At the intersection of Spring Valley and Coit, as one pulls into Dallas from Richardson, resides the largest patio store in the Southwest. Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture is more than a furnishings outlet. The 37,000 square-foot showroom offers competitively priced, high-quality accessories and is run by a well-trained, hard-working staff. According to owner David Schweig, Sunnyland’s products create a lifestyle for their consumers.
“Outdoor furniture is a business based on wants and not needs,” Schweig says. “There’s nothing in this store that people have to have. People come here because they want to be here and they love our products.”
Schweig has always been in the business of tending to wants, not needs. Before Sunnyland, he worked in fine jewelry. His in-laws, Aaron Klausner and Pearl Freed Klausner, purchased the original 1946 Greenville Sunnyland location in 1970. In 1977, Schweig married Debbie Klausner and learned the ways of the outdoor furniture business. The husband and wife later purchased Sunnyland in 1989 and rebranded it Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture.
“I wanted to be in control of my own destiny,” Schweig says. “My family and I started dabbling in outdoor furniture and it quickly became our niche. We began to carry high-end products and people started buying them.”
To this day, Schweig’s family still plays a big role in the store’s operations.
“My wife is involved with day-to-day sales and other functions,” Schweig says. “My son, Brad, is VP of operations.”
Sunnyland carries a variety of tables, chairs, couches, and other furnishings perfect for the backyard or patio area.
“The outdoor patio has sort of become a second living room to some people,” Schweig says. “It’s hard to find quality time, but the patio area allows for people to get work done as they spend time together. It also makes for fun gatherings with friends and family.”
As Amazon and other online outlets have revolutionized the way consumers purchase furniture, Schweig has no plans to make any drastic changes to his brick and mortar format.
“You can come to our store, you can try everything out, and you can have it sent to your home on the same day,” Schweig says. “You get this thing called ‘instant gratification’ that a lot of these new stores don’t offer.”
Online outlets aside, Schweig also feels that Sunnyland allows more fun experience than that of other hardware and outdoor stores.
“Most people go to Home Depot or Lowe’s when they need to repair an issue with their home,” Schweig says. “But when they repair the issue, no one ever says ‘hey, check out my new foundation!’ or ‘look, I repatched my roof,’ but they always are excited to show everyone their outdoor living area.
With over 40 years in the outdoor furniture game, Schweig and family show no signs of slowing down, however, Schweig is confident that his son will be able to take over the business when it comes time for retirement.
“I’ve been training Brad to run the business since he began working with us,” Schweig said. “I still have fun with what I do and I’m not being pushed out, but I still plan on retiring at some point. It’s been a fun run, but when the time comes for me to retire, it’ll be a smooth transition.”
Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture is located at 7879 Spring Valley Rd, Dallas, TX 75254. This Saturday, Sunnyland’s annual Dad’s Gift Grillin’ Egg Fest will be taking place from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m, where guests can see cooking demos from guest chef Grady Spears and various sales throughout the store.