It’s not every business that celebrates 30 years in business. But a visit to Lake Design & Décor at 107 North Franklin St. in Manchester quickly answers the question as to how the interior design showroom has remained a fixture throughout the community and surrounding area for three decades.
It’s because of the hard work and vision of owner Roger Lake.
Lake opened his store in Edgewood in 1991. After opening a second location in Manchester three years later, he eventually downsized to one store in Manchester.
Lake enjoys his work. “I’m a people person and I like to get to know people. You definitely do when you are in business for 30 years. I enjoy working with people and helping them as much as I can.”
He said good customer service has resulted in not only repeat customers but generations of customers. “I’ve seen lots of kids of earlier customers and even some grandkids of earlier customers.”
Lake said he’s seen changes in the interior design industry during his time in business, with a focus on more hard surface floors instead of carpet. “With more people having pets in their homes, the hard surface industry has really grown.”
He’s also seen more kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in homes, adding that the internet has influenced customers. “People have so much more access to Pinterest and have different ideas, so they are doing more research before they come into the store and are more knowledgeable and decisive about what they want.”
Lake expanded his business in 2019, purchasing space next door and adding a larger kitchen and bathroom showroom area.
Lake said the building industry saw a busy year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was definitely a great year for us because more people stayed home and saw the need to update their homes. Some made home offices and since they were working from home, wanted it to look nice. But early on I had a lot more virtual visits with people instead of meeting in person or going into people’s homes.”
Lake has been active in the Manchester community. He was named the Manchester Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year in 2014 and was awarded the City of Manchester First Citizen title in 2012. In addition, Lake Design & Décor won the Manchester Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year for 2018.
Lake appreciates being part of the community, saying, “Manchester is a good business town. It’s a growing town in a good location to other communities.”
Lake Design & Décor is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and evenings by appointment.