Skip to content

OP Jenkins Furniture and Design



Main Image
Item 1 of 4
 

In 1907, Oliver Perry Jenkins had a vision for a furniture store in downtown Knoxville. Less than 200 feet away from the original store and over 110 years later that vision is still alive in the fourth generation under the direction of Terry and Meg Troutman.

Since opening, O.P. Jenkins has been owned and managed by family members. Toward the end of the depression, Oliver Perry Jenkins was joined by his son-in-law, Jack Sherwood, who directed the business through the war and into the sixties. His son Bobby Sherwood entered the business in 1963 and was active in management until 2005. In 1984, he was joined by his son-in-law Terry Troutman who along with his wife Meg presently own and operate the business. Son-in-law Brett Drummey joined the team in 2016. Meg Troutman said, “When my father decided to retire in 2005, Terry wasn’t sure he wanted to stay and carry on the business. He thought maybe it was time for him to consider doing something else. Before he said anything to me about that, I said to him, ‘I think I’d like to join you. I’d like to come to work at O.P. Jenkins full time."

“I wanted to be part of the family business and work alongside Terry,” she continued. “It’s fun. We enjoy working together. He’s only fired me once, and I’ve only quit twice. “We really have fun together. We were high school sweethearts, so we have a good understanding and read each other well.” 

Observing them together, one senses that they are a good team and complement each other well. In 2005, around the same time head buyer Jey Stamps joined the team, “there was a transition from being a furniture store to a furniture store centered around interior design,” said Meg, “That’s big. People today want interior design. They’re not just buying furniture. Design is included. That’s what makes us different. It’s not just about selling furniture; it’s about people loving their homes.”
O.P. Jenkins stayed downtown when other businesses left the center city. According to Meg, that choice was both practical and guided by their priorities.

“We owned the building,” she said. “We love history. We love local. We love relationships. There’s a neighborhood feel. We love the architecture of the building, the character. It’s an experience to come here. It’s like the family home. Why relocate?

“Once a year we have our Lee Loves Local event, tied to one of our upholstery companies. A lot of their work, their people are local, so they encourage their retailers to think locally.”

“The electricity in here [during Lee Loves Local] is amazing,” said head buyer Jey Stamps. “Having our customers interact with the artists adds to the vibrancy. It promotes community and connects people.”

“The revitalization of downtown has been amazing,” said Terry Troutman. “I can remember when there wasn’t anyone going downtown. Now people are fighting for parking spaces. We’re fortunate to have our own free parking lot as well as city meters nearby.

“We love being close to UT. It’s amazing the energy, the flood of orange that comes through here on a Saturday.”

“We want to see downtown continue to develop,” said Meg. “We love downtown. We really do.”

More Stories

  • Mark and Sharon Oldham

    Married since 1984 and entrepreneurs since 1989, Mark and Sharon Oldham have been the owners and operators of Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro since 2014. They chose Townsend for its natural beauty and location. Read More
  • Paula Osborn

    Longing to work in the town that raised her, Paula Osborn took the plunge and opened her own business. After spending most of her professional career working in Knoxville, Osborn was just far enough away from her hometown that she missed out on events that were important to her, such as volunteering at school events. Read More
  • Operation HOPE Graduate Opens Business

    Charles D. Hill was encouraged by his wife to launch a business after he retired from Memphis Light Gas & Water after 20 years. Initially inspired by his mother, Irene Holt, who was an entrepreneur and owned a restaurant, sports bar and fish market... Read More
  • Editor's Letter

    At the recent Hats in Bloom Luncheon, I kept hearing how great everyone looked and how much fun it was to wear hats. More than one person said, “We should wear hats more often.” I agree. There was a time when no well dressed lady would have been seen without a hat, but these days for most people, hats are more the exception than the rule.  Read More