DANBURY, CT—For Russell Castro and his wife Andrea, Covid’s impact on the supply chain has caused business to boom as millions of Americans opt to work, and learn, from home during the pandemic. The pair, who have been in business for more than 30 years, noticed that their customers were fine with giving up their commute but not their high-end office chairs.
Originally from Rockland County, New York, the family now has ties to New Fairfield with the owner’s brother, Rick Castro, also his business partner, having deep roots in the community for over 25 years. Brothers Russell and Rick Castro partnered to open OFIS Furniture as a pop-up shop located at 61 Newtown Road in Danbury, next to Denny’s Restaurant.
Russell has been selling high-end, gently used office furniture since 1994. He said he went into business after college, being unable to find a job that he liked.
“Two friends were in the business of removing old phone systems from companies that went out of business, then saw that there was a huge resale value in the used furniture that was left behind,” Russell said. “Landlords needed the space empty and the clients asked us to remove it.”
During and after quarantine, the partners said a big change they have seen since the pandemic is people taking part in the “Great American Resignation” and starting their own business. They have seen people who used to work in the corporate environment now starting their own hair salons, boutiques, and small businesses. Even accountants and tax professionals have been coming to them as they, along with thousands of Americans, have chosen to work for themselves rather than deal with the corporate world.
Castro said they are one of the largest office furniture liquidations companies in the country and being able to help people downsize or move off into their own business venture has been so rewarding.
“We take in the furniture from Fortune 100 corporations and resell it to smaller Fortune 500 companies. During Covid, people working from home found themselves sitting on a folding chair and were missing that high end $1,500 ergonomically correct chair that they had at the office.”
All of the furniture they sell is in excellent condition, cleaned and sanitized, and in stock with no long lead times. They offer affordable delivery and stand behind their product by offering a 3-year warranty even after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. If the chair breaks and is not functioning properly, they will repair or replace it for our customers no questions asked.
“The people came from hours away,” he shared, “sometimes with the whole family—kids looking for a good learn-at-home set up. We have been getting calls from the Westchester and Connecticut area for furniture and decided to open up a second location in this area to help meet the demand in this area.”
The owners said they decided to take their furniture “on the road” and “test the waters here in Connecticut.” They hope to extend their lease should the demand and market call for it.
“We have been doing this for 30 years and it is all we know. This new retail sector is fun as we get to meet new people, learn what people do and help them to find what they need to work better and feel better. Knowing we are helping someone on many levels feels good. Saving them a lot of money is great. When people walk through our door to buy a single chair or to furnish an entire office and when they see our inventory and the prices their reaction to us is, ‘Why would we go anywhere else?’ or ‘Why would we buy new office furniture when we can buy this for 2/3 off new?’ That is what we are proud to offer. During the year we have clubs/organizations that we work for donations,” Russell said.
The Grand Opening of OFIS Furniture will be on Saturday, March 5th from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. They will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. They will also be open by appointment for home furnishing clients.
The owners will be on hand at the Grand Opening to meet and greet visitors. Mention “Buzz” to get $20 off your purchase. For more information, call OFIS Furniture at (732) 677-8450 or Rick Castro at (203) 733-8807 or visit their website: OFISfurniture.com.