Huge success is born out of humble beginnings.
Picture a 2,000-square-foot building in a small town in Florida in 1979. A young man, Kroy Crofoot, is constructing furniture made of heavy-grade PVC-like material—“pipe furniture.” His mother sews the cushion sleeves and his father stuffs the foam that will go into them. Fast forward to 1982 and it’s a 30,000-square-foot facility, and by 1990, the company is one of the largest manufacturers of outdoor furniture in the country with the best service in the industry.
In 2006, Aaron Beasley, who now oversees Palm Casual’s showroom in Mount Pleasant, knew that the sky was the limit and accepted a position at the company shortly after graduating from college. Now, as partner and co-owner of Palm Casual, Beasley understands that it’s the company’s philosophy that ensures its continued success.
“We’re kind of a three-headed monster,” Beasley explains. “We manufacture, we sell directly to the public and to over 500 retail stores nationwide. We repair, if necessary, everything we sell. And our service is unbeatable.”
Extraordinary vertical integration isn’t the only reason for the company’s success.
“Fabric, finish, frame color, material—all of it is designed by the customer, for the customer,” Beasley says. “If you decide you don’t like it within 30 days, we refund the full price. We have a joke around here that you can throw 29 parties and no matter what shape your furniture is in, if you’re not happy and want to return it, we write you a check. No questions asked.”
Palm Casual’s line includes wicker, aluminum, cast aluminum and 100 percent recycled premium patio furniture and accessories, including fabrics, fire tables and umbrellas. The company’s price points are 35 to 50 percent below retail. Instead of special sales, customers receive the best price from the get-go.
“We cater to people’s situations. A customer may buy an entire collection or one chair. If they get it home and find it’s not perfect for their situation, or if they find something similar somewhere else that they like better, we’ll write them a check for a full refund,” Beasley says.
The practice of refunding a customer, especially for a product that has been custom designed, isn’t usually an option. Each customer’s product may have their name on the tag, but that doesn’t matter when a customer wants to make a change.
“If they decide, ‘I don’t want these black cushions. I want striped ones,’ we’ll exchange or completely refund them within that 30-day guarantee period,” Beasley says. “And even then, we’ll be flexible. It just depends on each client’s unique situation.”
The guarantee goes much further. Each time a client makes a change, they then get another 30 days to make sure they’re happy. In addition, any time— even years later—if a weave weakens, a cushion tears or a metal corner breaks or bends, it’s repaired, free of charge.
“We have the ability to fix it for them on-site, and we have the craftspeople who know how to do it,” Beasley says. “We’ll pick it up, fix it, deliver it back to them and set it up. Free of charge, of course. We give them a lifetime service guarantee.”
White-glove service plus platinum guarantees equal spectacular sales. Repeat customers and endless referrals have enabled Palm Casual to continually expand. This year, the company has added two more large-scale manufacturing facilities. Its 18 locations, comprised of manufacturing facilities and showrooms throughout Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, offer individuals, hotels, restaurants and other commercial clients a phenomenal array of options—from budget to premium.
“Our least expensive lines last and perform as well as our most expensive ones,” Beasley reveals. “We help you figure out what you like and what price you want. You’ll walk away knowing you’ve got the absolute best value—for you.”
Palm Casual’s 38-year history of premium product performance is reason enough for its success, but it’s definitely not the main reason, according to Beasley.
“The heartbeat of our business is our customers, and we have, from the start, made it our primary motivator—if we make them happy, it snowballs and we have customers for life. Just like our products and guarantees,” he says with a smile.
Brigitte Surette is a full-time freelance writer living near Charleston. Find out more at brigittesurette.com.