "We're not your parents' furniture company," Caitie said. It also featured an appearance by Dutchie Caray, wife of the late Cubs announcer Harry Caray. "And a woman was there with her daughter, and she nudged her and I heard her say, 'That's the Walter E. Smithe guy.' Meghan Smithe was on maternity leave when she began working part time in the family business, long known for its infectious jingle: You dream it, we build it.. Contact Information. High School," Walter says. People are buying a look, but they want it to feel curated and personal., Its up to Maureen and Caitie to monitor the market, make sure the showroom reflects current palettes, while staying a few steps ahead of what is currently trending. It was like the empire jingle. Trendwise, Caitie says the color gurus at Pantone were right on when they selected a bright shade of green as Color of the Year. We not only respect this, we embrace it.. He cites the U2 music video takeoff. "We had a common agreement that we had the best furniture in Chicago," Tim says, "but not enough people knew about it.". Lewis Lazare. It was a natural fit, she said. 2023 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Visit . Business Profile for Walter E. Smithe Furn-Itasca. But when they finally decided to accept, they knew they needed to come up with a unique and effective way to introduce themselves to the Chicago market as the new faces of Walter E. Smithe. It turned out so well that Tim carried along a copy to a speaking engagement. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN SUBAR, When Maureen Smithe returned from maternity leave after giving birth to identical twin daughters last August (children number five and six for those keeping count), she was puzzled by the pained looks she received from some of her colleagues. You have this sense of passion and responsibility for it. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. (He's now semi-retired, having turned the business over to his sons about 10 years ago.). In recent years, Smithe enjoyed his time with extended family. With a 71-year history and 11 stores sprinkled throughout Chicago and the suburbs, Walter E. Smithe is a local furniture icon. Please enter valid email address to continue. The daughters took over the company. Home Cities Chicago Meet the Smithe Sisters, The new generation is shaking things up at furniture icon Walter E. Smithe. But one by one, they followed Maureen's lead and rejoined the family business. "You think a huge corporation is going to have pencil pushers and button touchers," says Lynn Hamilton, vice president of the Shirley Hamilton Agency, a Chicago talent agency. Billy Corgan and Walter E. Smithe Wrestling. walter e smithe furniture inc. [4], In March, 2017, daughters of Walter E. Smithe III became the fourth generation of the Smithe family to be featured in the commercials.[8]. There's a certain time and simplicity factor, so from the time of the idea to the time we shoot it can be as short as a week.". - Lynn Hauldren: Who? [1] The 4th generation (the Smithe Sisters), all daughters of Walter III, are Maureen Smithe (buyer), Meghan Smithe (director of marketing), Caitie Smithe (designer, design coordinator and stylist) and Colleen Smithe (director of advertising). Compare how recession-proof Walter E Smithe Furniture is relative to the industry overall. Walter E. Smithe also is changing up its ads. We can be real nimble when we're this tight and this spread across the business.". A new book offers a primer on how to spot, seize, and exploit and create lucky breaks More, Two new must-visit hotels from Austin to Houston More, Shop Patek Philippe timepieces, Oiya bracelets and a Miami-based skincare brand More, Plan a day of relaxation at Pressed Roots and The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas More, Raise a glass to our favorite new French-inspired bistros, charming piano bars and bold Italian eateries in Manhattan More, From shoes to handbags, here are the new boutiques to visit in New York City More, The best-selling author, entrepreneur and global philanthropist continues a push with Feeding America to provide 1 billion meals More, Were Over The Moon About This New Travel Registry, 2022 Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Edible Presents, Room Request! With 16 1/2 children among them (Colleen is due with her third baby this month), the sisters also find work as a time to be togethersans children. The company began in 1945 as Tone Appliances and Furniture, a single store on Belmont Avenue in Chicago. Draftfcb. Im stunned when people watch one of our makeovers and are surprised that Smithe carries so much of what they like, says Caitie. In the late '60s, the growing family -- there are also four sisters, Cindy, Margie and twins Hope and Amy, none of whom is involved in the family business -- moved to a slightly larger home in Park Ridge. For decades, the public faces of the privately owned company have been the sisters father, Walter E. Smithe IIIthe 59-year-old grandson of the businesss namesakeand the sisters uncles, Mark and Tim. It worked really well for a long time, but post-recession, we saw peoples sensibilities had changed, says Meghan. Dazzling Divas Glam Mansion Offers the Ultimate Diva Experience, Family Guide to Attending a Chicago Cubs Game at Wrigley Field, Pelvic Floor Therapy Growing in Popularity for Women, 10 Non-Candy Items for Your Kids Easter Basket. For decades, the public faces of the privately owned company have been the sisters' father, Walter E. Smithe IIIthe 59-year-old grandson of the business's namesakeand the sisters' uncles, Mark and Tim. Walter E. Smithe is a furniture company based in Itasca, Illinois. Walter E. Smithe is a furniture company based in Itasca, Illinois. "It's always positive, and it's nice to be part of it. The founder of well-known Chicago-area furniture company Walter E. Smithe has died, his family announced Wednesday. [7], Chicagoans have had mixed reactions to the Walter E. Smithe commercials. But shes quick to point out that the business is still very much a multigenerational effort, noting that their 81-year-old grandfather still regularly meets with clients. walter e smithe, furniture stores near me, ballinger vase buy, gold side end table, tall mirror, walter e smithe daughters, furniture . Main Telephone (630) 285-8000. Is she OK? portalId: "6766057", Still, the Smithes have had to weather various challenges since joining the company, including the retirement of their uncle, Tim. "There are still people who ask us, 'Where are the brothers? Hauldren -- an advertising copywriter who created the character -- first appeared in the ads in 1973. and runners at CB2 (800 W. North Ave., [6], One of Walter E. Smithe's most discussed commercials aired in late March 2006. E. Smithe sisters Caitie, Colleen, Meghan and Maureen were introduced to the business at a young age. Walt and Tim mocked Mark's new haircut. "In what seems to be their unending and over-the-top zeal to self-promote, they just may be helping drive traffic," he wrote, adding, "If nothing else, the advertising suggests the chain has some suits with personality attached. Were now getting calls from all over the world., Under Colleen and Meghans direction, Smithe now has a beautiful new lookbook in its marketing toolbox and a stable full of breathtaking photography, as they become the exclusive distributor for Ellen DeGeneres new furniture collection from Thomasville. The first order of business: ditch the longstanding, highly recognizable ad campaign featuring their father and two uncles. Colleen, Caitie, Meghan and Maureen Smithe, all between the ages of 33 and 37, represent the fourth generation of the family business and are daughters of company President Walter Smithe, the grandson of the business's namesake. Walter was the first of the third generation to join the family business in 1981 . Young. Take dress up and glam up a notch with a self-care day at this luxurious spa for kids and tweens. As the fourth generation to run their family-owned Chicago furniture store, Walter. Calkins says that by minimizing production costs and media costs and doing those quick turnarounds, Smithe gets a bigger bang for its advertising buck. The boys' first ventures into the working world included Walt's daily paper route -- 70 Tribunes, three or four Sun-Times and a couple of Wall Street Journals -- that Tim helped him with ("I got 1 cent per paper, and I'd give Tim 10 cents for helping me"), and collecting beer cans that they resold at a Park Ridge flea market. Watch. What are they up to?' The Walter E. Smithe furniture jingle "you dream it, we build it" has been a longtime fixture in the firm's television ads, just as the Smithe brothers themselves have been. Nothing is left unchanged, Meghan notes. Walter E. Smithe Furniture, Inc. Marketing Contacts Contacts (5/9) Name Title State; Walter S. President & Chief Executive Officer . The Smithe sisters now serve as the face . We simply never had that conversation, Meghan says. They brought in real clients, worked with real designers and demonstrated each sister's essential role within the business. Caitie Smithe is aDesigner, Design Coordinator + Stylist atWalter E. Smithe Furniture + Design. Smithe was born in 1936 to Margaret Slifka and Walter E. Smithe Sr., and grew up on the Northwest Side in Belmont Central. I havent seen the Tile Outlet lady in a while!! - Nick Celozzi and Maury Ettleson: Starting in the early '70s, they waved fistfuls of cash at TV viewers and reminded everyone that Celozzi-Ettleson Chevrolet in Elmhurst was "Where you always save more money!". Falling asleep. Tim recalls Walt trying to smother him -- repeatedly, apparently -- with a bean bag chair. Updating your home theater? That collective experience comes in handy ahead of any major decisions. One of my friends used to live near Fullerton and Western, and she would always tell people she lived near Tile Outlet. That sentiment applies to their lively commercials, too, which frequently feature the sisters chatting on a stylish couch or gathering with family members in a beautifully staged home. "They go a long way with a limited budget through the use of creativity," he says. She is a celebrity who is genuinely interested in how her furniture will do and be perceived, Maureen says. College was a turning point for the sisters, who now call one another their best friends. Lewis Lazare. 1E, continues to add to its Robbe & Berking assortment with the new Martel Bar collection, which features bar cart staples like handmade silver tumblers and cocktail coupes as well as bottle openers and nutcrackers. He was still spending weekends at Smithe furniture showrooms until recently and he volunteered for many years for Habitat for Humanity, building houses in the U.S. and Central America. Determine whether Walter E. Smithe Furniture grew or shrank during the last recession. Walter E. SMITHE corporate office is located in 1775 W Rand Rd, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, United States and has 382 employees. Whether bringing in color as an accent or making a big statement with a lot of color, your home will feel instantly transformed and personalized. Walter E. Smithe Furniture, Inc. is headquartered in Itasca, IL. His sons, Walter, Tim, and Mark, joined the company in the 1970s and 1980s. The Smithes had been encouraged to air their outtakes on television after Tim Smithe screened them at an interior design seminar and received a positive reaction from the crowd. Read on to find out more about pelvic floor therapy and how it's growing in popularity among postpartum women. Born in the heart of Chicago, we're a family owned and operated local business since 1945, now four generations strong. Oct 2012 - Apr 20152 years 7 months. During a stint in the Army, Smithe attained the rank of captain and became an expert in the field of computers. The new campaign, dubbed Smithe Family Makeovers, showcases Smithe furniture in the homes of actual clients, revealing the handiwork of the companys designers in HGTV-esque episodes. You may have noticed a change lately in those Walter E. Smithe ( siblings-on-a-couch commercials. The Bob's puppet is a far better actor than the Smithe girls though. The Smithe sisters, all in their thirties, worked in the family business as teens but pursued different career paths in adulthood. One of the first opportunities to test their compatibility was through a partnership with interior designer and TV personality Jeff Lewis. Start shopping. "We have wonderful clients who are my generation or older, but we have to figure out how we cater to this new generation that's setting up households now. When they get a topic, Smithe says, he tries to figure a way to blend it into an ad. "If we'd done that with a large agency, it would have been flying people in from New York and storyboards and approvals along the way," he says. - Linn Burton: He started selling appliances in Polk Bros. ads in 1953, but the majority of his 35-year TV career was spent hawking cars -- Kaisers, Frazers, Joe Rizza's Pontiacs and, most famously, Bert Weinman's Fords. Instead, the Smithe sisters Colleen, director of advertising; Maureen, a buyer; Caitie, a designer; and Meghan, the marketing director help a Chicago couple with tastes that sometimes clash give their town home a new look before relatives show up for a visit. Spoken like the daughter of a true "shop owner," as her father Walter E. Smithe III, president of the eponymous furniture retailer calls himself. Only a year apart in age, the lively, fast-talking Smithe sisters consider one another best friends. Be sure to visit Sawbridge Studios, which will showcase sustainably harvested, live-edge furniture by David Stine. A wake will be held at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home in Park Ridge on Friday, Oct. 21, and a funeral mass will follow on Saturday, Oct. 22, and St. Paul of the Cross Church in Park Ridge. 74% of employees would recommend working at Walter E. Smithe Furniture and Design to a friend and 70% have a positive outlook for the business. Sibling revelry; Their offbeat commercials have made the Smithe brothers cult heroes. Through March 7, EuroFurniture (2145 W. Grand Ave., is offering 15 percent off BDI media cabinets and consoles available in-store, online, and by phone. Caitie was a manufacturers' representative before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Then he and Thorson meet with his brothers and throw ideas around. Walter E. Smithe Furniture and Design has an overall rating of 4.0 out of 5, based on over 92 reviews left anonymously by employees. How could they ensure the 75-year-old brand would be sustainable for decades to come? As their father, the company president, has told customers for decades, Life is too short to sit on uncomfortable furniture.. Kneen & Co. (399 W. Fullerton Pkwy., Ste. I think people felt sorry for me, assuming that I wasnt getting any sleep and having to come to work every day, says Maureen. You can still be a fun premium brand (Virgin, for example) but this is Family Dollar-type schtick. Since 1945, we have been Chicago's local source for quality furniture and expert design. Smithe brothers aim for 'Sex' appeal in latest quirky commercial,, This page was last edited on 17 December 2022, at 02:33. The best commercial -- at least the one viewers relished -- featured this grating kid getting hit in the face with a pie. "He'd come up from behind and drop in it on us," Tim says. No outside agency required. Brothers Walt, Tim and Mark Smithe -- the faces of Walter E. Smithe Furniture -- seem to have hit on something with their ubiquitous ads. He entertained the youngest generation of the family playing banjo and singing folk songs such as "The Rock Island Line," and telling stories of Tiny Tim and the Magic Gumball Machine, his obit said. Thats fast, but it shows what we can do. "That's F-A-M-E, with an E". Favorite design style: Cozy and comfortableaka hygge ethos. Woven Roman shades, a jute rug and a blonde wood vanity usher texture and warmth into the otherwise minimalist design. So I'm speaking, and they're half listening, you know. It's pretty surprising they are still playing on these tired sexist tropes in this day and age. McCarthy was married to grandson of Walter E. Smithe, Timothy Smithe Jr. in Paris, France in June of 2013. . Weird. Caitie, Colleen, Maureen and Meghan Smithe represent the fourth generation helping run their Chicago-based family furniture store, Walter E. Smithe, and they're determined not to be the last. Sometimes it does not pay to work with family. The Empire Carpet Guy, of course. Then there's their father, a hardworking industry expert who leads by example and walks into any work setting saying, "We check our egos at the door.". Bargain-hunters, take note: Artistica (990 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, has gotten a jumpstart on spring cleaning and updated its clearance selection to include more than 600 items (including custom-painted majolica backsplash panels) discounted by 50 percent. Shop the clearance. And youll see each of my sisters doing what they do best.. Walter Smithe, president of the furniture company, climbs the stairs March 21, 2017, at the Walter E. Smithe furniture store in Oak Brook, alongside his four daughters, Colleen, from left, Caitie . between Scott Ave. and Tower Rd., Winnetka, hosts a First Friday event on the North Shore. I gave up sleep and TV, Maureen jokes. She had been a buyer for Abercrombie and Fitch for a few years after college when a job opened up in the Smithe merchandising office. But now a new generationsisters Meghan, Colleen, Maureen, and Caitie . The sisters laughed at hearing this family adage, knowing that home furnishing has been woven into the tapestry of their lives. They got on each other's nerves and learned to talk quickly at the dinner table if they wanted to get a word in. The implication was that he was doing/looking at something inappropriate. "In a family business, everyone has to wear all hats at all times," Maureen said. "Staying fresh, young . Plus, they seem like nice guys. And now with the company's 75th anniversary approaching in August, they're ready to push forward plans to expand and evolve. They look hungry. "It almost feels like the business is, in a weird way, a member of the family. Walter E. Smithe Furniture & Design (Old Orchard) 17 miles. 1251 W. Thorndale Ave. Itasca, IL 60143-1149. There's a lot of blurred lines, and we have to learn when to defer to each other.". 1 Early life; 2 Television; 3 Personal Life; 4 References; . You can send your sympathy in the guestbook provided and share it with the family. Mark admonished Walt to keep his feet off the furniture. We all trickled back in, and it happened really organically, says Meghan of the industrious quartet, who collectively has 17 children. Create Comparison. 9615 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL 60077. If you are ready to get grown-up furniture, this place has a very nice selection, with helpful staff who can guide you toward the proper colors, scale, and what looks nice together. [2] Today, the company has ten showrooms in Illinois and Indiana and is listed by Furniture Today as one of the top one hundred furniture retailers in the United States. Reaching a younger demographic and expanding their clientele has required some creativity, the sisters said. Shop the label. For example - my favorite large upholstered dining chairs are under $200. Colleen loved being able to point out that her dad and uncles, Mark and Tim, brainstormed and executed the ideas themselves. His four daughtersMaureen Megan Clarke Caitie Jisa and Colleen Parkerare now the new faces of this historic Chicago brand a spot he and his brothers held for decades. That was the extent of his pitchman career. And they represented Walter E. Smithe with a sense of drive and zeal that can only exude from the third-generation stakeholders of what has become a household name. "KFC dances to beat of familiar drummers". Even if you weren't sure that Walt, Tim and Mark Smithe were brothers -- yep, those Smithe brothers, of "Walter E. Smithe, you dream it, we build it" fame -- their banter at a recent commercial shoot was a dead giveaway. We refer to as our 12th store, since many of our clients are doing their research online before coming to see us in person.. CHICAGO The founder of Walter E. Smithe Furniture and Design has died. Contents. The sisters can measure the span of their careers by their childrens ages and development, so they clearly understand what its like to worry about furniture at the mercy of young, messy children. The process starts with Tim Smithe, Pam Thorson (the company's director of advertising) and director/editor Bill O'Neil of O'Neil Productions of Wilmette. If you find the right furniture, it will last even through your kids, Colleen says. Holly Hunt (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Ste. Were often building on what we see resonating in the market and what is interesting and beautiful at the moment., Walter E. Smithe Furniture & Design is coming off a successful year of strategic partnerships with Bravo TVs Jeff Lewis and interior designer Cynthia Rowley. "It's made us focus on what we do best, which is designing our clients' homes," he said. "We wanted to entertain people first, so then when we wanted to inform them they'd already be paying attention," Tim says of their advertising philosophy. This is useful in estimating the financial strength and credit risk of the company. William Hageman and Tribune staff reporter. ", Says Tim Smithe, "Pop culture is always changing and so are we.". "We're custom, so we can create everything, but we need to get the right mix out there to give people ideas," said Meghan Smithe, the company's director of marketing. Sometimes its the only quiet I get.. In the 1970s Walter left Smithe and Shanahan (His brothers remained with the original company) to start his own company - Walter E. Smithe. I'm so annoyed that I won't buy anything from there. While it may not be usable 365 days a year, the days that your outdoor space are in fact usable should be embraced. Since 1945 the company has . We feel like we can now speak to the multitude of generations who shop with us, she says. Walter Smithe, president of the furniture company named for his grandfather, is flanked by daughters, Maureen, left, and Caitie on March 21, 2017, as theywatch his other daughters Colleen, far left, and Meghan play pingpong at the Walter E. Smithe furniture store in Oak Brook. This has been our priority since we first began serving the Chicago area back in 1945. That's why when she and her three sisters -- Maureen, Meghan and Caitie -- were asked a few years ago to transition into the role their father and uncles held for so long, they weren't immediately receptive. Spoken like the daughter of a true shop owner, as her father Walter E. Smithe III, president of the eponymous furniture retailer calls himself. But always start from a place where we love each other and enjoy working together., Between the ages of 10 and 18, former Barrington High School soccer, For Olympian Patrick Gasienica, ski jumping has been a part of his, Dr. Rekha S. Rajan has devoted her personal and professional life to, One of the most prestigious dance companies in the world, The Joffrey, Saint Anne Catholic Community Churchs Project Hope ministry, A night of sequin-studded disco fever, the 5th Annual Hoosier Ball was. As the oldest sibling, Maureen was the first to officially join Walter E. Smithe in a professional capacity in 2004. getting a penny or nickel for every clearance tag we pulled," says Meghanthe four daughters of Walter Smithe III have . I dont think anyone in the furniture industry does advertising well. Create an account to follow your favorite communities and start taking part in conversations. With a 71-year history and 11 stores sprinkled throughout Chicago and the suburbs Walter E. Maureen in 2002 Meghan in 2014 Caitie in 2015 and Colleen in 2016. Only a year apart in age, the lively, fast-talking Smithe sisters consider one another best friends. "They were loved," said Colleen Smithe, the youngest daughter of Walter Smithe III. "It's a big responsibility. (847) 933-1481. Today, they help oversee 10 showrooms, the warehouse and headquarters, working together (generally) perfectly. "As furniture commercials go, what the Smithes are doing is great," he says. Her sisters had fallen into their own specialties and were pursuing different paths at the time. The Itasca-based company has 10 locations across Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, where the sisters ply their fourth-generation talents. The transition took place over the span of 12 years as key positions became available in the company, starting with Maureen who became a merchandise buyer. Bringing new and various textures into a room can take it from plain and lacking in interest to exciting and memorable. Chicago's Best Furniture and Expert Design.