‘Home away from home’ for Davis Designs

Cherie and Heather Davis have been in business at Davis Designs since 2011.
By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a month-long series called the 25 Days of Downtown Christmas that will highlight the fantastic selection of retailers in downtown Garden City.

Most days, walking into work at Davis Designs doesn’t even feel like a job to business owner Heather Davis.

“It’s kind of like inviting people into our home, because it just feels real homey. Sometimes, yes, it does feel like work. But not all the time,” she said with a chuckle. “It’s really more like a home away from home.”

Heather Davis and her mother, Cherie Davis, opened Davis Designs at 426 N. Main St. Suite A in June 2011 immediately following the Beef Empire Days Parade. Her father, Gene Davis, is also a partner in the home decor business.

After attending the Art Institute of Colorado for interior design and finishing up her schooling at Fort Hays State University, Heather said she was looking to start her own business and chose her hometown.

“I worked for a gal up in Hays while going to school and basically got to take care of decorating the store up there. I just really enjoyed it,” she said. “My boyfriend was back in the area and has a pretty good job so I thought maybe Garden City could use a fun home decor store. With my interior design services I thought it would be better to have a retail store than just an office space.”

Heather got a good introduction to retail by working for Leigh Kepley at Little Britches/Moodz, including the opportunity to go to market with Leigh, an overwhelming experience at the time but one Heather found interesting.

Cherie Davis, a Garden City denizen since 1974, said she went to school to study retail business and worked at Anthony’s when she was younger. Getting to meet and visit with people is something Cherie enjoys immensely about Davis Designs.

“Our customers are all just really nice and it’s neat getting to meet so many people. We see people from all these different towns that we know. It’s really neat,” she said.

Home Decor and Design

Heather said Davis Designs covers all aspects of home decor and design, from furniture on down to dinnerware and everything in between.

“We have bridal registry items. We offer interior design services where I go out to homes and help with picking out flooring choices and things like that,” Heather Davis said.

The store also has a baby registry, a wide variety of gift items, and offers Christmas tree decorating, ornaments, home staging and home redesign. They can also special order items for customers looking for something not in the store.

Explaining home redesign, Heather said a customer may have been advised to get rid of all their old stuff but they have an item like a China cabinet that’s been in the family a long time and the customer does not want to get rid of it.

“I can help people keep those pieces incorporated but have a new look,” she said. “I like helping people, creating stuff. It’s really neat when someone comes in and buys a whole tree you’ve done. I like helping people solve problems with their furniture, the flow of the home.”

Heather and Cherie both stressed the importance of customer service.

“Customer service, quality products, uniqueness. And we have the knowledge about the product, too,” Heather said.

Beautiful Downtown location

When starting the store, Heather said, they didn’t want to be anywhere else other than downtown.

“Downtown, to me, is the heart of the city. It’s kind of where all the small businesses should be, in my opinion. We looked at several spots before we did this and we were pretty lucky when we got this spot. We love having all the windows,” Heather said, referring to the windows along the north wall of the business that allow an unfettered view of Stevens Park.

“It doesn’t feel like a store with having those windows. Other places have just got the fronts that look straight forward or they’re blocked off in the front,” she said.

Davis Designs will be participating, along with several other downtown merchants, in the Holiday Sip n’ Shop event from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. A registration and check in is required the day of the event through Downtown Vision. The event will feature offerings from the Smoky Hill Valley winery, Heather said.

Davis Designs is also offering a special discount just for reading this story. Mention you read about the business on Greater Garden City and you can receive 20 percent off your purchase of an item under $200.

Davis Designs is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays.