Couple’s store offers solutions for furniture, both old and new –

VALRICO — If the old comfy couch looks a bit tattered, the boat needs new seats or the desire arises for rustic furniture, Cleo and Keith Ellwanger believe they have the solution at the new Charleston Furniture in Valrico. The couple opened the store this summer as an anchor tenant to Valrico Place plaza, which largely sat vacant for the past few years at 3130 E State Road 60.

Before moving to Valrico, the couple met in South Carolina, just north of Charleston, where the original Charleston Furniture store opened in 2013 after changing its name from a previous home furnishing retail outlet.

Keith has 24 years of experience in the industry and works for a mattress company covering the Florida region. Cleo, a Brazilian native, possesses decades of reupholstering experience, including a corporate engineering and training background.

She also speaks fluent Spanish, Portuguese and English.

Keith said he likes the store location in his hometown because of the Charleston Furniture business model.

“We have the right products at the right price,” he said. “Our store is unique and different.”

Keith said that while the website,, offers online shoppers more than 13,000 items to choose from, customers often find better prices in the store.

Not only that, but those who shop for the progressive or custom furniture in-store are sometimes greeted by Keith and Cleo’s 8-year-old daughter, Kimberley, who helps out after school.

On top of that, shoppers can choose from more than 500 fabrics Cleo keeps on hand for her reupholstering work. She said she can make old chairs or sofas look new in one week, while clients can take home custom new furniture in three weeks.

Cleo also points out that she can reupholster restaurant seats and help choose custom draping and decor options. Call Charleston Furniture at (813) 699-4212.

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