LAGRANGE, IN - Lake Area Designs, LLC, which designs and builds custom wood moulding, doors and furniture for home builders, commercial construction and recreational vehicle industries, says it is settling into its new headquarters in LaGrange, IN.
As it ramps up production, Lake Area Designs will benefit by being situated close to the strongly growing recreational vehicle manufacturing center in Indiana, following its move from Michigan and and investment of $1.5 million to lease and renovate an existing production site.
Lake Area Designs formed when a group of investors led by Rob West purchased the assets of the former Lake Area Mouldings Plus, LLC in Sturgis, MI. Lake Area Design investors and the management team include Steve Christner, who is serving as CFO and secretary; Danny Wingard, vice president of assembly and purchasing; Brian Miller, serving as vice president of operations; and part owner Bryan Copsey. Andy Peachey has been hired to handle office administrative functions for the company. The remaining 13 employees work in the production facility, which will be expanding as additional contracts are acquired.
Lake Area Designs produces custom wood trim, doors and furniture, originating designs and manufacturing through fully finished products in a full-service mill room, assembly shop and finishing center. Using CNC routing equipment it can produce all types of trim pieces, including intricately-carved designs or arched or elliptical molding.
A variety of wood types species is available, and all of the wood is finished by hand to the customers’ specifications.
“We also do very high-end, solid-wood doors for home and building entryways and interiors, along with doors for custom cabinetry,” says West, who is president of Lake Area Designs. He said the company is expanding its residential products and services, and has staff members dedicated to working one-on-one with designers, architects and general contractors.
“We are a very well-rounded company,” West said. “We offer hardwoods and custom steel parts, and can also work with customers to hook up with a landscape company—so we can offer all wood finishing to the house, add steel railings and other finish products, and then landscape your home.”
He also noted that Lake Area now has a sub-contracting shop that makes and installs full kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Relocating from Sturgis, MI to Indiana earlier this learn, the wood components firm hired eight of its predecessor company’s production workers and has since added 11 employees. To meet job-creation tax credit targets from the Indiana Economic Development, Lake Area Designs will create a total 34 new jobs by 2016. It will also be receiving tax abatements from the town of LaGrange.
Sales to date have exceeded the investors’ expectations. “I never thought in my wildest dreams we’d be this busy so early on,” West said. To keep up with demand, the company is growing its mill room and assembly shop, having recently purchased new equipment, including an additional moulder and up-cut saw, as well as a curtain-side truck for deliveries. The firm is pursuing new business to further increase capacity. “We really want to push out to bigger cities and larger projects,” West said.
Lake Area Designs currently is consulting with staff from the Northeast ISBDC on marketing strategies for the new company, and previously worked with IEDC state and county economic development officials to relocate to LaGrange. For more information, visit www.LakeAreaDesigns.com or call 260-499-3222. To learn more about the services of the NE-ISBDC, go to www.isbdc.org or call 260-481-0500
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