Tisha Ward Buchanan's Perfect Furnishings is the perfect solution for discriminating, design-oriented homeowners on the Shore
Some people are content to visit a big-box retailer, order what they think might look halfway decent, have it delivered and be done with it. Other consumers, however, are more particular, more discriminating. They are design-oriented consumers with a strong sense of style and an even stronger desire lead lives that don’t look as if they were ordered from some catalog. For those people, there is Perfect Furnishings.
The company’s founder, Tisha Ward Buchanan, would appear to have design and decorating in her DNA. It began with her parents, who were both professional upholsterers, a status that would determine Buchanan’s destiny at a very early age.
“By the time I was nine, I was making furniture for my Barbie dolls,” recalled Buchanan, who’d launched Perfect Furnishings as an accessories store in 1995. “And I upholstered it, too!”
By the time she’d become an entrepreneur, her knowledge of furniture and design savvy were so well ingrained, she burst out of her initial 800 sq. ft. not once but twice in her first five years of operation. Ultimately, she wound up in her
current 4,000 sq. ft location on Jefferson Bridge Rd. in Bethany Beach.
Today, Perfect Furnishings is an Eastern Shore hotspot for upscale coastal and shabby-chic special-order furniture and accessories, specializing in quality furnishings and custom window treatments. All of this, however, is synergistically punctuated by the company’s heralded free design services, which is really what sets them apart from the competition.
“It is my mission — my mandate, really — to never repeat the same job for any two customers,” said Buchanan, who has devoted 34 years to her industry. “There is no cookie-cutting here; each customer represents a new and unique challenge and will receive a completely unique result.”
Overall, about 70% of Buchanan’s jobs throughout the year include interior design. She frequently works with builders at the blueprint stage and, on average, visits worksites between five and 15 times by the time the job is complete,
essentially amounting to weeks of assiduous attention to every minute detail of the process.
“I feel that each job I take ultimately represents the stamp or signature of my company,” said Buchanan, “so it’s important that they all be exclusively beautiful and exceed each client’s expectations. They may also rest assured in the knowledge that if I don’t really like it and believe in it, I won’t do it,” which is a central reason that more than 60% of Perfect Furnishings’ projects come from repeat and referral business.
To cope with her company’s ever-increasing workload, she was joined in 2006 by her daughter, Cortney Lednum Thompson. At age 25, Cortney has proved a chip off the old block. She functions not only as a company designer and the store’s general manager but is also a buyer (alongside her mom) and is in charge of floor displays.
“Cortney has a great eye for color and for envisioning the final result,” proclaimed the proud mother. “And that’s something you can’t teach; she has been a major asset to the company.”
Perfect Furnishings is open six days a week, all year long.
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