Since childhood, you’ve probably seen Brook Dubman’s crazy Carol House Furniture commercials where he blindfolds, treats customers as if they were in their own living room, or does stupid things. Law and order-style interrogations.
His father, who founded the company, started casting him in commercials when Brook was nineteen, and his younger sister Amy also came along quickly. Now 56, Dubman is a Carol House co-owner, and a bona fide St. Louis celebrity. Across the media, you can still hardly avoid his catch-phrase, “Because you like nice things.”
Here’s the crazy part: Before you start RFT, St. Lunacy actually worked in Dubman’s Maryland Heights store and often paused from our checkout to see Dubman being stopped for selfies. We caught up with him to commemorate and discuss Carol House and his pet clinic near Lafayette Square. Here are highlights from our conversation:
St. Lunacy: What is it like to be St. Louis famous?
Brook Dubman: You know, it feels great. Who does not like to be treated especially at times? It’s a good feeling when someone is just happy to meet you or you get a warm welcome. On a rare occasion, someone treats me like a star and asks for my autograph, I remind them [while] I wish I got paid for the commercials, I actually have to pay a whole lot to be with there.
Do people buy drinks for you in bars because you’re Brook Dubman?
Yes, and then I say, “I should buy you a drink!”
How many selfies do you think you took with fans? We probably talked four times when we worked here.
Just what you happened to see! If I’m out to a fundraiser or a club, a lot happens. When people have had a drink, the wife will usually say, “Here, honey, take my picture!” And I grab the waiter and make sure everyone is in the picture.
Do more people recognize your voice or your face?
Face. Except that I can remember several times standing in line for a while and then saying something, and the person in front of me turns around behind me and says, “I thought it was you.”
Favorite thing at St. Louis?
I love St. Louis. I have never [thought] to live somewhere else because my family and business are here, but for me it’s the right size. It is large enough that there are things to do at any given time. And it’s small enough that there’s not too much traffic or lines or crowds. And I think people are friendly.
Favorite place to go in St. Louis?
The Carol House Quick Fix Pet Clinic! I love watching the friendly staff and all the pet lives we save.
Anything else people should know?
I want people to know about all our employees who have been here for more than ten years. We have 40 or 50 people who have been with us for more than 20, 30 years. Ten years are beginners.
One last question: Do you like nice things, Brook?
[Laughs] Yes. Everyone always says that. The good thing is when customers say it at the sales counter. And then after they get their product, they say, “You’re right.”