Simply Amish recovers from fire, finds new Moline home

Customers still enter a downtown Moline storefront in search of Isabel Bloom works of art.

It’s out of habit as the iconic art was sold at this River Drive location for years.

Simply Amish Interiors opened for business in January in downtown Moline. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

But today, a different type of household art is showcased at this 1505 River Drive storefront: Simply Amish Interiors. The furniture store moved into the vacant downtown space back on Jan. 11.

The store features bedroom sets, dining room tables, items for the living room and much more. All are neatly organized in the 3,000-square-foot new business home of Simply Amish.

“When people think of ‘Amish,’ they think of furniture in a certain style,” said Emily Butler, the store’s owner and an interior designer. “But Amish is not a style, it’s a standard. That’s our slogan.”

Emily Butler looks over wood samples in the Simply Amish Interiors store, which relocated into the former Moline Isabel Bloom store. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

Ms. Butler takes great pride in showing some of the many features and items on display in her showroom store. One of those centerpiece items is a dark wood dining room table set from the B&O Railroad collection for Simply Amish. The price tag for the table and chairs is about $14,000.

“It’s really a statement piece,” she added.

Not all the statement pieces have the same price tag, but all the items are made with the same top-quality materials and workmanship, Ms. Butler said.

The company’s website puts it this way: “All furniture is not created equal. At Simply Amish, we pride ourselves on the use of premium-quality hardware, construction techniques, and joinery in the production of all our furniture.”

That premium quality approach often means giving customers the option to customize every item they buy in the store – from the wood types, stains, surface treatments, hardware, fabrics and even, the nail heads.

“You can even pick the edge you put on the tables,” Ms. Butler said.

This customization helps create one-of-a-kind items for each customer. And it also takes time. Ms. Butler said it can be a 16-week process to get customized furniture to customers.

But if you don’t want to wait that long, there is a solution. Under the company’s “Express” program, some items can go from the showroom to your home in just a couple of weeks.

Ms. Butler said that while Simply Amish pieces are not exactly mass produced, some pieces are in stock in the most popular wood and stain styles. Those in-stock items can get to a customer’s home in just days, not weeks.

Simply Amish’s new business home is working well in its much smaller showroom, she added. For decades, the business had a 14,000-square-foot storefront at 3711 Harrison St., Davenport. The store’s time at that site ended in December 2020 when it was heavily damaged by a fire.

A few days after the blaze, the company posted this on its Facebook page: “The interior of our main showroom was destroyed, heat and heavy soot covering everything. The cleanup and remodel is now in process; it will be stripped to the studs, but will be more beautiful than ever later this year.”

The company eventually found its way to the former home of Isabel Bloom in Moline Centre. The Isabel Bloom store closed in mid-March 2020 when the pandemic hit and company officials decided not to reopen the shop. “We have some former (Isabel Bloom) employees come in here to see what has happened here,” Ms. Butler said.

The smaller home (about 3,000 square feet) has turned out to be perfect for their needs. The cozier space makes it great to meet customers, talk about their families, talk about the weather – and eventually talk about their furniture needs, Ms. Butler added.

The store owner said Simply Amish has something for everyone, but adds: “We are not your typical furniture store.”

In addition to its owner, Simply Amish has two employees – Tyler Mangels, who has worked for the company about eight years, and a part-time deliveryman. Ms. Butler has worked for the company for about 15 years – beginning as an intern in 2007. She became the store’s owner a few months ago.

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