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Finishing and Furnishing marks Silver milestone

Finishing and Furnishing marks Silver milestone

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Finishing and Furnishing Co Ltd is celebrating its milestone achievement, and believe it or not, if there is one person in the world that is savouring the feat with great pride and joy that person is Omroy ‘OT’ Theophilus Mayers, the founder of the business.{{more}}

Finishing and Furnishing has been in the business for 25 years.

The business is a dream pursued by O.T in his quest to lower the cost of furniture in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

Some of the furniture on display at Finishing and Furnishing.

Prior to 1983, O.T supplied some of the big stores in St.Vincent and the Grenadines and could have lived comfortably from the returns, but when he looked at the retail value of his products, he said it always gave him “a bowel movement”.

“I was trying to help my people, but when I look at the markup that they put on my furniture I figure my job was not complete. I was not helping the people the way that I would have liked to help them. So I ventured out to meet the consumer directly,” said O.T in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT as he explained the reasons for starting the business.

“When I considered the price they pay me and the cost that the consumer had to pay, I figured I could have done something better. I decided to cut the merchant mark-up in two. Take half and give half to the consumer. In other words, I get a little more for my furniture and the consumer pay a lot less. That was my main reason for getting in the retail market,” said O.T.

Mayers, who said “O.T.” stands for “Overtime” or “On Time”, is originally a Lowmans Hill resident whose hard work and determination have made him one of this country’s most productive and prominent businessmen. He is the proprietor of Finishing & Furnishing – Arwe Store and a furniture factory at Diamond.

Employees of Finishing and Furnishing treating customers to some goodies to show appreciation for loyal patronage.

In 1959, Mayers started building furniture. He was then an apprentice of the late Carlton Cole at the Public Works Department at Arnos Vale.

The son of Lester John and Marie Myers, he has four sons and a daughter.

Mayers said that his first project was a wood hanger that, in those days, would have fetched a price of about 12 cents. It took him about two months to get it done properly. Mayers recalls that he started working as a construction worker in 1963 during the day and then going on to building furniture in a backyard shed at his Lowmans Hill home at nights.

Mayers said that he kept elevating himself “until I reached into construction and then back to furniture full time.” He began supplying major retail shops, and, according to him, “it used to give me belly ache when I saw the prices that they would sell the stuff for.”

So on October 10, 1983, Mayers opened his own store, eventually paving the way to his success. His first show room was 16 feet by 22 feet and he could have only displayed one piece of each furniture item.

Mayers said that he was encouraged by a close friend to buy the building on Tyrell Street, which then housed Davis Drug Mart.

“It cost me EC$90,000, so I was very sceptical at first. But I have no regrets because now my first showroom is now worth 10 times what I bought it for,” he smiled.

Mayers has also done philanthropic work in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. In 1997, Mayers converted a section of his business place into three classrooms for Common Entrance students at the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic School. He also paid the wages of two teachers assigned to a preschool for the Association for the Advancement of Troumaca.

The patriotic Vincentian prioritises the needs of the people in his day-to-day operations. He said that the main objective of his business is to create employment. At present he has 105 workers on his payroll.

Known as a down to earth businessman, Mayers could once be seen walking the streets barefoot. This was done by choice.

The business is now run by his sons Orbilius, Omri and Owen who took over the operations in 2000.

For the 25th anniversary the sons are giving cash discounts between 10-25 per cent as they remind Vincentians that they are here to stay. (HN)