MOORESVILLE – Brad Doane has a pretty good imagination.
That’s why, when he drove past an empty Circle K gas station on River Highway on his way to Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse, he was able to picture the patio and game room furniture store that opened earlier this year.
“The first day I came and looked at it, I knew I could turn this into something really unique and appealing,” Doane said. “I knew I could make it work.”
The former gas station, which is at the corner of Bluefield Road and River Highway, was a great place to open Lake Norman Patio and Game Rooms, Doane said, because it has good visibility and lots of outdoor shaded space.
“We plan on making that area an outdoor showroom,” he said. “We’re still in the process of turning this into an outdoor paradise.”
Doane has been selling outdoor and game room furniture in Mooresville since 2011.
He said he loves selling those items because it’s something customers enjoy shopping for.
“Nobody really needs a pool table, or nobody really needs outdoor furniture,” Doane said. “So the customer’s mindset, in my opinion, it’s more of a want. … Nice outdoor furniture and game room furniture is really fun. So when people come in, they’re generally very happy.”
That’s one of the reasons he tries to create a “laidback, happy environment” with both his demeanor and his décor.
“I want people to feel like they’re on vacation when they visit my showroom,” Doane said.
The business is split into two main areas – one for outdoor furniture and one for game room furniture.
Doane said he likes to stage the outdoor furniture section as if the items could be on someone’s porch.
“It’s got a kind of tropical feel,” Doane said. “We have plants and palm trees and beautiful prints of beach scenes.”
And everything in the store is for sale.
“There’s hundreds, if not thousands, of items,” Doane said. “And everything that we sell is high-quality at very reasonable prices. … We’re always below the manufacturer’s suggested price.”
The side of the store that includes game-room furniture features pool tables, shuffleboards, dart boards and pingpong tables.
It also showcases another of Doane’s passions – music.
“I play guitars,” Doane said. “So I thought bringing in guitars and some autographed rock-and-roll memorabilia would add a nice dimension to go along with the game room décor.”
Music-related things that Doane has collected over the years decorate the wall above the game room floor, each with a description and price tag next to it.
“And it’s been going great,” Doane said. “People have been coming in, and they love seeing those guitars.”
One of his favorite parts of the job is to interact with customers.
“I’ve become great friends with a lot of my customers over the years,” Doane said.
Although he has five employees, Doane still works at the store frequently and considers himself a “hands-on” business owner.
One of the ways he shows that is through a free service he offers – going to customers’ houses and recommending furniture for their particular space.
“I make suggestions, take measurements and make sure you’re getting the right fit,” Doane said. “Because everyone’s yards and patios are a little different. If somebody is in full sun all the time, I might recommend one product over another.”
In addition to working with individuals, Doane has worked with a number of commercial clients, including apartments and condominiums.
“My customers all say they love me,” Doane said. “They love doing business with me. I make it fun. I make it easy. I really care about the products I sell.”
Doane said many of the products he sells are made in the United States.
“I love my country, so I try to support local dealers,” Doane said. “And I stand behind everything that I sell.”
His product line will also be expanding in the next few months to include hot tubs and spas.
“So we’re bringing a new dimension in, too,” Doane said. “That’ll be great.”