Introducing Knox Cabinet Co.


Discover Your Home’s Showcase Kitchen

Most homeowners would agree that their home’s kitchen is the most important room in their home. Our kitchen is the center of our family’s day-to-day living. Our day begins in our kitchen with our first cup of coffee and continues on throughout the day as we cook, dine, and socialize in the kitchen with family and friends.

The kitchen is where we bond, and as Americans, the trend is for families to become even more kitchen-centric in the future as kitchens grow in size with the addition of gourmet appliances, expanded seating areas, flat screen TVs, and even fireplaces. Whether you’re designing a kitchen for your new dream home or redesigning a new kitchen for an existing home, success in creating your home’s showcase kitchen starts with a well-thought out and implemented design.

In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are excited to introduce you to Knox Cabinet Co. co-owner, Megan Thomas. Megan and her fellow co-owners, Brian Davis and her brother, Lane Thomas, share decades of combined entrepreneurial experience, including residential development and construction, residential remodeling, property management, commercial redevelopment, and kitchen and bath cabinetry design and sales. If you are truly searching for the highest quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry at near wholesale pricing and a turn-key experience, we think you will enjoy this month’s interview with Megan.

EK: What first inspired you to open Knox Cabinet Co.?

Megan: Launching Knox Cabinet Co. seemed liked a natural extension of our combined experiences and talents. Brian and I have been buying and remodeling existing homes for resale for many years. During this process, we learned the importance of creating dynamic kitchens and baths in the homes we sold. They became the centerpiece of each successful sale. Although we had a wonderful relationship with our cabinet vendor, we began to search for a new cabinet line that offered more options yet was still affordable. After discovering an exciting new cabinet manufacturer, we completed our new showroom on Hardin Valley Road. We like to refer to our new showroom as a Discovery Center, where you can discover all of the possibilities that exist for creating showcase quality kitchens and baths in your homes.

Another thing we think you will enjoy about doing business with Knox Cabinet Co. is the “family feel.” That’s because you will find both Brian’s mom and my mom, in addition to my not-so-little brother, Lane, at our showroom happy to assist you. A former Bearden High School baseball standout, Lane now plays with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. But I have drafted him during the off-season to put his real estate and teamwork expertise to work at Knox Cabinet Co.

EK: Both you and Brian have decades of combined residential development, construction, remodeling, and property management experience. How has this helped you at Knox Cabinet Co.?

Megan: Because we were the customers for so many years, we gained an appreciation for what homeowners shopping for kitchen and bath cabinetry wanted from their cabinet supplier. Our goal is to make your experience of shopping for quality and affordable cabinetry as easy and as seamless as possible, creating for our customers the showcase quality look they are searching for while remaining within their budget.

EK: Tell our readers about the many features and benefits of Knox Cabinet Co.’s kitchen and bath cabinetry.

Megan: All of our cabinets are built from solid wood construction without the particle board and MDF so often found today even in some brand name cabinets, and all drawers are dovetailed. Just a few of the available options include pull-out trash receptacles, microwave cabinets, spice rack pull-outs, and file drawers for starters. But I’m confident that your favorite option will be the multiple stain and paint options and door styles available for you to select from. These are truly high-end cabinets at a very affordable price.

EK: It would appear that many of the standard features of your cabinets are optional with other cabinet manufactures.

Megan: At our price point, you would be correct. Homeowners will find that other comparably priced cabinets do not include the soft-close doors and soft-close dovetailed drawers that we offer as standard features. They will also find that they have far fewer options to select from. All of these added features can transform an ordinary kitchen and bath into an extraordinary kitchen and bath.

EK: Many homeowners will be surprised by both the quality of your cabinets and their competitive pricing. How is that possible?

Megan: Our highest priority from the beginning was to offer a top quality, affordable solid wood cabinet that offered the options that we knew our customers would want in order to create that quality, custom kitchen and bath look. We then developed a proprietary business model with low overhead, custom design capabilities, and intelligent logistics in order to offer this unique value to all our customers.

EK: Share with our readers your turn-key approach, including sales, design, and preferred vendor installation.

Megan: I believe this is truly another area that distinguishes Knox Cabinet Co. from its competitors. We already understood the retail cabinetry marketplace from the perspective of the customer. We simply set out to redesign the experience to make it easier and more enjoyable for our customers to achieve their dream of creating the look that they envisioned. Next we designed a showroom featuring multiple designer created vignettes to help inspire you to discover that showcase quality kitchen and bathroom that are waiting to be discovered in your home. With the assistance of one of our designers, we will guide you through every step of the design process, answer all of your questions, offer recommendations, and even offer CAD drawings using our 2020 design software, which can display your proposed layout design on our 65” flat screen monitor in our dedicated conference room. We have even compiled a preferred vendor list of state certified contractors for your convenience who can assist you in installation of your home’s new cabinets.

As I mentioned before, our goal has been to make things as easy and seamless as possible for our customers. We are in the showroom Monday through Saturday and can help with really anything the customer needs – whether it’s providing an opinion on selections, laying out the customer’s kitchen on 2020 design software, or aligning them with our preferred installers.

EK: Do you also offer a preferred vendor for cabinet countertops?  

Megan: Because new cabinets typically require new countertops, each of our vignettes feature a variety of solid surface countertops on all our cabinets designed to inspire you. We also have samples displayed throughout our design showroom for your convenience. Should you discover a surface that you love, we can provide pricing and arrange to have our preferred fabricator/installer come to your home to measure, fabricate, and install your countertops once your new cabinets are installed.

EK: You offer showroom design services. Do you offer in-home design services as well?

Megan: In the home construction and remodeling marketplace, I learned that it is often difficult to accurately describe the kitchen or bath design that the homeowner is attempting to achieve. In those instances, we offer an in-home design service to enable our experienced design staff member to see your project firsthand. Sometimes it’s not just about the measurements of the kitchen, but it’s the layout of the rooms adjoining the kitchen, doorways leading to the kitchen, and the style of the house that gives our staff a better perspective when recommending a particular layout, as well as cabinetry options.

EK: What is your typical turnaround time for cabinet installation?

Megan: While we are primarily focused on quality and service, we understand that time can be of the essence, particularly when your home is under construction. In these instances, we have developed a system that, with the help of our preferred contractors, allows us to have cabinets installed in our customer’s home within two to three weeks from the time of purchase.

EK: How can our readers learn more about Knox Cabinet Co.?

Megan: We’d love for readers to visit our showroom, located at 10238 Hardin Valley Road in Knoxville. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. Appointments are encouraged and can be made by calling 865-674-5669. Readers can also visit our website at www.knoxcabinetcompany.com or check us out on Facebook at Knoxville Cabinet Co. or Instagram at @knoxcabinetcompany.

EK: In closing, is there anything else you would like to add?

Megan: We understand that you have many cabinet options to select from, but I would like to encourage your readers to visit our new showroom to discover for themselves not only the quality of our cabinetry, but the selection and competitive pricing as well. Even if you are close to making a final decision, I challenge you to compare our quality and price. Why not let our family help your family to create that showcase kitchen and bathroom that is waiting to be discovered in your home?

Knox Cabinet Co.
10238 Hardin Valley Road
Knoxville, TN 37932
865.674.5669
www.knoxcabinetcompany.com

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Smoky Junction Model Train Exhibit at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center


This holiday season the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is proud to announce the opening of their newest experience, Smoky Junction Model Train Exhibit. Running through the season, the exhibit is sure to be a delightful experience, because nothing says holiday enchantment quite like seeing little faces look on in wonderment as model trains zip by. With three different displays and a bit of history from the Townsend/Walland area, this exhibit will showcase different styles and scales of model trains and is sure to be a joy to the whole family, as well as train enthusiasts.

Opening November 9th, this exhibit, which will be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at the Heritage Center, will bring back the fond memories of the holiday trains of our childhoods.

“The Maryville Model Railroad Club has been instrumental in helping us design and creating these displays,” said Logan Hull, Director of Special Events at the Heritage Center. “We hope that this experience becomes an annual holiday tradition for the families in our community and for folks of all ages. We hope that we can create memories that will last a lifetime for families and promote this unique hobby, all while sharing the great history of this region. This is the perfect way for the Heritage Center to promote the history of our region in a fun and engaging way while giving our guests an experience like none other!”

The three differently scaled displays have all been created by the members of the Maryville Model Railroad Club. From the winter wonderland/holiday layout to a large “G” scaled display, the members of this club have created intricate details, and their passion for their hobby comes through in their work.

“I was wiring trains before I could do multiplications!” said Allan Gartner, a member of the club.

There seems to be a special joy in taking things apart to figure out how they work and then putting them back together. The operation of these trains is not as easy as it may appear. Many hours go into programming each one of the locomotives, and each one is different.

In one of the detailed displays, the unique history of the region plays the starring role. A replica of the communities of Townsend and Walland have been modeled and even include the famous covered bridge and the tannery in Walland. Without the railroad’s influence, these communities would be completely different. The city of Townsend got its start from The Little River Lumber Company, which started hauling lumber out of what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 1900s. This lumber and the various products related to logging were vital to the community and surrounding area and were shipped across the country to places like Chicago and many other major cities. After the founding of the National Park, it was the Citizen Conservation Corps (CCC) who was able to utilize these now unused railroad beds and turn them into the hiking trails we know and love throughout the Smokies.

Dennis Cherry, one of the members of the MMRC, has been working and playing with model trains for 65 years. The display he has been working on will be the largest by far, with the trains measuring in feet rather than inches.

“We all have the scales that we like to work on,” said Dennis. “Garden scale, the big ones, are my specialty and all the wiring that goes with it.”

A different scale known as “O” will capture the holiday spirit with its snowcapped hills and scenery. A special holiday train will disappear through tunnels and race across trestles in a North Pole themed display. Having an eye for detail, Don Clark, another member of the MMRC, has diligently worked to create this display and hopes to share his love of model trains with all ages.

A special “Boarding Pass” will be included in the admission price to the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center ($8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors) on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 9th through January 6th. It can also be purchased separately for only $4 for ages 6 and up. This experience is free to the members of the Heritage Center. The exhibit will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sundays from noon to 5 pm. Each day the trains are running a knowledgeable member of the MMRC will be on-site to answer any questions and to show how they run the trains.

Smoky Junction Model Train Exhibit has been made possible by funding from Blount Partnership, East Tennessee Foundation, and donations from Richardson Construction. For more information, call the Heritage Center at 865-776-4388 or visit www.gsmheritagecenter.org.

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
865.776.4388
www.gsmheritagecenter.org

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Bobby Todd Antiques


“Making Spirits Bright”

The Bobby Todd Christmas Open House

Bobby Todd Antiques is hosting their annual Christmas Open House on Thursday, October 18, from 10 to 6 at 4514 Old Kingston Pike in the iconic UP and Down Gas Station Building in the Bearden district. The Open House continues on Friday, October 19, and Saturday, October 20, from 10 to 5 and Sunday, October 21, from 1 to 5.

Each year Bobby Todd is transformed into a Christmas wonderland that captivates children of all ages. From the magical holiday displays to the whimsical and nostalgic holiday décor inside, Bobby Todd evokes a vintage spirit that will take you back to cherished childhood memories. Featured Christmas lines and artists include Byers’ Choice, Lori Mitchell, Shiny Brite, Cody Foster, Bethany Lowe, and Joe Spencer.

Bobby Todd’s sales associates have been as busy as Santa’s elves displaying these unique holiday décor items. During the Christmas Open House, Bobby Todd will also unveil their newest gift selections, quality antique furniture, and colorful accessories for your home.

As always, Bobby Todd offers complimentary holiday gift bag packaging, which makes it the perfect place to “wrap up” your Christmas shopping. Watch eyes light up every time someone receives a gift in a Bobby Todd gift bag.

During the Bobby Todd Christmas Open House, be sure to register to win fabulous door prizes, enjoy scrumptious holiday treats, and visit with old friends and make new ones. Also, Halloween décor will be on sale just in time for the season!

Parking is available on the upper level where the retail shop is located and also on the lower level in front of the Bearden Beer Market.

For more information regarding the Bobby Todd Christmas Open House, visit www.bobbytoddantiques.com and click on the events tab, or like us on Facebook for weekly updates. Make the Bobby Todd Christmas Open House a part of your holiday tradition!

Bobby Todd Antiques
4514 Old Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919
865.249.6612
www.bobbytoddantiques.com

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Marsh Wealth Management


What Every Woman Should Know

By Yvonne Marsh, CFP®, CPA

Ladies, do you ever feel like you’re juggling so many balls in the air that if someone hands you one more ball, it’s all going to come crashing down? Now add into the mix the startling statistic that 75% of unpaid caregivers are women, and those caregivers are providing 20 hours/week caring for their mother. Being a woman is a two-edged sword when it comes to long-term care (LTC) – we are both more apt to be the caregiver and the one ultimately needing care.

Sociological expectations dictate that women step into the role of caregiver first and indeed handle the most difficult tasks of helping with toileting, bathing, and dressing. The sacrifice of these caregivers is not just personal time – it is the physical stress of caregiving, time lost toward their career, parenting their own children, or leading a healthy lifestyle.

Women are more apt to need care too. We live longer than men, are more predisposed to Alzheimer’s and dementia, and, in fact, typically need LTC for 1.5 years longer than men. But as widows, we are more likely to live alone, with no one to help with daily activities, and have less household income.

Here are three simple steps to help you prepare for these challenges:

1. Think about your life and the impact if you or a loved one would need care. Can you provide it without sacrificing your own career or financial well-being? Can you physically perform the tasks, or can you pay someone to do it for you?

2. Plan for LTC as a family. Talk with your spouse, siblings, parents, and in-laws. Have a group meeting with a financial professional versed in LTC planning who can provide planning options and facilitate the discussion.

3. Call us or visit www.marshlongtermcare.com and request a complimentary copy of Don Quante’s book, Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home, to start educating yourself on the many positive ways to solve the LTC challenge. Learn about veteran’s benefits, asset-based LTC solutions that also provide a death benefit for your heirs, and how to leverage the cash value in existing annuities or life policies for tax-free LTC.

LTC costs can derail the most carefully thought out retirement plan, so get started today – there’s no time to waste.

Marsh Wealth Management, LLC
1341 Branton Blvd, Suite 105
Knoxville, TN 37922
865-622-2162
admin@marshpros.com
www.marshwealth.com

Article Source: What every woman should know about long-term care, Lincoln Financial Group white paper, 2017.

Financial Planning & Investment Advisory Services are offered through Marsh Wealth Management, LLC (“MWM”), an independent investment advisor registered with the state of Tennessee. Yvonne Marsh is an Investment Advisor Representative of MWM in the state of Tennessee. Marsh Professional Group, LLC is a TN registered public accounting firm and a separate legal entity from MWM. For a detailed discussion of MWM and their investment advisory fees, see the firm’s Form ADV on file with the SEC at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

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Urban Home & Gifts


Coming November 1st on Kingston Pike in Farragut is the opening of a new and exciting business, Urban Home & Gifts. Urban Home & Gifts is the creation of local entrepreneur and businessman, Jesse Boling. Jesse has combined his more than 18 years as a business owner and real estate agent with his entrepreneurial skills to create an all-new gift and home décor shopping experience. Urban Home & Gifts will feature an eclectic selection of both gift and décor items personally selected by Jesse that will be long remembered by those friends and family members that are the recipients of your thoughtful gifts.

Urban Home & Gifts is conveniently located at 10965 Kingston Pike, sharing retail space with another popular area business, Knox Graphics & Designs, also owned by Jesse. It also offers the added convenience of providing Urban Home & Gifts customers with the opportunity to make their gift selections even more memorable by allowing them to take full advantage of Knox Graphics & Designs’ extensive embroidery, monogramming, and silk screening capabilities to truly personalize many of the items they have purchased.

At Urban Home & Gifts, you can browse a wonderful selection of gifts and décor that will blend with almost any of today’s decorating styles. They will also offer items like hand towels, throws, etc. that can be personalized in-store. Urban Home & Gifts will also create custom gift baskets, including personalized closing gifts and baskets for realtors or friends, family, and neighbors welcoming new homeowners. A licensed real estate agent, Jesse has seen firsthand just how much new homeowners sincerely appreciate the baskets and housewarming gifts given by thoughtful friends, family members, and new neighbors.

Urban Home & Gifts will be offering a fresh and new approach to the gift and décor shopping experience. Be sure to join us November 1st for grand opening day! Enjoy wine and cupcakes along with many grand opening specials. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm and Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.

Urban Home & Gifts
10965 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37934
865.777.5669
www.urbanhomegifts.com

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Art Market Gallery


“BeDazzled” Jewelry Show

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The Art Market Gallery, a 60+ member juried artist co-operative in downtown Knoxville, celebrates Tennessee Craft Week October 5-14 by showcasing the work of five jewelry artisans. This special show, called “BeDazzled,” will run at the gallery throughout the month of October. Tennessee Craft Week is a collection of craft events and happenings taking place across the state every October. Its purpose is to connect and celebrate the work of craft artists and the businesses that support them.

The Art Market Gallery is lucky to have five talented jewelry artists as members: Roger Kroll, Jennifer Lindsay, Nancy Rowland-Engle, Lynn Straka, and Kristine Taylor. Each will have their work on display during “BeDazzled,” bringing their own perspectives, inspirations, and skills to the craft of jewelry making: Roger Kroll’s aim is to create a functional art form with his jewelry and metal art by exploring form, shape, color, and texture; Jennifer Lindsay fashions one-of-a-kind, intricately beaded pieces inspired by architecture, gardens, and historical customs; Nancy Rowland-Engle creates contemporary metallic jewelry with an edgy, sculptural form; Lynn Straka is influenced by nature in making her mixed-media jewelry, incorporating sterling silver, copper, and bronze with semi-precious stones; and Kristine Taylor is inspired by good design and beautiful color in crafting her unique polymer clay designs, blending contemporary and ancient forms with abstract images.

Please join us in celebrating these talented artists and some of the finest jewelry craft that Tennessee has to offer. In addition, you will also enjoy the wide variety of fine craft and fine art on display every day at the Art Market Gallery – voted Knoxville’s best place to buy art in 2016 and 2017 in the Knoxville News Sentinel poll.

Owned and operated by more than 60 professional regional artists, the Art Market Gallery is located at 422 South Gay Street next to Downtown Grill & Brewery. Hours are 11 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, 11 am to 9 pm Friday, and 1 to 5 pm Sunday. The gallery is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 865-525-5265 or visit www.artmarketgallery.net or www.facebook.com/Art.Market.Gallery.

Art Market Gallery
422 South Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
865.525.5265
www.artmarketgallery.net

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Entrepreneur


The Case for a Living Will

By Tom Irmen

Every year at my annual physical, without fail, my healthcare provider asks me if I have prepared or amended my living will. Contemplating our own mortality often makes us feel uncomfortable, but as I get older, I have come to appreciate that a living will may become the greatest gift you or I can leave our loved ones. And no, a living will it’s not something that just the elderly should consider. Regardless of our age, each of us is only one unforeseen accident away from benefiting from this simple yet all important document.

A living will is a written directive to your family, personal physician, and other healthcare providers about just what type and level of care you would wish to receive in the event that you were unable to make important personal medical decisions on your own in the event of a medical emergency. Your living will can be of great comfort to your loved ones who might be called on to act on your behalf in the absence of this document. Let’s be honest, not everyone knows what decisions you might make on your own, and two or more individuals that might be asked about your treatment options might not be able to agree on what course of action might be best for you.

When these decisions are left to others, you potentially place family members in the very difficult position of having to guess as to what care you might have elected to receive. Disagreements among family members can occur, resulting in strained or even broken relationships that may last for years or longer. And consider as well that these decisions can have long-term financial consequences for your family members as well.

A living will removes this burden from your family members to act on your behalf and asks only that they respect the choices you have made. This simple but important document may be the greatest gift you can give to your loved ones who might one day be forced to struggle with making medical decisions on your behalf in the absence of a living will.

Everyone of every age can benefit from the creation of a living will. No one is immune from a health crisis. And if you are self-employed, a living will is just one of several important documents necessary to assure the future success of the small business that you have devoted your life to, protecting it for your heirs. Our families deserve the peace of mind that can come from the creation of a living will.

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The Town Framery & Gifts


Fall Open House

October 27th from 10 am to 4 pm

It is time again for the annual Fall Open House at The Town Framery & Gifts! This annual tradition will once again feature local artists and fine art crafters from the area and be the unveiling of Christmas décor, gifts, and accessories!

The shop will welcome watercolorists Joe Trout, Lynda Wheeler, Linda Johnson, and, for the first time, Sam Tait. Their works include landscapes, floral, framed art, tiles, and notecards. Sam will be treating us with paintings of her whimsical snowmen during the event! Marianne Gansley will be featuring her repurposed jewelry line along with her new cork earrings. Janet Greer is back by popular demand showing hand-painted gourds. Hand-crafted segmented wood bowls will be shown by Paul Tinnel. Missey Steffey will be demonstrating and showing her amazing works in long pine needle basket weaving. And you don’t want to miss the fabulous, fun pottery of Janet Brudecki.

The shop will be filled with delightful wreaths, florals, and accents to accessorize your home for the upcoming holiday season. If you are looking for that perfect gift for the holidays, a wedding, house warming, or birthday, the collection of unique items has never been better. From that special event to a simple hostess gift, the shop offers easy, one-stop shopping!

Sales tax-free shopping and incredible edibles will be served all day. In preparation for our Open House, the shop will be closed on Friday, October 26, to prepare. The staff and volunteers of The Town Framery & Gifts look forward to serving you at our Fall Open House on October 27th! Think big… shop small!

The Town Framery & Gifts
12814 Kingston Pike
Farragut, TN 37934
865.671.6627
www.thetownframery.com

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Lily Pad Boutique


3rd Annual Fashion Fights Back Fashion Show

October 11 at 2:30
By Brenda Bryan, Owner of The Lily Pad

When recalling special moments and memories in the life of The Lily Pad, none is more memorable or meaningful than our annual Fashion Fights Back fashion show. On a beautiful sunny October afternoon, 10 of our customers who are either fighting their battle with breast cancer or are breast cancer survivors will model fall fashions at The Lily Pad. To support and honor our many customers and friends whose lives have been touched by this disease, we have pledged to support them in the way we do best… Fashion Fights Back!

As you know, nearly 250,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year… your mother, sister, daughter, wife, or even you! We have committed to give a portion of every item sold on this day to the American Cancer Society. There is no charge for admission.

On Thursday, October 11th, we will be honoring 10 more of our friends and family members who have witnessed firsthand the dreaded diagnosis of breast cancer. Please plan to join us at The Lily Pad as we again present Fashion Fights Back, a show by women for these women who are such an inspiration to all of us.

Also on this special day, Mr. Doyle Baker, our Joseph Ribkoff representative, will be hosting a trunk show of his fabulous line, presenting both immediate and a peek of what’s new for spring… plus a drawing for a Joseph Ribkoff jacket to a lucky winner.

Make your plans now to join us for this very inspirational day for all of our Lily Pad customers who have fought or are fighting their battle with breast cancer. Your ticket to the fashion show will be a donation to the American Cancer Society. Call 423-337-5537 or email lilypadboutique@bellsouth.net to reserve your seat.

The Lily Pad Boutique
209 N. Main Street
Sweetwater, TN 37874
423.337.5537
www.sweetwaterlilypad.com

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Window Works


Family Owned – Made in America – Founded in Knoxville, Tennessee

Sister and brother, Wendy and Chris, share many great memories of their childhood, but one in particular stands out.  These two siblings had the rare opportunity to observe their parents, Tom and Kay Moon, launch and operate several small home improvement companies throughout more than three decades.  Because Tom and Kay focused on providing a customer service level that exceeded the expectations of their clients, Wendy and Chris learned that success was the natural result of treating homeowners as they would like to be treated.  By placing the needs of their customers first, they learned that genuine success would follow.

Today Wendy and Chris have assumed the entrepreneurial reins of operating Knoxville-based Window Works here in East Tennessee from Tom and Kay.  Much has changed in the window replacement marketplace as new technologies continue to offer area homeowners exciting new options and features when replacing your home’s windows.  But one thing that has not changed is the reputation they have earned for integrity and honesty that was the hallmark of success that was instilled in them as children by Tom and Kay.

In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are pleased to share with you this interview with Wendy and Chris, in addition to some recent family photos of two generations of entrepreneurs along with some third generation hopefuls.

EK: What do you remember most about your early childhood memories of your mom and dad working in your family business together?

Wendy: Honestly, it was how hard they worked.  They were never the type of people to sit back and let something happen.  Growing up I remember my dad talking to us about the importance of setting goals.  But he would take it one step further by helping us break down the steps needed to achieve those goals and developing a plan for success.  Anyone can say they want to do something, but it’s figuring out what it will take to make it happen that’s the true test.  They have never shied away from hard work, and that was passed down to their kids and grandkids.  I believe this work ethic spills over into our business and is reflected in how we operate.  Each job is as important as the next, and each customer’s goal for their project is kept at the forefront of what we are working towards.

EK: As a child, did you ever contemplate self-employment or joining the family business?

Chris: Growing up I watched my dad spend his entire adult life, since returning from Vietnam, in the home improvement industry. First as a contractor, then as a sales rep for one of the leading window and siding manufacturers, next in the wholesale distribution sector, and finally in retail with Window Works.

The thought of working for myself and providing for my family has always been an inspiring notion. I’ve always been drawn to the home improvement industry, because it fascinates me to see how a home can evolve with each personal touch by the homeowner.

I spent more than a decade working for one of the top engineering companies in the United States to only feel I wanted more. When my parents approached me about coming into the business, I didn’t think twice about it. I was so excited to come in and learn as much as I could.

EK: As brother and sister, what has been your experience in working so closely with your sibling?

Wendy:  It’s been an easy transition. We both have our respective area within the business, and at the end of the day, we are first and foremost family.  It’s something our parents stressed as we stepped in and took over: Family first.  I’ll admit there is an added reassurance knowing it’s a family member who is working with you towards the same goal, and it helps that our views on things are so similar.

Truthfully, I have always had a great respect for Chris and have been proud of his accomplishments and how hard he works.  He’s honest, hardworking, intelligent (but don’t tell him that!), and even funny, but above all, he is loyal. It wasn’t a hard decision in deciding to go to work with my brother and one I’ve never regretted.  We were already there for the milestones – good and bad – in each other’s lives. Now we just get to celebrate the achievements with the business, too.

Chris: Well, that depends on what day you ask! Just kidding. It has been a blessing for me. We were fortunate to learn early like most small businesses that we all have our own day-to-day jobs to worry about. Though our tasks may overlap at times, we generally stay busy with our own responsibilities.

I’ve always admired my sister, her work ethic, and drive. It’s been a great fit, because our strategies to hit goals, ambitions with the business, and how to resolve conflict align.

We sat down before we moved forward as business partners to make sure we agreed that family came first above anything. Not just our immediate family, but the families of our team and our clients we serve on a daily basis. Putting that at the forefront of our daily routine, along with all that we have learned from our parents, has been the key to our business and why I think we see so many return and referred clients.

EK: Growing up and watching your parents work together in business, what important characteristics did you observe that you attribute to the success of Window Works today?

Wendy: They always instilled in us to be honest and fair.  Those characteristics set the standard for how they would treat their customers and is part of what I think made them successful.  They offered a great product at a fair price and, just as important, stood behind the work that was done.

It wasn’t and still isn’t uncommon for us to see some of my parent’s past customers while out at a store or eating. They always stop and have a word with them, never reluctant due to a past issue.  They knew that by being honest and treating each customer fairly, they could always be proud of each completed job. My dad especially enjoyed building relationships, educating homeowners, and strived to treat them as he would want to be treated.  It’s why people still call in today asking for him personally.

EK: What role do your parents play at Window Works today?

Chris: Our parents retired in 2015 with a desire to travel. After a little setback with health issues, they are now proceeding as planned to travel to some of the national parks. (I would advise all readers to stay off the road if they see my parents pulling an RV in their direction.)

My parents still come down to the showroom from time to time to catch up with the team and make sure Wendy and I feel supported and are successful. My dad especially loves catching up with old clients, giving our manufacture reps a hard time when they pass through, and even taking a lead or two from time to time.

EK: How has technology transformed your marketplace?

Wendy: Technology has had a great impact on our business.  With its progression things such as advancements on coatings for glass are now at a higher rate, which yield a greater energy savings.  There are also more color options and better spacer systems, all of which benefit our customers in the end.  We spend a great deal of time vetting any manufacturer we offer and comparing their technology and advances with other products that are in the marketplace. One of the exciting things about our newest OKNA line is that it not only outperforms its competitors on energy efficiency, but it also excels in areas such as air infiltration and structural integrity.

Technology has also changed how consumers shop.  People are now more apt to educate themselves on the Internet as to what options and features are available.  They can compare window lines and see where the differences are and decide what is important to them.  With reviews being so easy to access, consumers can also research the company they are hiring.  As a homeowner, I have done it, and we encourage our potential customers to do it – read the reviews and see what our past customers have had to say about us. Once you do, we think you will see why we have such a high rate of customers being referred to us.

EK: Tom shared with us his excitement about a new window that is now available from OKNA.  Share with our readers a little bit about OKNA.

Chris: OKNA has an amazing product line. They specialize in windows and doors earning a reputation for innovation, quality, and performance. They are always working to improve and advance past the status quo. At OKNA, they value the importance of providing customers with one of the most improved energy-efficient windows on the market.

One example of this is: Their window lineup is recognized as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2018. Most Efficient is a new distinction that recognizes products that deliver cutting-edge energy efficiency, along with the latest in technological innovation. It is an award that truly represents the best of Energy Star products.

EK: In addition to replacement windows, what other products do you offer homeowners?

Wendy: We also offer siding, patio doors, and gutters.  With different manufacturers, it means homeowners have many choices as far as colors and styles, so there is something for everyone.

We are excited about our newest and exclusive line from OKNA.  Customers have the option of a premium vinyl replacement window but also have an option for a composite window. This new line of windows offers a stainable or paintable finish. Best of all, it comes with a lifetime warranty that surpasses what can be found on the market for a wood window.

EK: How has your insistence on providing a customer service experience that exceeds the expectations of your clients impacted Window Works?

Chris: We always take each job personal no matter how small or big. Our clients give us the opportunity to come into their house to change its current state for the better. We take that seriously by looking at each home we go in as our own.

We establish on the front end the reason for the updates – whether it’s for the maintenance-free advantage, the energy efficiency and savings it can bring, or to update the overall appearance of the house. Those are just a few things we address when we work alongside our clients to find the right products for their project.

If we sell something to our clients that they may not need or even want just because we can “sell it,” that doesn’t help either one of us in the long run. The homeowner will feel a lot less satisfied, but by educating and working with our clients on the front end, we try to eliminate any chance of this happening. At the end of our projects, we hope we’ve exceeded their expectations and gained their trust to recommend us on down the road.     

EK: One thing we found interesting is that the lead installers on each of your installation teams have 20+ years of experience.  Why is this important?

Wendy: For a homeowner, someone removing a window from their home sounds like a daunting process.  As homeowners ourselves, we completely understand how important it is to trust the people that you allow to work on your home, and by having highly skilled and qualified installers with extensive experience, it helps to give homeowners the peace of mind in knowing that if by chance they run into something out of the ordinary, they can rely on their experience to determine the best way to move forward with the install – and even more importantly that it will not compromise their window or their home.

Window Works is also on an approved contractor list through the TVA Escore program.  This is an added benefit for the customer.   It allows for a third party to come in and inspect our work after we are done to make sure it was installed and sealed properly.  It’s a wonderful added value that any of our customers can take advantage of.

EK: Tell our readers about your warranty.

Chris: We have spent a lot of time selecting our products that we offer our customers for a number of reasons. One reason among many is the warranty. A customer that is only planning on staying in their current home a year or two may not be as concerned as someone who is planning on staying 10, 20, or even 30+ years. That’s when a warranty matters. At the end of the day, we are not in the home improvement business; we are in the customer service business. Having a warranty in writing goes a long way for a homeowner’s peace of mind.

EK: On a personal note, what has your parents’ decades of efforts meant to both of you and your families?

Wendy: They are a great role model for our whole family.  Their years of hard work have afforded us this amazing opportunity to continue to grow what they started.  We feel blessed by what they have taught us and what we continue to learn from them.

Chris: It’s a true testament to their legacy. It’s been nothing but amazing for my family and myself to be able to come to work every morning and add to that legacy. I love telling our story to both old clients and new. A story that doesn’t just stop here in Knoxville but also carries on down to Chattanooga to our sister location run by my Uncle Johnny, Aunt Pam, and two cousins, Trey and Tiffany. That’s where I think the decades of effort mean the most. Our parents and extended family have built a solid foundation, which is key for the success of the second generation. Wendy, myself, and our cousins look forward to continuing to contribute to our already strong foundation for the next generations to come.

EK: What is the best way for our readers to learn more about Window Works?

Wendy: There are a couple of ways.  You can call us at 865-560-3044, or if you prefer, you can come by our showroom at 151 Sherway Road, Suite 6.  It’s right behind Harper Audi dealership.

EK: In closing, is there anything you would like to add?

Chris: On behalf of the Window Works family, we just want to thank all of our clients for allowing us to come into their home and show them the Window Works difference. We look forward to helping any future clients who are considering replacing windows, siding, gutters, and patio doors. Given the chance we think you’ll find we take pride in what we do and look forward to working with you.

Window Works
151 Sherway Road, Suite 6
Knoxville, TN 37922
865.560.3044
www.WindowWorksUs.com

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