In early 1954, David Lynn , Jr. and his brother, South T. Lynn, opened Universal Floors, a retail flooring dealership in northwest Washington , D.C. Both men had attended the University of Maryland and were veterans of World War II. Their store would sell hardwood flooring, tile and linoleum. The Lynn 's had no prior experience dealing with any of these products. Both men proved to be quick studies, and in just twelve years the company had become the largest retail floor covering dealer in the Baltimore ? Washington , D.C. area, employing 147 people.
At that time, there were very few hardwood flooring distributors. The majority of the mills relied on commissioned salespeople to deal directly with floor covering retailers and builders. From his experience as a dealer, David Lynn , Jr. recognized the need for a wholesale distributorship in this region. So in April of 1965, he resigned from his position as President of Universal Floors and created Cherokee Wholesalers, Inc. on a pro rata basis. Mr. Lynn's new company would be a radical and seemingly impossible departure from the traditional distribution channels of the time.
Cherokee Wholesalers, Inc., located in Alexandria , VA , a suburb directly across the Potomac from Washington , D.C. , began with three employees: David Lynn , Jr., one warehouse delivery man, and a part-time receptionist who was in high school and rode her bicycle to and from work. Through the Lynn 's many manufacturing contacts, he continued to sell the idea of moving product through distribution channels rather than direct shipping. Yearly mill visits to meet with owners and learn their business practices and operations gave him the opportunity to convince them of the benefits of dealing with a wholesale distributor.
As Cherokee Wholesalers, Inc. celebrates its 40 th Anniversary, clearly the foresight and determination of David Lynn Jr. should be recognized. Now one of the largest Bruce Hardwood Flooring distributors in the United States , Cherokee also carries many other fine flooring lines, including Zickgraf, Somerset , and Oshkosh Floor Designs. A full complement of installation, refinishing and maintenance lines such as: 3M Company, Minwax, Dura-Seal, Stanley-Bostich, Precision Technology, Dri-Tac and others are also available from Cherokee's Pro Shops at each of its locations.
While Cherokee continues to be headquartered in Alexandria , VA , full service branches have been added in Baltimore, and Beltsville , MD ; Richmond , VA ; and Charlotte and Raleigh , NC , which allow our distribution network to stretch from Maryland to South Carolina .
Because of our extensive knowledge and experience regarding all manner of hardwood flooring material, installation and repair equipment, finishes and adhesives, Cherokee Wholesalers, Inc. has been involved in countless prominent jobs throughout the region. Washington , D.C. landmarks such as the White House, the Congress of the United States , the Smithsonian Institute, the Austrian Embassy, and the National Gallery of Art as well as the personal homes of former President Richard Nixon, former Chief Justice of the United States , Warren Burger, and California Governor Arnold Swartzenager have all been touched by the hand of Cherokee.
David Lynn , Jr. served as President and CEO of Cherokee Wholesalers, Inc. while his four sons David Lynn III, William Lynn, Raymond Lynn and James Lynn have all taken on prominent roles within the organization. Combined, the Lynn 's can boast over 130 years of experience in the floor covering business.