Why We Chose Spokane for BII’s Next Destination
We are officially opening our doors at a new location in Spokane and are ecstatic about starting work with clients and partners throughout Eastern Washington.
For more than 3 decades, BII has flourished in Boise, the Treasure Valley, and throughout the state of Idaho. Even though our hometown is there and many of our customers are Idaho-based, we have always been a regional company, completing projects throughout the Inland Northwest including in Oregon, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. We have been fortunate to grow significantly as a company in recent years and have been eyeing expansion to a second location for a long time before that. On that note, some big news…
During our due diligence process, it didn’t take long to realize that Spokane was the obvious choice for BII’s next showroom location in the Inland Northwest for a number of reasons.
1. Our Customers and Partners Are Already There
Many of the companies and partners that we are already connected to have locations in Spokane. To better service them, what better way than becoming their neighbor?
2. Our Team Has Roots & Connections There
Jeff Heath, our CEO, lived in Spokane for many years prior to returning to Boise, and Doug Whitfield, our COO, along with many other members of our team, have family and friends who currently call Spokane home.
The prospect of moving into the Spokane market has been extremely near and dear to me. I attended college in Eastern Washington and was married in Spokane, where my wife grew up and where her family still lives in her childhood home. The growth of the city is so exciting, and I am looking forward to BII contributing positively to the lives of those who live and work in the area.
3. Spokane and Boise Are Like Sister Cities
When you start to dig into the similarities between Boise and Spokane, you begin to feel some déjà vu. With a population of 229k, Boise is the 98th largest city in the US; Spokane is 99th with a population of 222k. The average household income for both cities measures within $2,000. Both cities are located on a river, in a valley, with lots of great elevation and adventures nearby.
While we often hear of Seattle companies migrating eastward across the state, we see a lot more value alignment and synergy between Boise and Spokane, with Boise-based businesses able to support Spokane-based businesses in ways that companies from bigger cities cannot.
4. Spokane is Growing Rapidly
Spokane is often recognized nationally in Top 10 lists, including in recent years by Inc. Magazine, which named it one of the best places to start a business, and by Redfin, which named it one of four metros primed for major growth in the next decade. For all that Spokane has to offer, the city is still incredibly affordable for people and businesses.
5. Spokane is a Hub for the Region
Because of its location and size, Spokane is a natural hub for the surrounding region, including Couer d’Alene, the Tri Cities, Pullman, Moscow, and Lewiston, and is even a short drive to Western Montana cities like Missoula and Kalispell.
6. THE Potential to Be a Resource to Spokane Businesses and Partners
Where in Spokane?
In choosing a location to settle, we wanted to be as close to the heartbeat of Spokane as possible. Our new showroom is about a 10 minute walk from Riverfront Park, the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, Steam Plant Square, and the Radio Flyer Wagon.
Early on in the process, we debated on whether or not we would open a physical location in Spokane. Ultimately, our core purpose made this decision easy. We exist to Create Culture, Build Community, and Enrich Lives, and having a physical extension of our company in Spokane allows for us to better fulfill that purpose through hosting events, lending our space to community and industry groups, and bringing in clients and partners for meetings throughout the project process.
What Are We Bringing to Spokane?
With the arrival of our team in the city, we plan to bring new ideas and a reliable partner for any Spokane organization looking for commercial furniture and space planning. As a Best-in-Class Haworth Dealer backed by a team that rated our company one of the Best Places to Work in Idaho, we believe one of the centerpieces of that effort is our new showroom. Our hope is that this space, which we designed to feel like a high end coffee shop, becomes a hub for our community and our industry to meet and collaborate on ideas and projects.
Cory Clute, BII’s interior designer who worked on the design for the space, said, “our intention was to impress the Spokane community with a beautiful, welcoming, and functional design. The space was a perfect blank canvas: the brick wall, the wood floor, the high exposed ceiling.”
One major challenge of designing our furniture showroom was the dimensions of the space: long and skinny. To break it up, we created different vignettes using some of staple manufacturers, which included Haworth, OFS, Buzzispace, Hon, and National. The vignettes featured are a ‘formal’ conference space, an informal/mobile meeting and dining space, a work/lounge living room area, a kitchen, and a workspace. On the vignettes, Cory says, “I remember having conversations likening different areas in the space to rooms in a home.”
You can see a preview of our new space here (it’s 360°, so feel free to look around!):
Who Will Be in Spokane?
We have hired two furniture experts to be on the ground, operating out of our new showroom. Rachel Hanley and Don Isaacs are both veterans of the commercial furniture world.
Rachel Hanley recently joined the BII team as a Senior Account Manager, having worked in commercial furniture for nearly five years. At her previous company, Poppin, she has helped launch furniture showrooms in San Francisco and Los Angeles and worked with clients from all different industries in the process. After living the last few years in California, she is thrilled to be back in the Pacific Northwest where she is originally from. A University of Idaho graduate, Rachel will be serving Spokane, along with the region of Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Western Montana.
Don Isaacs joins BII as a Government Account Manager, bringing with him a 20-year background in GSA, DOD, State, and Local governments. He specializes in all aspects of furniture from Mission Critical Command Centers to interior office furniture. As a U.S. Veteran, he is passionate about helping government agencies and their people do their best work. Don is an expert on GSA contracting and has previously worked for freeform, OpenSquare, and Global.
"Spokane and Boise are connected in more ways than many would consider at first glance. In our business, culture is everything. I feel that Spokane and Boise share a spirit that manifests in the attitude, work ethic, and commitment to the community of both its business and people. Because of the similarities, and the challenges our communities share, we feel we can bring great ideas, additional value, and a fresh take in a rapidly growing market."
– Jeff Heath, CEO
Our Heart for the City of Spokane
The core purpose of our company is to Create Culture, Build Community, and Enrich Lives. This purpose provides the meaning behind our move to this great, growing city. We want to be a resource for clients and partners alike. We want to serve this great community, both through our work and through the individual lives of our employees. We want to take part in and contribute to what’s so amazing about this place.
If you call Spokane home, the challenges of the lingering pandemic may make it hard for us to introduce ourselves in person for a little while, but we can’t wait to meet you face to face! In the meantime, we would love to get to know you virtually. If you have space planning or commercial furniture needs, we are here for you and your team.
Regardless of what the need is, we are here to help in whatever way we can. If you have questions or need guidance, feel free to reach out to us to discuss how we can help.
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