By Kellie Doligale | Business Profile
Interior design is a study in balance — combining textures, colors and sizes to hit the perfect note between visual interest and sustainable, everyday living. Lesa Buckler, owner and operator of local interior design powerhouse Details, is no stranger to this mandate for symmetry. Her account of over 15 years in the business highlights a successful balance of familial love and hard work.
“We’re good buyers,” she asserts, “but the thing that makes this business go is the love of the staff and business owners together. We care so much about each other, and it’s so apparent. I think it just translates over into every aspect, whether it’s sales or design.”
Despite Details’ idealistic foundation, Buckler makes no secret of their unfailing commitment to improvement. Even with countless testimonials and impressive growth to their credit, Buckler and her team never rest on their laurels.
“You can tell by the way I talk that we never stop,” she says with equal parts charm and firmness. “We never stop thinking, we never stop working. You have to do that today if you’re a business owner in retail. It’s more competitive now than I’ve ever seen it. That forces all of us who are successful to stay on our toes in a way that we’ve not been before. You better know your craft.”
Know the craft, she does. Buckler juggles up-to-the-minute knowledge of her market, her clients and the overall economic climate in a manner that sees Details not just surviving but booming at a time when far too many family-owned businesses fall by the wayside. The dream began humbly enough with a desire to work alongside her children when they grew up. Buckler purchased a 1,000-square-foot retail store while her daughters were still in high school in 2001, and the history is dizzying.
“I had always told them that we would work together and I would open an interior design business when they got older. I bought a tiny existing business that was doing a minimal amount of sales. Within six months, we expanded into the next space that opened up. Two years later, we doubled again in the same area. When they started building across from Lake Forest, I called the day they brought the bulldozers in and said I wanted the center spot. It grew very rapidly. Within four years, it probably grew 300 percent.”
Last year, Details relocated once again to its current location in Middletown and added on to the existing building. “About five years ago, we added on a kitchen and granite business,” Buckler explains. “We do all sorts of in-house cabinetry, whether it’s bathrooms or bookcases or kitchens. That’s fueled our bottom line as well. At a time when internet sales is affecting everyone in retail, people aren’t buying kitchens on the internet very often. That’s something that local people still come to us for.”
Business savvy aside, the Details staff (presently including but not limited to Buckler, her daughter Jacqueline, and her husband Richard) are always attuned to their clients’ logistical goals as well as the notion that they’ve been entrusted with a precious space. Even with large jobs like full-scale remodels well within their repertoire, they’re likewise happy to satisfy far smaller requests, such as selecting the perfect mirror from a catalog.
“When you have somebody come into your home to work, to place items, to help you make decisions, you want them to bring good energy into your space. You want them to have more than good product and good design, of course, but you want an overall good feeling when the project is over.”
One can’t help but deduce that Details’ ability to supply that “good feeling” may be attributed to the simple conclusion of a dream fulfilled.
“I did get to work with my daughters,” Buckler beams. “It’s been amazing. One of them no longer works day-to-day in the business, but she’s a good source of clientele for us. Jacqueline is the interior designer working here full-time. She was gone in Nashville for five years, and we’re thrilled out of our minds that she’s back.”
Buckler is ever business-minded, however, and rightfully so. She speaks about Details not unlike it’s another child requiring all the same investment of time, energy, funds and attention to – well, detail. As such, she wouldn’t jeopardize its success. “Not only is Jacqueline my daughter, but she’s really good at what she does. Even if she’s mine, if she weren’t good, she wouldn’t be here.”
So the secret to Details’ success is really no secret at all. At the cornerstone of a mother’s wish to work with her own daughters is a less sentimental but undeniable asset: hard work. That very balance sees the Buckler family both happy and successful. VT
Details Furniture Galleries & Design
11816 Shelbyville Road