Company is owned and operated by David and Lisa Uhrik, owners of Plenty Downtown Bookshop in Cookeville and US Pillars LLC

Franklin Fixtures LLC (FF) of Cookeville recently celebrated 50 years of providing retail fixtures for booksellers and retail stores throughout the country.

The celebration will last the whole year, according to FF.

“We’re proud to be celebrating 50 years of making retail fixtures for indie booksellers, retail stores and more,” said FF in a statement. “Watch our socials and website this year as we take some time to reflect, celebrate and show off our beautiful work. Cheers to 50!”

FF is owned and operated by David and Lisa Uhrik, owners of Plenty Downtown Bookshop in Cookeville and US Pillars LLC which recently invested $981,000 to expand manufacturing operations at its headquarters in Cookeville. Founded in 2015, US Pillars manufactures display shelving, tables, display cabinets, bookcases, work counters, gondolas and more.

The couple wanted to “do something groundbreaking” when, after getting married in 2014, they took a chance and went all in on Franklin Fixtures, a company in which the more they learned, the more they respected.

According to the FF website, the mission is clear:

  • cultivate a new generation of makers who understand and invest themselves in skilled manufacturing crafts,
  • support the success of independent retailers and community resources through the creation of high-quality, competitively priced, custom fixtures
  • take an important, established manufacturing tradition forward

“We’d love to be examples of a national movement where people like us who have a lot of manufacturing history and live in an economically disadvantaged community help communities grow by continuing a successful, established business,” said the Uhriks, according to the website. “We searched a long time before we found Franklin.”

Throughout the years, FF has received accolades across the state, including a SHOP! Award for Sustainable Design, Silver Award, SHOP! Association of Retail Environments Award for Best Hardline Specialty Store and has been mentioned in Forbes for “Entrepreneurial Innovation,” PBS Crafted in Tennessee, Influence Magazine, Highlands Economic Development magazine and PBS Created in the Cumberlands.

A family affair, the Uhriks employ a son and a son-in-law and “several experts in this field who have been with Franklin for over 20, 25 and 30 years.”

“We’ve got a strong team, and business ownership requires a lot of courage and a little craziness, some days,” according to Dave Uhrik. “We empathize with our customers because, in so many ways, we are all in the same boat with the same mission, trying to make something that improves the quality of life for our communities, and that enables us to participate in a tangible way.”

Who knows what the future holds for FF? But one thing is certain. With a clear mission anything is possible, and fifty years from now, the headline may read: Franklin Fixtures celebrates centennial.

Photo via Facebook.

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Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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