Behind the gates

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Chris Akins was just 10 years old when he got his first job working in his father’s furniture store. He remembers it well.

“It was my responsibility to empty the Coke machine and count the money. I don’t think I ever got paid, but that was my first job in the family business,” he said.

The family business got started back in the 1920’s when Chris’s great-grandfather began carving out a name for himself on a north Alabama mountain in a place called Dogtown. The four-generation enterprise, W.A. Akins Furniture, is near legend in Alabama. Now, Chris and his wife Avery, owners of Alabama Furniture Market in Calera which opened in 2006, are working to start their own legend.

Like his two older brothers, Chris grew up in the family business, working in the warehouse and delivering furniture on holidays and weekends. The now near legendary “Dogtown” as the business is known began as general store selling flour, sugar, and other staples. Furniture sales came about almost by happenstance…

Read more about the Akins family and Alabama Furniture Market in the May issue of Shelby Living. Find your copy here.