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Digging into DIY

Design/Installation

Helping customers do the work on their own can lead to more sales.

Kristen Hampshire | July 16, 2012

When Southern Exposure first opened its location, visitors who perused the outdoor living displays wondered if there was a way they could replicate some of the features at home. Rather than turning away an interested prospect, owner Pete Bryant began to consider do-it-yourself options.

“We were starting to create our own kits,” says Bryant. He and his team designed some kits and were working on ways to produce and market them – kits for benches and fire pits. But then the kit market sort of exploded, and Bryant figured: Why replicate what already exists? So he switched gears and began talking to vendors who supply kits.

“We are new to the retail game,” Bryant says, adding that his design/build firm is not the cheapest bidder in the area. “We know that. So the kits that homeowners can build themselves if they are handy have gotten us into a different market. We can get in the door and sell them the product.”

Many times, homeowners call Southern Exposure and ask for help installing the kit. This is a lead-in for more work, Bryant says.

Furthering the DIY effort, Southern Exposure’s website and design studio provide how-to education for homeowners who want to take on projects in their own back yards. Those include on how and when to garden, what tasks to accomplish in every season and how to install pavers.

“We have a fairly large amount of knowledge we like to share with people who are interested,” Bryant says. And those who are interested generally come back for more.
 

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