Photo Below: Longtime Knight Furniture employee Linda Walker shows off the store’s three Best of Texoma awards.
A few days before the Best of Texoma Awards, which honor the best and brightest retailers in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma, Home Furnishings Association member Joey Gunn approached longtime Knight Furniture employee Linda Walker with a request: Should Knight be fortunate enough to win an award at the ceremony, would Walker be willing to accept it?
“I was really grateful at the offer, but not surprised,” recalled Walker, who started in the store’s front office and worked her way up to become Knight’s controller. “That’s just the way Knight Furniture is. We’re all one big family. I’ve always thought of Joey as the son I never had.”
It was a sentimental gesture on Gunn’s part, honoring a loyal employee. But it also proved savvy. Knight Furniture had its hands full at the April 27 awards ceremony, winning three awards back-to-back-to-back: Best Furniture Store, Best Mattress store and Best Local Business.
“It all happened so quickly,” said Gunn, who, along with his father David, runs the family store in Sherman, Texas. “I’m glad Linda was there to help us, but more important to share in the honor because she’s been right there with us all these years.”
If you’re keeping score, that’s 15 years running that Knight Furniture has won a Best of Texoma Award (though this year’s trifecta is a first). Knight is no stranger to awards. The company has won many Sherman Chamber of Commerce awards through the years and was the HFA’s Retailer of the Year in 2016.
The most recent awards have a special meaning to Gunn and Walker. “They’re not just about my father and me,” said Gunn. “These are about our entire staff. It makes me proud to win because it’s our staff who wins. We think we’ve got the best employees in Texas and this just proves it.”
Walker agreed. She remembers her grandparents shopping at Knight for furniture and then her parents. Walker shops there, too – so do her children. “Knight is something special in Sherman,” she said. “It’s a place families have passed down from generation to generation, and not out of tradition but they’re treated right. That still means something to people.”