To some, 1973 might not seem like it was 40 years ago. To Wayne Lednum, who owns Creative Concepts with his wife, Bobbi, the old adage “Time flies when you’re having fun” has never been more true.
“Forty years might sound like a long time, but it went surprisingly fast,” said Lednum.
He and his wife started the business as a window fashion and accessory store, and their son Craig joined them as the draperies installer. Their other two sons, Steve and Scott, soon joined them, also as drapery installers. Over the years, the store has grown into a full-service furniture and design service company and now employs around 25 people in two locations — one in Lewes and one at the corner of Routes 17 and 26 in Clarksville.
Creative Concepts has been in Lewes for about 30 years, explained Craig Lednum. After starting up their store in York Beach Mall in South Bethany some 23 years ago, they then moved to Creekside Plaza before settling in Clarksville several years ago.
The senior Lednum said he decided after working in the corporate world to try out working for himself.
“Dad had a background in merchandising,” explained Craig Lednum.
“I worked for Mongtomery Ward,” said Wayne Lednum. “We came down and worked for an outlet in Ocean City, and after a year decided, if this is all small business was, we’d try it!”
As a Hunter Douglas gallery — one of two on the Eastern Shore — Craig Lednum explained that they still do window coverings but also have furniture, lamps, pictures and design services — something he said that sets them apart.
“We will design your home, full-service,” Craig Lednum said, adding that their business used to be 100 percent resort properties, but over the years has evolved with the times and the area. They now do a lot of design for both year-round and rental properties because of the influx of people moving to the area full-time.
Something that hasn’t changed in 40 years has been the people, explained Wayne Lednum.
“People are constant. What’s different is in what we like. Diversity means you can have your individual taste, and that’s the fun part of the business.”
He said their design staff enjoys working with both people who come in with just a budget and need a lot of guidance in the design department and people who know what they like and how to coordinate things.
“It runs the gamut,” he said.
He also said that a fun thing about being in business for 40 years is seeing some of the same families coming in, albeit with a new generation.
Over the years, they have seen many changes, but mostly the trends are fluid and evolve, explained Lednum. For example, he said, when they started in 1973, everything was yellow and green. Over the years, color trends have changed as people’s tastes changed.
“Now there is a diversity of colors.”
Craig Lednum added that the matching sets of furniture are not seen as much as they were in years past, as people want to work pieces into what they already have or what they are creating.
“Everything is very eclectic now. There’s not a lot of matching rooms.”
And while the nautical scenes and the blue and white beach colors still pepper the showroom, there are literally thousands of coverings in a multitude of colors and textures and designs, so people can be as creative as they want to be.
“We want to please the customer,” said Wayne Lednum, who just celebrated his 80th birthday and said he has no plans to retire. “And we generally do. A lot of what hasn’t changed is people are still basically nice. They want service and good merchandise. And it’s a people business. If you like what you do, then it’s fun. Some people go to the golf course to meet and talk with people. I come to work!”
For more information about Creative Concepts, visit them online at http://www.creativeconceptsfurniture.com or call (302) 539-6989.