Women of Distinction 2021: Furniture-Leather-Mattresses BILTRITE
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Founded in 1928 by Irwin Kerns, BILTRITE Furniture-Leather-Mattresses remains in the family four generations later. Kerns’ great-granddaughter Randi Komisar Schachter started working at BILTRITE when she was just 12 and went from odd jobs to leading the store’s sales and marketing efforts. Her mother, Gail Komisar, has been a part of the store’s management team since 1977, and Sarah Komisar, Gail’s daughter-in-law, joined BILTRITE in 2013 and is now a sales and design associate and senior employee trainer. “We are a business run by women,” says Randi. “Three of the five family members who run the store are women. In 93 years, BILTRITE has grown significantly, from a small storefront on North Third Street to its current expansive showroom in Greenfield. “We’re the largest local, family-owned store in Wisconsin,” says Randi. “It’s just amazing to see all the passion our family and team bring to the table.”
“We don’t have a corporate mindset – we have a family mindset.”
– Randi Komisar Schachter
What do you think are the advantages of being a family business for four generations?
Randi Komisar Schachter: At this time, we are celebrating 93 years of activity. We care about our business. We have the passion. We are not skipping steps. We don’t have the corporate mindset – we have the family mindset. And we also understand what Wisconsin looks like, what people are looking for, what they want – we don’t think nationally, we think locally.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
See how we developed the store. We went from Flintstones to Jetsons. We’re Wisconsin’s Largest Local, Family-Friendly Store. It’s great to see all the passion our family and team bring to the table. We are a family business – we all love each other at the end of the day.