Hugh James, President | 3024 Blake James Dr. | 859.254.5362 | lexfurniture.com
Lexington Furniture Company opened its doors in 1965. Hugh was always business-oriented and interested in style, which led to him to start working at the family owned business just eleven years later. He has been in the business for 40 years now and loves seeing ideas come together for his customers.
Hugh says that Lexington Furniture Company specializes in good quality furniture and Oriental rugs. “We are strong in leather selection, sell off the floor and do customer orders from most of our manufacturers,” he explains. “Our trademark is quality at a better price. We have a successful operation because we do things the right way here. Our staff is experienced, and we provide good service to go with it.”
Hugh received his Bachelor’s in Business from UK and got his Juris Doctor from University of Louisville. He credits his wife, Laura, with having a huge impact on his life and career; they have two children and two dogs.
Nancy began her career in the fashion industry with her degree in Fashion Merchandizing and Business before crossing over into residential interiors. She brings 20 years of experience to Design Link, including owning and operating a national interior design franchise as well as working as an independent design consultant. She and her husband of 23 years are blessed with two amazing kids.
Jessica attended the University of Kentucky, graduating with a BA in Interior Design, specializing in commercial design. After college, she went on to receiver her NCIDQ and LEED AP certifications to further her knowledge on commercial projects. Jessica is happily married with a beautiful baby girl.
In 2007, this aunt and niece decided to combine their strengths and went into business together. With the support of a talented staff of three additional degreed designers and two business administrators, this team offers both residential and commercial design services.
Bobbi’s husband worked summers at a corporate paint store while getting his masters at UK. With her degree in Interior Design and his paint knowledge, they decided to open an independent paint and decor store in 1985. He passed away in 1996 of cancer and Bobbi has worked to keep his dream going.
Superior Paint & Decorating specializes in providing exceptional products and advice. “Paint is not just paint; there are a lot of questions that need to be asked,” Bobbi explains. “My staff and I know the right product to use, how to apply it and with what brush, how to prepare a surface to be painted and what color to use.”
Bobbi enjoys going to market in Atlanta and High Point. But her favorite thing about her job is seeing a customer come back to the store to tell her how much they love their new room because of the paint color or accessory she helped them pick out.
Lexington Winnelson / The Showplace
Kimberley McCullough, Showroom Manager
211 Industry Pkwy. Nicholasville | 859.885.9271 | lexingtonwinnelson.com
Growing up, Kimberley says she was a “Daddy’s Girl”; helping her father around the house gave her an interest in working hands-on. She worked in the medical field for twelve years before she decided she was ready for a new challenge.
The Showplace specializes in bathroom and kitchen design and fixtures. Kimberley has been working with the business for 9 years. Funny enough, her son told his class at school that his mother works as a “toilet salesman”. While that is one thing Kimberley can help customers with, The Showplace offers a variety of products that encompass a wide range of needs.
Kimberley says she loves meeting new people. Her hobbies include attending her sons’ extracurricular activities, fishing, watching “So You Think You Can Dance” and hanging out with her family. She says it would surprise people to know that while she is helpful and generous, she also has a fiery side.
Movie – The Notebook
Book – The Last Song
Vacation Spot – The Palm
Musician/Performer – Bruno Mars
Song – Treasure
Jeremy Rice, j. stuart hurt, Dwayne Anderson, Owners
250 Walton Ave., Suite 130 | 859.523.3933 | housebyjsd.wordpress.com
Jeremy credits his business partners with having a huge impact on his career. They’ve been working together for four years. Jeremy, who received his BA in Visual Merchandising from EKU, says that he loves the creative challenges their work presents. “It is different every day,” he explains.
j. stuart has been an Interior Designer for over 18 years and says that his father is one of his greatest influences. He specializes in space planning, specifically for kitchens and bathrooms. j. stuart is also on the Board of Directors for Susan G. Komen Lexington.
Dwayne says that a college professor told him, “Do what you want to do.” The rest, for him, is history. He’s been in the business of home décor for 23 years. Dwayne received his degree from Pikeville College in Business/Accounting and loves gardening, planting and being outside. For him, the best part of the job is “seeing the husband sitting in his new chair, happy.”
TV Show – Golden Girls and Roseanne
Book – Architectural Digest and House Beautiful
Musician/Performer – Ben Sollee
Song – Same Love
Movie – Goonies
TV Show – American Horror Story / Big Love
Vacation Spot - Topsail Island
Song – Never Saw Blue Like That
Movie – Dumb and Dumber
TV Show – Judge Judy (I love a strong woman!)
Musician/Performer – Christopher Cross or Duran Duran
In 2005, the opportunity arose for Brent to join his father-in-law, Gary Bello, in creating a business. Brent simply couldn’t pass up the chance and so Architectural Kitchens & Baths was created. They specialize in incredible commercial and residential transformations, which Brent says is the most satisfying aspect of his career. Before forming AK&B, Brent was a Principal and Board Member of Ross Tarrant Architects, where the team worked on many award-winning, large-scale educational facilities.
Brent was born and raised in Lexington where he lives today with his wife and three children. He says that being a husband and father is his proudest achievement, far above professional accomplishments. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Kentucky School of Architecture. Passionate about sports, Brent enjoys baseball and playing golf. He calls himself a diehard UK fan and he attends as many home games as possible–and some away games!
Movie – The Breakfast Club
TV Show – The Office and Seinfeld
Vacation Spot – Sanibel and Captiva
Performer – Bono
Song(s) – Anything U2
Hager Cabinets & Appliances
Nathan Kerr, Store Manager/Kitchen Design & Sales
1300 new Circle Rd., Suite 190 | 859.253.0798 | hagercabinetslex.com
While Nathan has worked in construction for many years, he seriously started focusing his work on kitchens about 12 years ago, taking numerous classes in kitchen design and computer-aided design. He has been with the Lexington Hager Cabinets for three years and says he loves problem solving and meeting challenges. “My favorite is when a customer has been told they can’t do what they want in their space,” Nathan explains. “There is always a solution out there.”
Nathan volunteers with his church and also serves on a regional all-volunteer disaster relief building committee that builds high-quality homes and churches in three states. He and his wife have two married daughters and a special needs teenage son.
“Kitchen design is one of the best jobs because years later, my customers say that every morning when they get up, they see the kitchen I designed and it makes them smile,” Nathan explains.
Movie – What About Bob
TV Show – Jimmy Fallon
Book – Bible
Vacation Spot – Costa Rica
Musician/Performer – Everything from Miles Davis to Mumford & Sons
Cooper Stofer, Partner | 425 Curry Ave., 124 N. Broadway | 859.379.6913 | wantlava.com
Cooper’s intrigue with electronic systems and technology started at a young age. While in his teens, Cooper followed his father to work at Ovation. “After working for him for several years, I decided I wanted to start my own firm,” Cooper explains.
LAVA Systems has been in business for 8 years while LAVA Security was founded in 2013. LAVA specializes in media rooms and fully integrated whole-house audio, video and automation services. They are the only CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Award winners in Kentucky. Cooper says his favorite part of his work is the collaboration process with homeowners, businesses, designers and architects to create unique environments while giving them a simple way to control them.
Cooper is involved with the Lexington art community and the Children’s Advocacy Center. A father of three girls, Cooper enjoys working out, practicing Muay Thai and listening to music.
Movie - Kill Bill
TV Show - Justified
Book – Stranger in a Strange Land
Vacation Spot – Manhattan
Musician/Performer – Tupac, Amy Winehouse Radio, Classical
Jenny Hill, Owner
303 Southland Dr.| 859.276.2137 | interioryardage.com Jenny began her professional career as a Registered Nurse for 15 years when a hobby of selling fabric started to get a little out of hand. Convinced by a close friend, Jenny and her friend began selling fabric out of her basement and at local flea markets. The workload increased so much that Jenny opted out of her nursing career to pursue one of entrepreneurship. Ultimately, Jenny purchased retail space on Southland Dr.
Careful business decisions have kept the business thriving. Jenny’s favorite part is having intelligent and talented designers on staff and customers expressing how much they love their home after a completed project.
Visitors to Interior Yardage will be greeted by the store’s newest employee, a lost doggie that Jenny “adopted” when he jumped in her car while in Pulaski county. She says, “He’s adorable and does his job well.”
Creative Kitchen & Bath
Tarla Dearinger, Showroom Manager
Debra Willett Hupman, CKD, CBD, ASID Allied
1141 Industry Rd.| 859.255.6838 | ckandb.com
Tarla’s father was a mechanical engineer so she grew up in this business. After working for another plumbing distributor for 23 years, she wanted a less corporate environment and says that her favorite part of her job at Creative Kitchen and Bath is meeting people and discovering new products.
For Debra, interior decor has always been a passion. “At ten years old, I was giving my mom design advice, and she took it,” she exclaims. “When other kids would buy candy and lotion for their mom’s birthday presents, I would buy silver trays and home accessories for my mother!” She earned her Bachelor’s in Interior Design from the University of Kentucky.
Creative Kitchen and Bath specializes in the transformation of spaces into beautiful, functional living areas. They are also experts in cabinetry and plumbing fixtures.
Carrie Patterson and CG Patterson, Owners
390 E. New Circle Rd., 187 Moore Dr. | 859.253.0004, 859.277.1956 | carpetone.com
Carrie started working for Carpet One shortly after graduating from the University of Alabama. Twelve years later she is still having fun and can’t imagine doing anything else. Carrie’s Yorkie, Will, accompanies her to work every day at the New Circle Road location.
Carrie’s brother CG, attended Xavier University, earning a degree in Communications and Electronic Media. He worked for LEX18 for several years before moving to Carpet One ten years ago. Carpet World/Carpet One was started by their father, Gordon, when he was in his twenties; it has grown tremendously over the last 38 years. Gordon is still actively involved in the business and taught his children the importance of hard work and treating everyone with respect.
Carpet One is the nation’s largest flooring retailer specializing in residential and commercial flooring, including tile, wood, laminate and carpet. They have an extensive collection of area rugs and over 100,000 square feet of carpet in stock on a daily basis. They also specialize in custom work.
Movie – Big Business & Police Academy
TV Show – Two Broke Girls
Book – Murder Mysteries
Vacation Spot – St. Thomas Beaches
Musician/Performer – Kenny Chesney
Movie – Shawshank Redemption
TV Show – Duck Dynasty
Book – The Newspaper
Musician/Performer – Alabama
Song – Garth Brooks The Dance
The Luxe for the Home
Mary Anne Simmons, Owner | 193 Kentucky Ave. | 859.983.4663
In addition to owning The LUXE, which specializes in all things for the home, Mary Anne also owns Premier Designing Details (a staging and merchandising company) and is Principal Broker for Premier Home Services Group (EXP Realty, International). This gives her unique insights into staging techniques that help homes sell with tremendous success.
Mary Anne decided she wanted to showcase her staging company, so she opened The LUXE for the Home. This lead to selling and consigning antiques, fine furnishings and accessories, as well as the establishment of a design center for remodeling and rehab projects, complete with a design team. The LUXE is a wonderful resource for a variety of home needs and services. Mary Anne says she enjoys “Making beautiful homes, beautifully livable.”
From 1968-1970, Mary Anne played basketball and tennis for UK–before Title IX! She has been a Realtor/Broker since 1984 and is also a Registered Pharmacist. Mary Anne and her husband have one daughter and two granddaughters.
Movie – The Sound of Music
TV Show – Downton Abbey
Book – The Bible
Vacation Spot – North Carolina Beaches and Mountains
Musician/Performer – Tony Bennett
Song – How Great Thou Art
Norwalk Furniture & Design
Kellie Clarke & Tawana Palmer, Owners
2200 War Admiral Way | 859.263.0322 | norwalkfurniture.com
Several years ago, Tawana and Kellie decided they wanted to open a business together. Norwalk presented them the opportunity to pursue their passions for style, furniture and accessories. They’ve been in business for 8 years, beating the odds to remain friends while operating a successful business. Some people advised them not to risk friendship, and they enjoy proving those people wrong, year after year.
Tawana, who enjoys painting and spending time with loved ones, specializes in fabrics, colors and patterns, helping clients discover unique combinations and the latest trends. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts from EKU.
Kellie enjoys spinning, cooking and spending time with her friends and family. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and at Norwalk, her work focuses on Interior Design and space planning.
Kellie and Tawana say that they love their staff like family, which lets them have fun while doing what they are passionate about.
Movie – Steel Magnolias
TV Show – Nashville
Musician/Performer – Whitney Houston
Movie – Steel Magnolias
Vacation Spot – Somewhere sunny & 72°
Song – Her wedding song, Love Remains
My Favorite Things
Tom Ulshafer, President of Retail Operations
2721 Old Rosebud Rd. | 859.264.0923 | mftky.com
My Favorite Things is celebrating its 10th year in Central Kentucky! Their designers specialize in residential design; while the shop offers gifts, décor and accessories for the home.
Tom, President of Retail Operations, concentrates specifically on commercial design for banks, healthcare facilities and office buildings. He says he enjoys transforming a space into what it can become and seeing the “before and after effect”. “Retail and design were not my intended career path, although I have enjoyed creating special and unique spaces since my first Lego set,” Tom explains.
Tom received his Bachelor’s of Science in Advertising from Kent State University. His career began in advertising and he oversaw layout, design and buying for the Hamburg Ethan Allen. A decade ago, the Forcht Group offered him a position with My Favorite Things and he has been there ever since. Some of Tom’s floral arrangements were featured in the 2010 film Secretariat but his proudest accomplishment is My Favorite Things being saluted as a finalist for the National ARTS Award for excellence in retail merchandising.
Movie – Grease
TV Show – HGTV
Musician/Performer – Top 40, Classical, Religious and Jazz
From age 6, Bret followed his dad at work and learned the family business from the ground up. “My dad used to fire me at least four times a day,” Bret explains. “And re-hire me five times!” Fayette Heating & Air was established in 1971, specializing in HVAC and plumbing. Bret says that his favorite thing about his career is making people happy. When customers call FHA, they will be greeted with, “How can we make you smile today?”
Raised in Lexington, Bret’s hobbies include riding motorcycles, playing golf and hanging out at the lake; he also admits that he loves shopping for shoes and purses for his wife! He has two daughters in college and says that he loves showing them and his employees that life isn’t just about work—it’s also about giving back. Bret is involved with Susan G. Komen, the Lexington Humane Society and the YMCA.
Movie – The Shawshank Redemption
TV Show – Big Bang Theory
Book – Straight From The Gut, Winning Jack Welch
Vacation Spot – Florence, Italy
Photo by Lee P. Thomas
Kim Knopf, Owner | 150 Stores in 6 States | sleepoutfitters.com
Raised in Louisville, Kim and her siblings worked to pay a substantial portion of their tuitions to Sacred Heart Academy. Kim was on their basketball team and won a Kentucky high school state championship.
After graduating from the University of Kentucky, Kim was working as a traveling insurance salesperson before she took a management position for a mattress store. The owner, Bill Brown, was like a father figure to Kim. When she moved to Charleston, WV with her husband in 1983, Bill suggested that she open a mattress store there. Over the company’s first 20 years, Kim opened an average of one store per year in West Virginia while starting a family. When Kim acquired a group of mattress stores in Lexington, the Sleep Outfitters brand was launched.
“I’m really hands-on. I want to be tied into the community, know the advertisers, the people in the chamber, our employees. I like that personal touch. That family environment is very much a part of our culture.” This year, Sleep Outfitters celebrated 30 years of business success and Kim launched her very own mattress line.
Movie – Beaches
TV Show – Kentucky games
Vacation – Hilton Head
Song – Ave Maria
Photo Courtesy of Kim Knopf
L.V. Harkness & Co.
Meg Jewett, Owner | 531 West Short St. | 859.225.7474 | lvharkness.com
Meg’s career started as an attorney in New York. She moved to Las Vegas with her family and started a private school. When she moved back to Kentucky to devote time to Walnut Hall, her standardbred horse farm, she immediately realized what Lexington was missing in terms of shopping. This ignited her passion to open a store featuring fine gifts, corporate, interior design, trophies, awards and bridal registry items. L.V. Harkness and Co., named after her great grandfather, has been in business fourteen years.
Meg is involved closely with the Headley-Whitney Museum, the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, the Rotary club, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and the Kentucky Horse Park Commission. In her spare time, Meg enjoys reading, traveling, shopping and using her FitBit.
This visionary says that product development is one of her favorite aspects of her work. She says she loves seeing ideas grow into reality!
Movie – The Devil Wears Prada
TV Show – Downton Abey
Vacation Spot – Provence, France
Musician/Performer – Adele
By Amanda Harper Photos by Shaun Ring, unless otherwise noted