Frisco furniture store celebrates 30th anniversary
August 10, 2016
A longtime fixture in Summit County, Mountain Comfort Furnishings is celebrating its 30th anniversary since the flagship furniture and design store opened in Frisco. The business has been in the Jarski family for two generations, with husband-and-wife duo Andy and Heidi Jarski recently taking the reins.
Andy recalled helping his parents with the business growing up in Summit.
"My sister and I named it when I was nine," he said. "Breckenridge was just dirt roads and wooden sidewalks. … It was the Wild West."
The store started as a small operation on Main Street before moving to its current location off of Summit Boulevard.
"It started out of a need to provide the basics for the county," Andy said.
Heidi chimed in, saying, "It started out where Andy's dad was selling pillows and mattresses out of the basement because he didn't have anywhere else to put it."
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The couple acquired the business two years ago, after deciding to move to the mountains.
Growing up in Denver, Heidi often visited the mountains in Grand County with her family. Her grandfather was also a member of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division.
"I guess the mountains are in my blood," she laughed. "It was too hard to be away."
Over the years, she noted, they had opened stores across the U.S., from Summit to Vail to Steamboat. They sold a few of the stores but maintain locations in Frisco and Truckee, California.
Starting off, the majority of customers were locals — a demographic that has changed significantly since skiing boomed in Summit County. The store still caters to single-home owners but also works with hospitality projects, as well as second- and even third-home owners.
"The second-home owner has been the biggest growth area from over 30 years when there weren't any before," Andy said. "Copper Mountain Resort was brand new then. It wasn't the big second-homeowner market it is now."
The two have noticed the changes in the local housing market and the effects on furniture styles. Despite shifts in taste, the demand for traditional mountain styles remains a constant.
"Even though you see a move toward more clean, modern lines, we see a lot of second homeowners who still want that rustic mountain feel for their homes," Heidi said. "It's just been the bread and butter for a long time."
In addition to carrying several mainstay, nationally-recognized brands, the duo also has brought on a few vendors to create items exclusive to Mountain Comfort.
"We collaborate and make our own special lines with them," Heidi said.
One set features bedroom furniture made from alder, with an embossed copper inlay. Another built using siding from old barns. The majority of the store's inventory, she noted, is made in North America.
"We always like to expand our offerings," Andy said. "We're watching some of the style trends and driving some of them too."
Despite the demands of running a small business, the Jarskis and their two sons are making the most of life in Summit.
"(The work) is different because it's yours. You want to make it great for you and your employees; it's not just a job," Heidi said. "We're invested: We're here to make a living, to give back to the community and be involved."
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