Joe Golano has no desire to be like others in his industry.
In his 30 years of experience the owner of iKidz Rooms on Mentor Avenue found that furniture retailers often neglect children or give their parents few options for decor.
"If you go into a big-box store or any furniture store, there's a very small kids section in the store," Golano said. "What's going on here is that (parent company) Ashley Furniture came and created this because everyone's neglecting. Let's build this thing up — everything is about the kids."
Arcadia, Wis.-based Ashley has iKidz showrooms in many of its stores, but Mentor is the home to the first independent iKidz franchise, Golano said. At 5,000 square feet, it is by far the largest retail collection of iKidz products.
The store offers beds, mattresses, headboards, dressers, desks, lamps and more. The store is split into sections for boys, girls and unisex.
Products are sold individually and as sets. For example, a Stages dresser costs $299.99, but a Stages bedroom group set featuring a twin bed, dresser, nightstand and more costs $499.99. Golano said that many shoppers come in to browse before returning to make purchases. He has installed QR codes on each piece of merchandise to help smartphone users with measurements and design assessments.
The store had its soft opening about three weeks ago and held a grand opening on Black Friday.
Golano, who also operates A to Z Furniture Co. in Cleveland, said he plans on opening iKidz Rooms locations in Solon and Fairlawn in the near future.
"Our furniture is really priced right for what they are," he said. "It's a large selection at the right price that any mom or pop would want to buy."