They say nothing is constant but change, and that applies to businesses as well as personal lives. For over ninety years, the McCready family has embraced that change and moved ahead.
In 1924, WG. McCready started the family furniture business on the square in downtown Mansfield, later moving the store to Lexington and finally to Lucas, Ohio. By 1947, he purchased a farm on West Fourth Street and eventually opened WG. McCready and Sons Furniture, The Big Country Furniture Store. As the years passed, sons Don and Bob carried on their father's standard of quality, integrity and customer service. McCready Interiors opened in the Johnny Appleseed shopping center, and was eventually moved and added onto the West Fourth Street store.
After graduating from college in 1979, WG:s grandson Tom joined the family business. After W G. McCready and Sons closed in 1993, Tom opened McCready Interiors in the Sugarbush Square complex in downtown Mansfield. Working with designer Bob Montague, this incarnation paired Tom’s business skills and Montague's creativity.
"I always assumed I would join the family business, but there was another piece of the puzzle I wanted to tackle. My grandmother's farm on Owens road was built in the 1860s, and came into the family in 1882. My grandmother was born and raised there, and it's where she and WG. were married. Over the years, the farm had been rented to sharecroppers. It had fallen into disrepair, and when I came back to town I wanted to restore the house and live on that land;” Tom McCready said.
Tom's wife Julie McCready added, "It's always been Tom’s passion to restore the house. It has been, and continues to be, a labor of love. We have so many things that belonged to his family, including his great-grandmother 's wedding dress that his grandmother preserved. The house will always be a work in progress and it will be passed down to one of our sons. "Often I walk into the barn and search out the place where my grandmother 's name is carved into the old barn wood. Under 'Helen' is a second name, 'Bessie' I always assumed it was someone who lived in the area, but when I asked my grandmother she just smiled and said, 'No, that was my dog's name."' Tom smiled as he added, "My grandmother stayed with relatives in Lexington during the winter months so she wouldn't have to walk so far to go to school. On the weekends my grandfather would go pick her up in the sleigh and bring her home for the weekends. I was lucky to have time with my grandmother and hear so many of the stories about her life and the house. The name of our farm, Gramac, is a combination of my grandmother's maiden name, Graham, and her married name, McCready."
In 1996, Tom, wife Julie, and Bob McCready opened Norwalk, The Furniture Idea on Lexington Springmill Road. Julie brought the extra dimension of design and decorating to the mix, and in 2008 they decided it was time to bring back McCready Interiors, adding the name to their existing store.
Three generations have kept this family business alive; now the couple is hoping there will be a fourth generation to carry on the McCready tradition. "Our sons are showing an interest in the business. We will just have to wait and see what happens; Julie said.
As they move into McCready's 94th year, Julie and Tom are dedicated to maintaining the standards of quality that have kept them in business. "We are not just a retail store, we are here to help our customers create a home. It's important to Tom that his grandfather and father would be proud of the way the business is being run today" Julie said.
Julie McCready wears a lot of hats as the McCready Interiors designer and a training specialist for Norwalk Furniture. At Norwalk's corporate headquarters in Norwalk, Ohio. Julie trains storeowners and designers. She also hosts training seminars in the Norwalk Las Vegas furniture showroom, and at various store locations. Somehow, she still finds time to write her popular feature, "Decorating For..:· in Heart of Ohio magazine, something she has done since the very first issue in 2010.
The McCready name has been a part of this area's business community and history for many years. Their deep roots in the land have helped them grow not just a successful company, but a successful family that celebrates its history and looks to the future of this community with hope.
Visit the McCready Interiors Furniture Store at 784 N. Lexington Springmill Road in Ontario, or check out their website at www.mccreadyinteriors.com.