BY JACLYN ROSE –
Don Cecil spent time in the United States Air Force and always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and owning his own business. In 1982, he opened a used furniture store in DeQueen, Arkansas and was also a licensed repairman and air conditioning man. In 1988, he transitioned his store to a rent-to-own with the name Don’s E Z Pay. “Don had this crazy idea, to provide quality named brand furniture and electronics to his customers for low weekly or monthly payments, and everyone told him it wouldn’t work. Now, 25-26 years later, we’re still working with that crazy idea, and his name and ideas, are well known throughout the industry,” explained Shane Carver, Regional Manager. “Grandpa started his business with $5000. The banks wouldn’t consider giving him a loan, and here we are, all these years later,” said Calvin Cummings.
Today Don’s E Z Pay has five stores, located in Mena, DeQueen, Waldron, Idabel, and Broken Bow, and employs 34 people. The home office is located in Mena and is run by Cecil’s grandsons, Brandon, Calvin and Aaron Cummings, with the assistance of Carver, who has been with the business for over twenty years.
Brandon, a 2004 graduate of Mena High School, and his wife, Audra, have been married for 10 years and have three children, Brooklyn, Braxton, and Bronson. “My wife keeps me lined out and is very supportive,” Brandon said.
Calvin, Brandon’s twin brother, also a 2004 graduate of Mena High School, served eight years in the United States Air Force before coming home to assist the family business. He married his wife, Summer, six years ago and they have twins, Sophia and Levi. “My wife has been supportive and keeps me lined out, “Calvin said.
The oldest brother, Aaron, a 1999 Mena High School graduate, served nine years in the United States Military. He married his wife, Jonte, in 2009 and they have two children, Wilson and Mattie.
When Carver graduated from DeQueen High School in 1995, he had already been working with Don’s E Z Pay for a year. He married his wife, Brandi, 9 years ago and they have three sons, Austin, Mack and Gabe. “My wife keeps everything going on the home front, so I can keep things going right on the business side. She’s my greatest supporter,” explained Carver.
Don’s E Z Pay is very much a family oriented business, with all four men working together as a team. Their main focus in on customer service. “We live by our motto, which is, ‘Taking time to care for our customers,’” explained Carver.
“We offer services to people who might not be able to afford full retail prices on nice furniture, electronics, and appliances. We offer weekly or monthly payments with no credit needed. For us, it’s not about money, it’s about helping our customers,” explained Calvin.
Don’s E Z Pay offers rent-to-own services, as well as 120 days same as cash and full retail purchases. They also offer free same day delivery and set up for a large local area. Their Mena Store is located at 402 Highway 71 and is opened Monday through Saturday from 8 am until 5 pm. They can be reached at 479.394.5844. You can also visit their website at www.donsezpayrto.com or their Facebook page.
“Family owned rent-to-own stores are really a dying breed in Arkansas and Nationwide, especially those with three generations. All of our stores are in small towns and we are dedicated to assisting our customers,” explained Brandon. “The big stores have a lot of red tape, you have to go through people that could be living anywhere in the country. With us, these four guys are your red tape, and we are very easy to work with,” said Carver.
“We love the simple small town living in Polk County. It’s not too fast paced. We also love being around our family and of course all the outdoor stuff, hunting, fishing and hiking. It’s a great place to live and work,” said Aaron.