Their names, Don and Julie Herndon, are synonymous throughout Brevard with philanthropy and entrepreneurialism. The daring to take the risks necessary to launch their own business, linked with the compassion and engagement to share with some of the most needy and vulnerable, has touched thousands of lives. Never vying for the spotlight, the Herndons’ dedication to Brevard, finds them often in the spotlight, as they are an example and inspiration to the regions business community.
Don was a well-respected installer, working with large retailers, when his wife Julie, a successful business manager suggested, “You are doing great making these other companies successful, why don’t you open up your own showroom?” Don agreed it was time, but he insisted she come with him. “I was hesitant,” she said. “I had a very secure position with great benefits, but we decided to take the leap.” That was twenty-one years ago, and they have never looked back.
Boot strapping their initial venture with a second mortgage on their home, they opened a 500-square-foot showroom in Suntree. Six years later their growth necessitated them building their new Classic Wood Flooring showroom on US 1, featuring tile, carpet, wood and vinyl plank for a discriminating group of customers, designers and contractors.
“It was a learning experience for both of us,” Don said. With Julie adding, “I didn’t know much about the flooring business, but I knew how to treat people and how to earn their trust.”
They built their business on a true partnership, which has in turn deepened their love and respect for each over the years.
“We were taught about giving back and gratefulness in the homes we were raised in,” Don shared. “God has blessed our business and we feel that has happened so we can bless and help others.” From the AMI Kids, which is changing the future of troubled teens, to Nana’s House which helps at risk children, the Herndons’ involvement and generosity is one of the things that makes Brevard special.