MJ Hennesy of Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet never takes anyone for granted.
Looking for some inspiration these days?
Meet MJ Hennesy, an entrepreneur whose approach to life is a fine example for other business owners or anyone who’s simply seeking light at the end of the tunnel.
Hennesy just celebrated the 20th anniversary of her business, Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet, which has had its share of ups, downs and everything in-between.
When Hennesy started her Hilton Head business, she took a giant leap of faith. She was living in Boston and had a wonderful career managing sales for a subsidiary of Gillette.
At the same time she was going through a divorce, her already extensive travel and responsibilities were about to increase. When she realized that she needed to be closer to her kids, she left her job and moved to Hilton Head Island, where she could also be closer to her parents as she began her new life.
“I started out in real estate and my experiences gave me the idea for my business,” she recalled. “Buyers always asked me where they could go to furnish their new properties. Since I had always enjoyed decorating, I decided on a furniture business. There were risks, of course.
“Just being a single parent with a new business was scary,” she said. “Later, when we moved to a more prominent location on Mathews Drive, the rent and other expenses doubled. That was another big risk, but something we needed to do. It was the right decision.”
“Every company has problems, and we’ve had ours over the years. It’s the way you handle them that makes or breaks you. After 9/11, times were tough. People were paralyzed and just stopped making decisions. I’m not saying that the economy isn’t bad today, but for us it’s still not as bad as what happened after 9/11, when we scaled back and made some hard decisions. You just have to get up every day and do what you need to do with a positive outlook,” she advised.
Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet focuses on discount furnishings for all properties and now includes a second location.
Throughout the business’s growth, Hennesy’s positive attitude and appreciation for others has never varied.
“I believe that service is everything,” she said. “We offer free in-home design service, which I think is unique with discount furniture. I take care of my customers and they come back year after year.
“Referrals from customers and Realtors are always such blessings,” she said. “And I never take anyone for granted. My employees, clients, vendors, friends and family, especially my husband, Scott, and my parents, have all helped me succeed. I’m grateful for everything that I have, especially being with my children as they grew up. Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet is a wonderful business and I have no regrets!”
Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet has two locations: 118 Mathews Drive (across from Palmetto Electric) on Hilton Head and 1504 B Fording Island Road (U.S. 278 behind Alltel) in Bluffton. For more information, call (843) 861-4620 or visit hiltonheadfurniture.com.