After a temporary pause due to COVID-19, the “Member Spotlight” series is back in action! Each month, we will take an in-depth look into one of our Chamber members and the history of their business or organization. Look for a new spotlight in each quarterly newsletter. For the months when a newsletter is not released, you will be able to find the latest “Member Spotlight” right here on our blog and on our Facebook page.
Sleighter’s Furniture & Sleep Shop, located at 5 Lincoln Way West, has been a New Oxford staple since 1947. Sleighter’s held its grand opening on August 21, 1947. The business was originally located in the building that now houses Martin’s New Oxford Hardware.
Sleighter’s was founded by Charles R. Sleighter and C. Robert Sleighter. Charles’ wife Elva and Robert’s wife Sarah were also heavily involved in the evolution of the business. The store is now in its third generation of family ownership. Sleighter’s is currently owned and operated by Charles’ granddaughter Sally and her husband Jerome Smith.
Sleighter’s started when Charles and Robert decided to go into business together. With knowledge of multiple trades, Charles hoped to start a floor covering store. Charles and Robert began their search in their place of residence – York. Because of the economy at the time, store space was difficult to find. Eventually, they made their way to New Oxford, finding a prime location right on the square.
At the time, the building that currently houses Martin’s Hardware was divided into three separate businesses. At the beginning, Sleighter’s rented one of the three spaces for $35 a month before eventually expanding to fill two of the spaces. At the time, Charles’ brother owned a furniture store in Everett, PA and suggested that Sleighter’s sell furniture in addition to floor coverings. After testing the market by putting a sofa up for sale and finding quick success, the family decided to expand their floor covering business to also include furniture and bedding.
As the business continued to grow, the family looked for an alternate location. Sleighter’s found a new home at 5 Lincoln Way West, holding a grand opening on May 7 and 8, 1954. After moving into the new location, the business continued to expand. A back section was added several years after the grand opening, and a second floor was added in the early 1960s. The second floor served as a home for Charles and Elva as well as storage space for the store.
With a degree in accounting, Sally worked for an accounting firm before returning to her family’s business. Before coming to work at Sleighter’s, Jerome worked in real estate. With a desire to be in business for 50 years, Robert continued to have a presence in the business until Sleighter’s 50th anniversary in 1997. At this time, he retired. Following Robert’s retirement, Jerome and Sally bought the business.
Today, Sleighter’s is the oldest family-owned furniture store in the area. The store continues to evolve to fill the needs of local consumers. Sleighter’s owners and staff pride themselves on the personalized touch they provide to customers. At Sleighter’s, customers are able to try out products and find the best fit for their needs with one-on-one assistance from the store’s staff. The store currently has six employees – three sales associates and three warehouse/delivery associates.
Sleighter’s offers a variety of furniture and sleep-related products including living, dining and bedroom furniture as well as an extensive selection of mattresses and adjustable beds with sheets, pillows and mattress pads.
Sleighter’s is proud to call New Oxford home. Sally and Jerome enjoy getting to work in the same community they live in. They also enjoy the opportunities owning your own business can provide, including flexibility, the ability to take risks and make your own decisions and being able to work with customers first-hand while also working in-sync with one another.
To learn more about Sleighter’s Furniture & Sleep Shop, please visit sleighters.com or stop by in person at 5 Lincoln Way West. We encourage you to support local throughout the ongoing pandemic and after the pandemic as well.
Our small businesses are the heart of our community, and they need us now more than ever. Let’s join together to support the businesses that call our community home!
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