Don Willis Furniture 65th Anniversary: Trees and Tradition

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Fresh salmon swimming upstream is a Northwest mainstay, as is rain and tall green trees. The Space Needle, Pike Place Market and coffee are traditions and after 65 years of serving their beloved Seattle, so is Don Willis Furniture.

Our local builders make their furniture using only real wood. The mantra at Don Willis Furniture is, "Friends don't let friends buy particle board."

In the Pacific Northwest we appreciate the flavors, natural beauty and the traditions of our local area. The Don Willis family has been in Washington for 5 generations. In 1948, way before it became popular to buy American and to buy local, that’s what Don Willis was doing with the furniture he sold.

Don believed that Northwest woods made better quality furniture for Northwest homes. The wood was raised in our climate and preformed better overall in the Pacific Northwest. Besides it cost less than importing - Don was thrifty. Small business supporting small business. For Don Willis, the path to a quality product was and is through the shops of local craftsmen. It made sense in 1948 and it makes sense today.

According to Paul Willis, second-generation owner of Don Willis Furniture, “Customers love the fact that their bed and dresser are made in the Northwest.” However, the pleasure is not entirely derived from a sense of regional pride or patriotism, Paul added, “The options available by locally made furniture gets our customers really excited.”

Paul’s customers can have their furniture modified any way they want: shorter, taller, deeper drawers, different wood...the list goes on. They can even order furniture made from scratch using their own design, or work with the design team at Don Willis.

Made to order furniture sounds like a lengthy, expensive proposition, but it’s surprisingly affordable. That’s the beauty of working with local furniture makers. There are no assembly lines to reconfigure, no oceans to cross. Every piece is made by hand, within an hour’s drive of the stores. Design changes are swift and inexpensive.

“There’s another advantage to buying furniture made in the Northwest,” Paul said, “Quality. Unlike much of the furniture made overseas which feature veneer masking particle board underneath, our local builders make their furniture using only real wood.” Not surprisingly, the mantra at Don Willis Furniture is, "Friends don't let friends buy particle board."

Two of Paul’s store managers, Mike Edwards (Lake City), and Corey Shay (Ballard) co-own Don Willis Furniture’s main supplier, Pacific Bay Wood Design. Their involvement in the ordering, construction, and delivery of the final product, adds efficiency to the process; another bonus for the customer.

Recently, Don Willis added a softer side to their local furniture story. They now offer upholstered chairs, sofas, and love-seats…also made in the Northwest.

In a world of off-shore furniture, Don Willis has chosen to swim against the tide, staking their reputation and survival on building and selling made in the Northwest furniture. Is there a future in it? If 65-years worth of satisfied customers have any say so, it's a resounding yes! After countless hours of disappointment looking for real-wood furniture with just the right fit and style, customers have been able to find exactly what they’ve been looking for at Don Willis Furniture, Lake City, Ballard, and Kent. It’s hard to overstate the value of that kind of satisfaction.

Visit for more information and store locations.

About Don Willis Furniture

Don Willis, was a boat builder. He built his furniture with the same care that he built his boats. Since 1948, Don Willis Furniture has furnished generations of Northwest homes with furniture made from solid wood and finished to match each family’s personal style and décor.

Today, under Paul Willis’ leadership, Don Willis Furniture is carrying on the family tradition – dependable, durable, real wood furniture, most of it hand-crafted right here in the Northwest. Don Willis Furniture has three Puget Sound locations, Lake City, Ballard, and Kent.

Lake City
Michael Edward , Store Manager
10516 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98125
Phone: 206-524-9944

Corey Shay, Store Manager
1712 NW Market Street, Seattle, WA 98107
Phone: 206-782-3333

Chris Moser , Store Manager
26830 Pacific Hwy. S., Kent, WA 98032
Phone: 253-839-3095

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