The big orange and white rocking chair is for sale.
Dave and Debbie Farnsworth, owners of Goodwood Furniture, 8843 Kingston Pike, have had a 16-foot tall rocker sitting in front of their furniture business for years.
The rocking chair has become a Knoxville icon, and so has Goodwood Furniture itself. The store was known as the place to go for unfinished or finished solid wood furniture.
But after 27 years in the furniture business, the Farnsworths say they are happy to be retiring. Everything in the store is up to 70 percent off.
Dave Farnsworth said he’s had offers on the rocking chair over the years.
“I haven’t had any lately,” he said, “but I would be open to one. I’d probably take $500-$600 for it.”
Now they’re ready to visit family members scattered across the country, spend time with their four children and five grandchildren, and just relax.
“We’ve been planning this retirement for 12 years,” Dave Farnsworth said. “We started the store when we were 28 and 29 years old.”
The couple is aiming to have their stock liquidated by April 30. They both say that they have been amazed by the community turnout once they announced the store was closing.
“We had a huge day [recently],” Dave Farnsworth said. “We’re doing about 10 times what we normally would do.”
The Farnsworths got started with a Goodwood in Windsor Square in 1988, then moved to the Kingston Pike location two years later.
“We were attracted to having our own business. There are a lot of advantages of being self-employeed,” Dave Farnsworth said. “We homeschooled and could travel when we wanted. If you enjoy your family and enjoy being with your family a lot, a small business is great.
“The first few years, Debbie worked the sales floor and I did the finishing out back,” he recalled.
“I nursed the kids in rocking chairs here,” she said. “They all grew up here. We used to have a ‘Shhh! Baby sleeping!’ sign on the door. It’s been great raising the kids here over the years. Michelle is the oldest. She’s been on the sales floor part-time since she was 15. April didn’t work here. She has three boys and has had her hands full with them.”
“Our son, Daniel, has worked with me ever since he’s been old enough to help me with deliveries,” Dave Farnsworth said.
“Our kids don’t want to continue it on. They have their own things and their own interests,” Debbie Farnsworth said.
About their customers, “We just want to remind people that we really appreciate their business and support in the community,” she said. “We really didn’t realize how big that support was until we started closing. Having a family business isn’t easy and we couldn’t have done it without their support. We’ve seen second and third generation customers. The mailman and UPS guy are like family.”