Business Odyssey

Real Business Stories of Growth, Struggles, Resilience & Success around Denver Metro, Colorado

The Hearth of a People-Centric Business

Written by YeeLing Lee | Efficiency Specialist & Founder of BNP


Key Takeaways

  • Power of the People: Success hinges on building a team that cares deeply about others, fostering empowerment, and teamwork.
  • Emotional Intelligence and Adaptability: Prioritizing emotional understanding and continuous learning are vital traits for success.
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership: Importance of appointing visionary leaders.
  • Leveraging Technology for Customer Engagement: Using technology to provide personalized customer experiences that go beyond online sales.
  • The Importance of Streamlined Operations: Well-thought ERP systems and efficient operational processes are critical for sustained growth and success.



Interview with Joe Womack

Fireplace Warehouse


This is a Full Article. Read Abridged Version.

Joe Womack naturally exudes passion when speaking about his company, Fireplace Warehouse, and its people. His genuine dedication encompasses his company, employees, family, and the community, which is evident in every aspect of his leadership.

Nurturing Family Bonds

With over 6 million airline miles from his time at Sun Microsystems, Joe yearned for more family time, driven by his desire to be with his miracle children born through in-vitro fertilization. This marked the beginning of his journey into business.

Despite the frequent early morning starts communicating with strategic partners across different time zones and the constant commute between Texas and Colorado, Joe wishes he had started his entrepreneurial journey sooner. Forming a compassionate, like-minded team brought more fulfillment than managing a large corporation’s less satisfying aspects. His boundless enthusiasm for the business keeps him going every day, fueled by the passion for his craft.

Hearthfelt Memories

Joe treasures the moments by the fire, where he forged lasting connections and memories, whether by a cozy hearth or a beach bonfire.

It was this sentiment that drew him to seize a unique opportunity—an asset purchase of a Denver-based company called Fireplace Warehouse, despite residing in Texas.

People: The Heart of Fireplace Warehouse

What sets Fireplace Warehouse apart, according to Joe, is its people; team’s enthusiasm for providing comfort, gathering, and cooking solutions that create lifelong memories.

Furthermore, Fireplace Warehouse is renowned for its technical expertise, excelling in ‘application-specific’ solutions tailored for Commercial, Builder, and Homeowner clients.

Joe credits the company’s success to a diverse network, including exceptional employees, subcontractors, trade partners, and seasoned professionals. This involves forming strategic alliances with relevant industry partners to enhance the ultimate customer experience in their products and services. This approach lets specialized partners handle their respective areas of specialties, while Fireplace Warehouse focuses on its core products and services, optimizing the overall customer experience.

Emotional Intelligence and Adaptability

In the past, IQ was the primary benchmark for success. However, Joe emphasizes the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Adaptability (AQ) in today’s business landscape. He believes in cultivating a culture of emotional understanding and continuous learning, striving for daily improvement. Joe’s hiring criteria reflect this philosophy: accomplished and self-starting individuals who embody strong character.

Entrepreneur Leaders

One key to success in managing multiple locations, as Joe explains, is bringing on board entrepreneurial leaders. Leaders who can combine the strengths of an established company with the flexibility and innovation of a startup. They play a vital role in the company’s growth and ability to adapt.

This is a Full Article. Read Abridged Version.

Fireplace Warehouse Colorado Texas

Strengthening Tech and Customer Bonds

Adapting to the pandemic-driven shift from hesitancy in high-ticket item purchases without physical interaction to confident online shopping, the company has been evolving. It is proactively transitioning to establish an interactive studio, aiming to provide a more engaging and collaborative online experience for customers.

Nevertheless, as we see Covid gradually receding in 2023, Joe is excited about meeting customers in person again, understanding their needs, and collaborating on their inspirations and applications.

Enhancing Efficiency: Modernizing ERP

Joe’s early career in IT inspired his ambition to modernize the company’s ERP system with cloud-based technology. After rigorous research, the company opted for ODOO (On Demand Open Object) as its ERP solution. 

Joe witnessed disastrous ERP transitions during his early career, which made him more prudent in making informed choices when managing his own company’s transition. This prompted a year-long search for an expert, leading him to Jeff Wilson from Loomview. Alongside Steve Boane, these experts played pivotal roles in guiding the company away during the upgrade journey.

Joe recognized the importance of involving all departments in ensuring smooth change management and assessing their requirements, evaluating costs and benefits. With substantial investments in training, and with the support of HR and IT, they are now reaping the rewards of a successful ERP.

The ERP system has streamlined their operations, optimized the myriad components of the installation process, and facilitated efficient management across multiple locations, including inventory and tax management. It has enabled effective scaling.

Operation Processes

With the ERP system in place, Joe is dedicated to enhancing process efficiency and organization. His team enthusiastically embraces the practice of documenting their job processes, realizing that considering themselves indispensable is a misconception. Instead, they recognize that for promotions to happen, someone must be capable of taking over their roles.

Balancing Inventory Strategies

Before Covid, Fireplace Warehouse primarily embraced the “Just in Time” inventory approach rather than the “Just in Case” philosophy. However, the pandemic’s supply chain disruptions prompted them to reassess their inventory management. They now maintain a more balanced approach, carefully juggling between the two adages to ensure a resilient and responsive inventory system that can adapt to changing market conditions.

Navigating Regulatory Complexities

Joe highlighted the challenge of managing regulations and taxes for a company of his size. The company is too small for an in-house compliance department but still subject to numerous regulations due to its substantial growth and operations. To tackle this challenge effectively, they outsource critical compliance tasks to specialists. This decision not only allowed Fireplace Warehouse to streamline its operations but also ensured adherence to ever-evolving regulatory standards.

Community Involvement

Fireplace Warehouse is deeply committed to the community, actively engaging with organizations such as the Home Builders Association (HBA) and contributing to causes like HBA Cares. Their employees also actively collaborate with the Marshall Wildfire Task Force, showcasing their empathy and support.


Joe Womack’s leadership at Fireplace Warehouse reflects vision, family values, and a profound respect for people. His commitment fuels the company’s growth. Each day, he begins with gratitude and, with a supportive team, overcomes challenges, setting Fireplace Warehouse as a model of success.

This is a Full Article. Read Abridged Version.

Joe Womack (Far Left) with a group of his Fireplace Warehouse team members




Joe Womack

Fireplace Warehouse Colorado Texas



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