Father hands Kamin furniture company reins to son


Feb. 19, 2012 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 19, 2012 at 8:20 p.m.

Bentley Kamin sits on a couch on the Kamin Home Furnishings showroom floor. Kamin on Monday takes over as company president.

Bentley Kamin sits on a couch on the Kamin Home Furnishings showroom floor. Kamin on Monday takes over as company president.

Presidents Day might be a time to honor the nation's leaders, but the 2012 holiday has special meaning for one Victoria retailer.

On Monday, Buddy Kamin turns over the reins - and role of Kamin Home Furnishings president - to his son, Bentley Kamin.

The switch is more a title change than anything else, said Bentley Kamin, who took over operations years ago, when his father fell ill to cancer.

"I handle all aspects of the company and oversee every department," he said from inside his office, which affords him a view of the store's massive sales floor. "My dad is still involved, but I've run the show for about seven years."

Even so, the younger Kamin isn't about titles, he said.

He's more at home helping customers and employees, doing inventory and even making the occasional delivery he said, than holing up behind a desk.

As for the elder Kaimin, he said he looks forward to the days ahead, but agreed that his son's years of experience mean it won't be much of a change.

"It's just like if you've been living with your boyfriend for four years, but then decided to get married to make it legal," he said with a laugh. "He's legal now."

Kamin Furniture got its start in 1950, when Morris and Carolyn Kamin opened at 705 S. Bridge St. The business moved on to 201 Santa Rosa St. shortly after and, in 2008, moved to its current location - with more than two acres of showroom space - at 5909 NE Zac Lentz Parkway.

It changed its name to Kamin Home Furnishings at the same time.

A few changes will enter the mix down the road.

An updated website should go online within the next few months, giving people a better idea of the store's inventory before entering the doors, Bentley Kamin said. The site includes a mobile element, he said, so people searching with smart phones have a better online experience.

Customers will also see a move toward more modern furniture, he said, noting that is the look younger consumers tend to gravitate toward. The more contemporary looks began making appearances on the showroom floor about a year and-a-half ago.

"We want to try to meet everybody's needs," the incoming president explained. "We want a nice broad range of goods."

And, although Dad will no longer be president, that doesn't mean he's out of the loop.

The elder Kaimin said he plans to make it into the store three times a week to help out, but his son said he knows better than that.

"I've been working with the store since age 10, sweeping the floors and that kind of thing, and Dad did the same," he said. "This is what he knows. He's not going to change."

But that's just fine with the 36-year-old incoming president. After all, that family tradition is what kept the business going.

"We will always be a family business," he said. "We will never forget our roots and what brought us to the table."



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