Since 1887, the building at the corner of South Seguin Avenue and East Coll Street in New Braunfels has been brimming with furniture.
In 1929 the store—then named C.J. Ludewig Furniture—moved to a larger building next door, and it is there that Johnson Furniture stands today.
The Johnsons took over the store in 1966 when Wallace Johnson switched careers to be closer to his family. But the store’s current owner, Carol Johnson, did not expect to take over the store from her parents.
In fact, after studying interior design at Texas State University—then named Southwest Texas State University—Johnson began a career in health care, designing “healing spaces” in a cancer therapy research center.
When her father experienced a heart attack, Johnson felt the need to come back to New Braunfels to help out at the store. She began working at Johnson Furniture again but promised her mother she would take other opportunities if they came about.
“I never realized that the door of opportunity was not a person coming in and offering me a job to go work elsewhere,” Johnson said.
The “door of opportunity” that opened for Johnson—and ultimately became her passion in life—was helping the many people who walk into the store by designing their living spaces and helping them through difficult times.
“It’s more about the people who are coming in than it is about the objects that are going out,” Johnson said.
Moments and connections that Johnson and her parents have made with customers throughout the years are what have stuck with her.
Though some people want to be left on their own while shopping, she said, others have shared their life stories and even divulged some of their darkest secrets.
“We are yearning for intimacy, and we have the opportunity to change the dynamics of how we communicate with each other,” Johnson said.
When asked how, she said simply, “Be kind to people.”
That is how Johnson runs her store in downtown New Braunfels, she said with—compassion, kindness and a lot of care for others.
283 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels,
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sun.