Anna Rose Washburn of Marksons Furniture & Windows
Born and raised in Cayman, Anna Rose Washburn, Owner and Managing Director at Marksons Furniture and Windows, started the multi-faceted company back in 1983 to fill a gap in the marketplace. Steadily evolving in response to consumer needs, Marksons has expanded their traditional-to-contemporary offerings to include new product lines as well as carving out a niche as the islands' leading supplier of window treatments - not surprising as all staff are Certified Window Treatment Consultants. With a 15,000 square foot showroom offering everything from soft goods to hard furnishings for both residential and commercial needs, Marksons has become a favourite thanks to their superior service and no charge quotation, delivery and setup arrangement.
ARW: Born to a Church Minister and a piano playing mother, my early years consisted of going to church and working around the house. Work is what I think I was born to do.
Playing ‘hide and seek’, rounders (our version of baseball), marbles and spinning gigs were our main sources of entertainment. Going with my father to pen the cattle in the evenings and sometimes going with him to milk the cows in the mornings seemed to be utter pleasure for my brothers and myself.
I walked to school and back home for lunch every day but never for one moment did I think that I was poor. It’s what everyone in that era did.
RL: How did your passion for furnishings begin?
ARW: Being a descendant of the Arch family, I believe that creativity and design run in my blood. I enjoy doing things with my hands and am a very visual person. I was first invited to leave my banking job to join a family firm back in 1981 and two years later branched out on my own. Making people happy with their purchases brought a sense of satisfaction to me. I became qualified as an Interior Decorator in 1989 and a Certified Window Treatment Consultant in 1997, both which has served me well.
ARW: I felt that owning my own business would allow me flexibility as a working mother. It was also an opportunity to serve the community with speciality services that were scarce in those days, especially one owned by a Caymanian.
RL: Tell us about Marksons and its evolution over the decades.
ARW: Marksons started in a 1,000 square foot space and now the showroom is over 15,000 square feet. We began by offering window treatments and indoor-outdoor furniture and over the years have expanded to include space planning room by room, a wider range of soft and hard furnishings, as well as delivery and installation of all home furnishings from large pieces to accessories for a complete package in a one-stop shop environment. We also assist clients with choosing paint, tile and other finishes.
ARW: My focus is to offer great value in quality for reasonable prices, and my clients confirm that this is what shopping with us is. I travel to trade shows and attend seminars throughout the year to stay ahead of upcoming trends and colours.
RL: What is your favourite aspect of the job?
ARW: Turning clients into friends, which happens with satisfied clients. Establishing confidence in their decision to entrust me with the ability to provide them with a comfortable and inviting room while maintaining durability and affordability, that means a lot to me.
ARW: In the beginning, it was probably starting the business with minimal resources. Now, it’s convincing the public that they don’t have to travel to find what they need for their home.
RL: What projects do you have on the horizon?
ARW: Several rental duplexes and a six apartment complex as well as upgrades
to high-end beach condos.
RL: When not at work how do you spend your time?
ARW: Enjoying my four wonderful grandchildren, travelling and boating.
Designer – Deb Barrett
Book – Chicken Soup for the Soul
Furniture – Anything mirrored
Hotel – Westin, Atlanta
Holiday – Cruising anywhere
Drink – Coconut Water
Beach – Rum Point
Charity – The Pines Cayman
Way to Relax – Boating
Piece of Advice – Let go and let God
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