Custom Furniture
Store History


 
History Highlights
In the Beginning
The Unknown Revolutionary Soldier
The Totem Pole
The Store Today
Store Closing
 
In the Beginning
In 1933 Andrew Pakan was the foreman at his brothers' custom upholstery plant, Pakan Brothers on Broadway on the north side of Chicago. In 1938 Andy and his wife Maryon moved the entire plant and old world upholsterers to a new location and established Custom Furniture Manufacturing Company in 1938. Andy was a master cabinet maker and designer who produced high end cased goods and frames which were upholstered to customer's specifications and finished by the shop's finishing department. "Custom" had numerous decorators who sold to clients all over the Chicago area. In the last remaining years Custom shipped many pieces to movie people in Hollywood, California. One outstanding piece was an 8 foot round bed done in green with black trim motif with Japanese lettering on the bed and matching curtains and valances.

Andy and Maryon moved to St. Charles, IL after closing Custom in Chicago. A few years later in 1963, Andy built Custom Furniture, Inc. on the northern end of St. Charles, IL at 6N518 Illinois Route 25 which is 4 miles north of Route 64 (North Avenue), or 1 mile north of Army Trail Road, and 1 mile south of the new Stearns Road Bridge. The original intent of the store was to be a repair shop and offer unfinished (ie- naked) furniture (Andy and Maryon gave Naked Furniture's owner the idea for their name!). Andy built a big red rocker and carved a 1776 Revolutionary Soldier. The new landmark went national when TV Guide put a picture of Andy and the soldier on its cover.

  Co-founder Andrew Pakan
Andrew Pakan

Unknown Revolutionary Soldier in Red Rocker
The Unknown Soldier
  The Unknown Revolutionary Soldier
In the early 1970's, Andrew built a 18 foot revolutionary soldier with a 14 foot long gun that sits in a large red rocking chair. It took him over a year to carve. He used 100 year old oak trees that had been growing next to the store. The soldier is held together by 2 inch pipes and the head alone weighs 650 pounds. The wooden soldier is a Bicentennial Memorial, dedicated to the brave, unsung heroes of all past wars.

In 1976, Andrew gained national recognition for his creation when he and the soldier were featured on the cover of TV Guide. Locally, the soldier is considered a landmark and people often have their picture taken with the soldier.

The Totem Pole
In 1983, Andrew again put his creative talents to work when he carved the totem pole that sits on the store property. The totem pole was carved from one tree that was cut into three pieces. This made the carving easier, but putting it back together turned out to be a challenge! Update: The totempole is no longer able to withstand the weather, and has since been removed.
 
Totem Pole
Assembling the totem pole

The Store Today
Today, although Andrew and Maryon no longer run Custom Furniture, it has remained as a family business. Now their son, Richard Pakan, and his wife, Carolyn, manage the store. They are helped by John, Richard and Carolyn's son, and Andrea, Richard's sister. Other family members have also helped throughout the years to make Custom Furniture what it is today.

We're here to serve you with over 50 years of combined furniture experience. Our friendly and helpful sales staff is eager to help you find the furniture that you've been looking for. The rest of the crew works hard to ensure that you get quality service as you prepare to bring your furniture home.


 
We will be Closing
After 75 years, the Pakan Family has decided to start closing the doors of Custom Furniture, Inc. Dick and Carolyn are going to start looking for the ideal retirement place--no natural disasters, not too hot, not too cold, and no bugs--ESPECIALLY MOSQUITOES!! Their son Andy will be pursuing his other passion, Accounting, in which he holds a Masters and is a CPA Candidate. Closing date is undetermined, but in the meantime check our Special Sales page for current deals. The Pakan Family wishes to thank you for your patronage over the years that we have served our customers in St. Charles, IL.

 

Pakan Family
Our family is here to serve you!

 

Picture of Dick Pakan
Richard Pakan - President
Picture of Carolyn Pakan
Carolyn Pakan - Secretary
Picture of Skip
Andrea (Pakan) Hickman - Sales

Picture of Andrew Pakan
Andrew Pakan - Accounting

Picture of Katrina (Pakan) Brehob
Katrina (Pakan) Brehob - Web Design

Picture of John Pakan
John Pakan - Store Manager

Custom Furniture
(847) 695-7040
info@CustomFurn.com