From his humble beginnings at an orphanage in Fort Worth, Texas, Louis Shanks went to work as a furniture factory rep, joining the Kroehler Company immediately upon graduation from high school. At only 17 years of age, Shanks “fibbed” about his youth to obtain the job! After traveling West Texas during the Great Depression, Mr. Shanks grew tired of hot and dusty roads and moved his family to Austin to try the retail end of the spectrum.
Now, nearly 7 decades later, the Shanks family has expanded into the Austin and San Antonio markets, catering to the upper-end consumer. Major vendors include notables such as Bernhardt, Century, Hancock and Moore, Lexington, Tommy Bahama, Marge Carson, Sherrill, and Stickley. Louis Shanks has become a “One Stop” shopping experience offering all phases of interior furnishings, including carpeting, hardwood and tile floors, window treatments, hand-knotted rugs, mattresses, custom cabinetry, plus beautiful gifts and accessories and original works of art. In addition, we carry a large array of outdoor furnishings. The combination of fine products, along with an excellent staff and hard work has kept Louis Shanks of Texas consistently in the Top 100 Furniture Retailers in the U.S.
Today the traditions established by Mr. Shanks are carried on by the next three generations. Family members active in the business today include son-in-law Amor Forwood; daughter Susie Forwood; grandson, Mike Forwood; and granddaughter, Becky Forwood (who proudly accepted the 10th,11th, 14th and 16th Annual Arts Awards). The 4th generation includes four of Mr. Shanks’ great-grandchildren: Michael Forwood, Jr., Marissa Kashani, Jeffrey Arnold and Jessica Arnold. Each family member has created his/her own individual niche and brings a unique talent to the table.
When Louis Shanks opened his first brick and mortar store in 1945, the internet had not been invented, and there were certainly no personal computers for the shoppers of that era! Today brick and mortar stores deal with a totally different clientele. Although furniture is a “hands-on” commodity, many consumers like to do preliminary shopping in the convenience of their own home via the web. When they walk in our doors, many consumers are well-educated in what they want. It is up to our staff to further broaden that knowledge and to provide a high level of customer service and personal attention that cannot be obtained online.
In 2014 Louis Shanks of Texas opened a new “Et Cetera” gift boutique in each market. Shanks wanted to offer a little more fun and excitement to enhance the shopping experience at their stores. With the addition of hostess gifts, men’s gifts, Christmas decorations, greeting cards, books, candles, and even baby gifts, the consumer is finding Louis Shanks a new “Go To” year round destination for unique gifts for everyone.
At Louis Shanks, we'll make you feel right at home.