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Stony Lake Furniture Co. Lakefield, ON

Interview with Lisa Besseling of Stony Lake Furniture Co.

When did you open your store?
Lisa Besseling: I purchased the store from the original owner in 2010, it opened in 2006 and had become a great shopping destination in the area. I decided to keep the name and the branding and evolve the style a little to reflect my own taste.

How did you get started in the business?
LB: I went to school for interior design and then worked designing for a custom kitchen company for 5 years. I was getting to a point where I was ready for change when I got an email from the store’s original owner telling me she was selling. There was something very serendipitous about the timing. Honestly, the retail side of things was all new to me, but the idea of having a design business and retail space was always ‘the dream’.

What do you love about owning the shop?
LB: I love meeting people. We are in a touristy village so we meet people from all over. Some just passing through, and many that summer here.

PHOTO: Hazlewood Images

“I always get comments from customers about how the store makes them feel. They love the old building, they love the fresh (not overstocked) interior. I don’t think sitting at a computer shopping online in your sweatpants will ever match that experience.”

– Lisa Besseling, on shopping locally


PHOTO: Hazlewood Images

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the business?
LB: The most challenging thing for me is just how seasonal our village is. After Thanksgiving (early October in Canada), there are many people that we won’t see again until May. The bonus for me is that during this time when retail business slows, design business picks up. We do a lot of design work for cottagers, and many do not want to spend their summers in the middle of a renovation. So a lot of that work happens in the off-season.

Do you have any favorite pieces in the store right now?
LB: So many. An all time favorite is a swivel chair by Lee Industries. I also find I get very attached to the artwork. We feature a number of local artists and their work adds so much life to the shop.

What items are your best sellers?
LB: My best sellers are Lee Industries Swivel chairs, especially for the cottage. A room may be designed around the fireplace, but to have the versatility to spin around to a stunning view of the Lake is pretty amazing!

What inspires you?
LB: Conversations with two of my dear friends from design school and Travel.

PHOTO: Hazlewood Images

Lisa’s Design Tip?

My advice would be to always inject your own personality. You don’t want it to look like you just copied a magazine spread or Pinterest article to-the-T. Take your inspiration from those places, but include something that is very YOU!

PHOTO: Hazlewood Images

Tell us about your team members.
LB: Right now I do all of the design work on my own, but have an amazing employee who I completely trust with the shop when I need to be away.

What is your favorite quote?
LB: “Have nothing in your homes that you know not to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I’m a big fan of modestly sized well planned spaces. No clutter allowed!

Are there any restaurants or shops in the area that you like to visit?
LB: My favorite breakfast and lunch spot in the village is Nuttshell Next Door, owned by chef Jay Nutt. For dinner and drinks we love The Riverhouse Co., which was recently rated #3 in Ontario by Trip Advisor!

PHOTO: Hazlewood Images

PHOTO: Hazlewood Images

Lakefield, ON

705 652 7444

Home furnishings and accessories have been carefully curated by Owner and Designer, Lisa Besseling, to create a relaxing and eye pleasing brick & mortar shopping experience. Located in the heart of Cottage Country, StonyLake Furniture Co.'s style reflects a relaxed lifestyle incorporating modern and rustic elements for the perfect balance.

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