Keeping It Simple FROM ‘Giddy Up to Whoa’
Oxley Cabinet Warehouse offers affordable cabinets for immediate delivery and installation
Having been born and raised in the family cabinet business, Bill Oxley, President of Oxley Cabinet Warehouse Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida, has gained abundant knowledge about cabinets from 50-plus years of being in the industry.
His father started a cabinet shop in the 1940s and put Oxley to work when he turned 9 years old. He began with sweeping floors and worked his way up to running the business. Most of what he learned came from the field, but he also studied subjects, such as advanced kitchen design, in a classroom setting. “I have had experience from being the salesman to being the project manager of jobs of all sizes,” Oxley says.
The Other Side of the Fence
A couple of times Oxley tried other vocations and wound up coming back and applying principles he discovered elsewhere to the family venture. “I thought maybe if I sold insurance it would be easier. But when I mastered selling insurance, I said if I’d known some of this information in the cabinet business, I’d have done a better job,” Oxley says.
He also tried his hand at real estate investing—flipping houses for five or six years. Oxley was pretty familiar with that trade, because he knew construction and cabinets, and that was good for a while. But again, he realized the experiences he gained would make him better at dealing in cabinetry.
In September 2004, Oxley opened Oxley Cabinet Warehouse. “So here I am, and I’m going to stay. The grass looked greener on the other side of the fence, but cabinets have been good to us,” he says.
Family Involvement Expands
His children tried doing other things as well. “My oldest daughter, Helene Stang, was working for an accounting firm and wanted a change. I needed someone to keep the books here and asked her to join us,” Oxley says. “She’s been here ever since.” Now Helene is training to be the general manager.
Oxley’s son, Steve Oxley, has done several things, including a stint in the Navy. Now he handles internet marketing at Oxley Cabinet Warehouse. Oxley’s son-in-law, Everett Heffner, was an installer for quite a few years and has moved inside to take charge of installation to make sure the jobs get done right—a pivotal feature of the enterprise. Joey Connell, another son-in-law, works in sales and is a designer.
The fourth generation has also joined the ranks. “My grandson, Jeremy Stang, is finishing up business management in college. He’ll graduate this year. He’s been working here a few years in the office and as Warehouse Manager. Brittany Stang, my granddaughter, works in the office alongside her mother,” Oxley says.
Right now, Oxley Cabinet Warehouse has about 20 employees and seven subcontractors that complete installations. “As you can see, quite a few of our people are family and the rest have become like family,” Oxley says. “I appreciate this good, clean-cut hardworking group of people. They live up to our motto, which is ‘Good work leads to a good reputation.’” Most everyone has been there quite a while. So they know their jobs and do them well.
Expansion Increases Effectiveness
Oxley says the work primarily entails going to the job site, measuring the house or the project, doing computer layouts and giving exact pricing—all within a short period of time. Oxley’s goal has been to have the merchandise in stock so that people could expect quick installation at good prices.
In April 2017, the corporation moved from a 15,000-square-foot facility to one at the West Fifth Street location in Jacksonville that offered 40,000 square feet of space for increased inventory. With this large site, the enterprise is geared toward volume sales and can handle apartment-complex jobs and subdivisions. Plus, buying cabinets by the truckload creates a large supply that facilitates immediate delivery. This pleases customers who don’t want to wait the standard two or more weeks. The company stocks the three different cabinet designs clients most frequently request.
“That’s the bulk of our dealings,” Oxley says. “We also have a semi-custom line of cabinets for those who want something a little different or specific—and who are willing to go into the mid-price range and to wait a bit longer for delivery. A large portion of our clients likes that option as well.”
Enlarging its Reach
Oxley Cabinet Warehouse primarily handles the Northeast Florida area, but it has started making contacts outside of Jacksonville with a customer in Ocala, Florida, and one in Savannah, Georgia. “We know the Panama City, Florida, area is going to need a lot of cabinets after the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Michael in 2018. We are in position to help a lot of people,” Oxley says.
Every year, Oxley Cabinet Warehouse helps its community by doing a couple of residential projects for charity. “We actually replaced two kitchens at no charge this year for people who were in bad shape. We got the referrals through the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA). They were in charge of the project and almost completely rebuilt the houses,” Oxley says. The company is a member of the NEFBA and the First Coast Apartment Association, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Jacksonville Real Estate Investors’ Association (Jax REIA). All these organizations help supply opportunities to network with other industry professionals and to keep up with trends.
Trends Come Back Around
Through the years, Oxley has seen the trends in cabinetry change multiple times. White cabinets, for example, were popular when Oxley was a 15-year-old kid. Then white came back in the 1960s, the 1980s and in the 2000s. It is, once again, highly in demand. Other aspects of kitchen design have changed, though. Equipment has changed, sizes of kitchens have changed, and the importance of kitchens has changed. “I think the kitchen has always been the family center, but now it’s bigger and better. People want to spend time in the kitchen. When you visit, you visit in the kitchen,” Oxley says.
The showroom at the Oxley Cabinet Warehouse presents one kitchen after another for people to spend time in. Once they choose the design they prefer, they can have immediate delivery to their own home.
“We keep our business simple. We handle cabinet sales, countertops and installation from ‘Giddy up to whoa.’ We are responsible for what we do, and we’ve been at this a long time,” Oxley says.