Long time employee takes over Fisher Decorating Center

| January 6, 2015
Ownership: Roger Eastman and Bill Potter stand behind a photo of Don Lessig, who is Eastman’s father-in-law and a former owner of Fisher Decorating Center. Lessig sold the business to Eastman who recently retired and turned the reins over to Potter. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Ownership: Roger Eastman and Bill Potter stand behind a photo of Don Lessig, who is Eastman’s father-in-law and a former owner of Fisher Decorating Center. Lessig sold the business to Eastman who recently retired and turned the reins over to Potter. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

COSHOCTON – There have been a lot of changes at Fisher Decorating Center over the years. Decorating trends have come and gone, owners have changed, but one aspect of the business has always remained the same – a commitment to quality customer service. Roger Eastman made sure of that when he owned the business and Bill Potter plans to do the same now that he’s in charge of the Main Street business.

“You have to pay attention to the customer and really work with them to help them get the best value for their money,” Potter said. “Cheapest isn’t always best. We work hard to get people’s business and even harder to keep it.”

He has worked for the business for a total of 27 years and officially took over ownership after Eastman retired on Jan. 2. Eastman got involved in the business in 1973 when his father-in-law Don Lessig was owner and then took it over in 1987.

“Main Street and this business have changed a lot, but what helped us was our excellent customer service when it came to working with people who are decorating their homes,” Eastman said. “Someone’s house is their biggest investment. You have to be able to talk to them and understand how they want to accomplish their project.”

Two of the ways they used to do that were through wallpaper and paint options.

“The core of the business in the 70s was wallpaper,” Eastman said. “We had over 300 patterns in the store, but wallpaper was only $0.95 a roll. The price has increased a lot and we probably don’t even have 30 patterns in stock right now.”

Paint also was a bigger seller in the 80s and into the 90s.

“We had a lot more factories in town and they needed industrial paint,” Eastman said. “There got to be no market for that so floor coverings became our biggest seller.”

The people, however, were what made the job fun for Eastman.

“We have a lot of long time customers and friends,” he said. “People’s kids became our customers and their grandkids starting coming in when they bought their first houses. It was nice to watch families grow up.”

Potter also grew up with the business as he started there in high school and came back after college.

“I could write a book on what I learned about taking care of customers from Roger and his father-in-law Don,” Potter said. “It’s the little things that keep people happy. If someone is looking for something and we don’t have it, I’ll tell them where I think they might be able to get it, even if it’s a local competitor. If people can’t get something here, I’d rather them still at least get it local. I also feel that if we do make a mistake, it’s a great opportunity to make a customer for life because it’s how you handle the situation that they will remember.”

He also feels that continuing to evolve will help the business stay strong in the future.

“I tell our new girl Jessica that if she has an idea for a better way to do things to let me know,” he said. “We aren’t going to change our customer service though. We will work with a customer for as long as we need to in order to help them.”

Although Eastman plans to spend more time with his children and grandchildren, he will still be available to give advice to Potter.

“When he’s not here, I still think he’s just on vacation,” Potter said. “I’m probably going to bug him to death with questions. He’s treated me real well over the years and helped me with a lot of different things.”

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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