The back office in Victoria’s Ashley Homestore is filled with decades upon decades of memorabilia from the time Paige Streiff’s family has spent in the furniture business.
There are black and white photos of their original store in Kenedy, newspaper advertisements from the 1930s, handwritten inventory and prices from 1922 and fun promotional items like anniversary mugs, yardsticks and fly swatters, all in pristine condition.
It’s not just memorabilia either, but 100 years of family history.
“I feel proud,” said Streiff, who co-owns the store with her husband Ben Streiff. “I feel like what they valued and being part of the community influences what I do in the future.”
On Thursday, the Streiff family will celebrate a century of business, though their operations have seen considerable changes over the years.
Today, the Streiff family operates Victoria’s Ashley Homestore, the third moniker the family operation has taken on, she said.
They’ll celebrate the occasion with a special event and sale, she said. In addition to being a furniture provider to the area, the Streiff family is involved with several charities.
The family first entered into the furniture business in Kenedy in 1922. The owners then were Marcellus and Daisy Rackley, and the store was known as Rackley Furniture and Produce, Streiff said.
“They sold chickens, eggs, furniture, mattresses, coffins, all kinds of things,” she said.
In 1932, the Rackleys’ nephew, Aubery Stimson, entered the family business since the Rackleys had no children, Streiff said. In 1955 Stimson opened a second location in Karnes City and named it Stimson Furniture.
Soon, there were seven Stimson Furniture locations throughout Texas, Streiff said. Of those seven, the Victoria location is the only one still open, just under a different name.
In 2005, the family began converting the Stimson Furniture stores in Victoria and Yoakum into Ashley HomeStores, while closing the other five locations, Streiff said. In 2010, they acquired the Ashley HomeStore in Corpus Christi, though the Yoakum location closed in 2015 when it appeared most Yoakum customers were purchasing furniture at the Victoria location.
“It’s still us,” Streiff said. “The names on the buildings may change, but it’s still the same family.”
Streiff said the family’s participation in children’s charities and their connection to the community is what’s carried them to the century mark.
“I still foresee people buying from people instead of people buying from stores moving forward,” she said.
The family has a commitment to charity, she said.
In December, they held their eighth annual Hope to Dream event, where children in need are given beds and other gifts.
The twin-size mattresses, bed frames and bedding gifted to the children are funded by the community, Streiff said. A portion of the profits from every mattress sale at Ashley HomeStore goes into an account that is used to purchase the beds.
“The community gives, and then we give back,” she said.
The family is also involved with House of Palms and helped found and is still involved with South Texas Children’s Home, Streiff said.
“It’s important that we do things for the kids,” she said. “If it involves a child … that’s me. Sign me up.”
To celebrate the anniversary, the store will host an event Thursday afternoon with food and drinks, Streiff said. They’ll also be giving away a 2022 Chevrolet Trax SUV. Additionally, they’ll be holding a sale for up to half off all store inventory until around the end of April.