By: Christopher Davis | Category: Home Interior Retail | Issue: February 2015
Brendan Cook, Karen Smith, Sharon Shamburger and Kristi Leverenz of Kimball Lighting & Blinds.
As spring comes into view and warmer weather approaches, homeowners and contractors prepare for the building season. Whether the project’s goal is remodeling, a new build or updating a house for sale, Kimball Lighting & Blinds is a convenient headquarters for all your home design needs.
The Kimball family has run the store at 8301 N. Owasso Expressway since 1979. For more than two decades, the store was run as Ace Hardware. “We’ve always been very invested in the community,” says Kristi Leverenz. She explains that her parents have been consistently involved in many facets of Owasso life. Her mother, Susan Kimball, was mayor of Owasso, and her father, Tom Kimball, helped found the Owasso Economic Development Authority in 1986. He also serves on the board of directors for the Grand River Dam Authority.
After a career as a pilot, Kristi rejoined the business in 2001 to spend more time with family. Before long, she was overseeing the transformation from a neighborhood hardware store to a home design and accessory center. Focusing on keeping overhead low and simplifying the selection and pricing process, Kimball Lighting & Blinds offers a wide range of home design features at prices that save builders’ and homeowners’ budgets.
“We want to make the builder’s life easy,” says Kristi, who pays close attention to the needs expressed by her customers. Serving as a design center for more than 65 builders, the store strives to simplify so that customers can focus their time and money where it counts – on the project. Often, prices are 20 to 30 percent lower than the big box competitors, with a decidedly more engaged interaction between store representatives and customers.
“Fewer trips to the store means less number of install fees,” Kristi explains. “If it’s on the shelf, it’s in stock.” The store also minimizes hassle and waits by utilizing an intuitive layout. “We’re set up by room and price progression,” she says. So, a builder or owner can simply walk to a section and immediately hone in on their design options without worrying about their budget inadvertently getting out of control.
Kristi prides herself on the store’s one-stop-shop appeal. The concept arose out of her experience building her own home. “There was just nowhere to go for all the stuff we needed.” A self-described problem solver, she naturally began working with builders she knew to offer simple design solutions, saving everyone time and money. Having found a niche that resonated within the community, the store took shape to become what it is today.
While lighting and blinds do comprise the bulk of their inventory, there is much more in stock. Tile, door and cabinet hardware, bathroom fixtures and shutters are some of the products that builders can find. Also on hand are plenty of color samples, with space dedicated for design planning, so it is easy to coordinate purchases with existing décor.
Though the majority of Kimball Lighting & Blinds customers are builders, the store is open to the general public. Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Kristi invites all to stop in and discover a unique way to save money and time on remodeling and building.
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Christopher Davis is an educator and musician, as well as a writer. A California native, he resides in Tulsa with his wife, two sons and a modest menagerie of pets. When he isn't inspiring young minds, you will most likely find him spending time with his family or playing drums and percussion with Project Huckleberry or the Movetet. In addition to Value News, Davis also writes for Currentland. You can view his work at https://seedavis.wordpress.com.