Get To Know The Sister Act Behind Chicago’s Walter E. Smithe Furniture


As the fourth generation to run their family-owned Chicago furniture store, Walter. E. Smithe sisters Caitie, Colleen, Meghan and Maureen were introduced to the business at a young age. “I was probably in elementary school when I would come in to work in the warehouse, sweeping for a nickel,” Colleen says of the brand, which first opened in 1945. “My sisters and I loved being a part of it.”

The Smithe Furniture Sisters Join The Family Business

While they took breaks from the biz to make their own way after college, each came back when the right positions opened up. Today, they help oversee 10 showrooms, the warehouse and headquarters, working together (generally) perfectly. “It’s a constant toggle between work and family talk,” notes Colleen, but at the end of the day they’re focused on creating a furniture company that helps clients truly curate a home. Here, get to know this powerhouse quartet.

What The Walter E. Smithe Daughters Do


Caitie Smithe, Designer and Stylist

What she does: “I make spaces beautiful for clients’ homes, our catalogs and showrooms, and play couples’ therapist for clients who can’t agree on a sofa.”

Favorite design style: Modern mixed with traditional.

Colleen Smithe, Director of Advertising

What she does: “Come up with ideas that get people off their couch and into our stores—and put my sisters in awkward positions (see our commercials).”

Favorite design style: Monochromatic. 

Meghan Smithe, Director of Sales Strategy

What she does: “Whether we’re working or just hanging out, my Type A personality keeps us organized and on track.”

Favorite design style: Clean and neutral.

Maureen Smithe, Buyer

What she does: “I use both sides of my brain: left for all the analytical spreadsheet stuff and right for the creative vision. It’s a tough balance, but I like figuring out the retail puzzle.” 

Favorite design style: Cozy and comfortable—aka hygge ethos.