By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Fenton Office Mart is known as much for its community outreach as the office supplies and office furniture it sells to Stillwater and Oklahoma businesses.
The business was established in 1941 by Dale and Marguerite Fenton. Today, Terry Carpenter runs the business — the third-generation of the family to do so. The Stillwater Chamber of Commerce recently named Fenton Office Mart as its Small Business of the Year.
The company’s mission statement is different, Carpenter said. Fenton’s mission is to improve the lives of its employees, customers, vendors and community.
“Office furniture is not the most glamorous business in the world. It doesn’t change a lot of lives that way, but what we really try to do with our customers is to go beyond the furniture. We try to provide a service beyond what they are expecting, take care of things that they didn’t know that needed to be done and really trying to give them a special experience,” he said.
It’s also important to give back to the community, Carpenter said. The company and its employees are involved in many not-for-profit organizations.
“We try to every couple of months to do something specificially to improve our community or give back in such a way that can help others,” he said.
Fenton Office Mart has sponsored Celebration Stillwater in the past and Mega Sports Camps for children age 5 to 11. The camps promote skill development in three sport as well as Christian education.
“I would hope our investment in the community was one of the reasons we were recognized,” he said.
The business started in 1941 as a gifts and office supply store. Over the years, it has added office furniture and technology-related services, said Carpenter, who has run the business for the past 19 years.
“We are focusing more and more on furniture and furnture solutions,” Carpenter said. “The spaces we have to work with often are getting smaller and yet people want to be more productive in them.”
The company has expanded its service area. Approximately a third of its office furniture business is conducted outside Stillwater, he said.
“We travel statewide to provide solutions in the furniture area. In both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, we have representatives there,” he said.