Business Matters

Business Matters: Homeowners Design Center

HONOLULU (KHON2) - Building or remodeling a home is something most people both dream of and dread at the same time.

At Homeowners Design Center, employees make it their mission to take the stress out of your next big project.

Lori Matsushige has headed up the company for the past 12 years, but this business has been part of her DNA for much longer.

"We've been in business since 1969 and my mom ran the company," said Matsushige. "She was a female in a male world which was very difficult for her. She worked with a lot of general contractors that weren't exactly happy to work with a female."

Obviously much is changed over the years. 

Not only is the playing field leveling in terms of gender, but the design center itself has gone through some major growth.

"We started in a little closet about 300 to 400 square feet and there were four employees - that's it," said Matsushige. 

Today she has 21 employees, her own installers, and a huge and beautiful showroom.

Whether you're building a new home or remodeling, she's in the business of making your dreams come true.

"In Hawaii that is the dream - to own your own home and to make it fabulous," she said. "So everybody comes over and enjoys your home and you live the lifestyle. Every year the industry has smart homes, smarter homes, and better, it just continues on and on and on."

Thanks to a robust housing market, business for the design center is also booming . But that hasn't always been the case.

"It hasn't always been rosy and it hasn't busy and crazy," said Matsushige. "There were years in between that you like, are we gonna make it through this? Everybody go tighten your belt, call all your relatives see if everybody wants to maybe change their bedroom carpet one little room on little something change your window coverings something that would keep us going through the tough times."

She says those tough times taught her how to adjust, and how to better serve her customers.

"We're a one stop shop so we sit with you. Our designers will go over what you need or what you want. So you come here and we help you through the whole process. Working with the general contractor, electrician, plumbers, painter, the whole nine yards. At the end of the day the greatest thing that we can do for you is that when you walk in that door when you get home it's like ahhhh coming home. This is what you want, this is what makes you happy. That's what we want to do for you". 

And her advice for any other would be entrepreneurs: "Do something that you love. Do something that makes you happy so that it comes out in your work. It's what you can do for them. And what service you provide."


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