Blinded by the Light offers more than mainstream decor

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By Rachel Madison

Deb Lohman has always had an eye for detail, especially when it comes to home décor. She once considered becoming an interior designer, but eventually made a career out of working with manufacturers who sold to Target stores in Minnesota.

“I was the liaison between Target buyers and the manufacturers,” she said. “Most of the products I was representing were home goods and décor, and I learned a lot.”

She’s been in Texas for 10 years, where she worked for a similar company in Austin until deciding it was time to follow her real dream: owning and curating her own home décor store. That’s when she decided to open Blinded by the Light in Liberty Hill.

“I decided I was running out of time to do it, so I decided I better do it while I can and still have the energy,” she said. “It’s always been my lifelong dream. When I was very young and starting to go into college, I wanted to be an interior designer, but I was young and scared about taking the risks, so I played it safe and went into health occupations instead. Now that I’ve opened my own store, though, I wish I would have done it years ago.”

In November, Blinded by the Light will have been in business one year. Lohman said the response she’s received from the Liberty Hill community has been positive.

“I felt a strong need to have a shop like this to serve our community,” she said. “People like to shop local, and this is one less thing they need to drive into Austin for.”

Lohman said she strives to provide a unique shopping experience for every customer when they come through her door.

“I don’t want my customers to see the mainstream, same old décor that so many of the big box stores have,” she said. “When a customer comes in, they are going to find all items that are limited quantity. I want them to feel special about their purchase. When they walk out, they don’t have to worry about their neighbor having the same exact piece.”

Deciding on what items to bring into her store comes from a lot of conversations with customers, Lohman said, and finding out their likes and dislikes. Because she is also a Hunter Douglas window coverings dealer, she has the opportunity to go into people’s homes to measure windows for orders, so she’s also able to see what decorating trends customers are following.

“That helps keep me up to speed with what is current in interior design,” she said. “My process of buying pieces for my store goes back to my days of working with Target buyers. I learned so much from them on how they choose products and price points. It’s all about finding the right vendors to work with that will provide a good quality product, and I’m very careful. I don’t do any of my shopping online. I have to see it, touch it and feel it, and make sure the product I’m selling is good quality.”

As a dealer for Hunter Douglas, Lohman can also help walk customers through the various window coverings available, measure their windows, and guide them toward what window coverings would look best in their home.

Blinded by the Light offers a wide variety of home décor, such as accent furniture, lamps, throw pillows, art, floral arrangements, vases and rugs.

“My wall art is very popular,” Lohman said. “People are very surprised by the wall art when they come in. People these days are building big homes, so they don’t want little pieces of furniture or wall art; they want something large to fill the space. I focus on providing that.”

Lohman also sells a few gift items from her store, like candles and jewelry. She curates her items from the U.S. and Texas when possible, like the jewelry line she sells, Lula ‘n’ Lee, which is made locally in Brenham.

“The name Blinded By The Light implies that I am a dealer for Hunter Douglas window treatments, but I am also a home décor store,” she said. “Customers totally expect to find just window coverings or lighting fixtures, but then they see it is so much more than that.  I often hear, ‘Wow, we didn’t realize that you had all this home décor and wall art.’ People are pleasantly surprised when they see all the unique home décor items and beautiful statement pieces for their home.”

In the future, Lohman hopes to expand her store’s offerings by giving customers custom furniture and fabric options. Up until this point, she hasn’t offered a lot of seasonal décor, but starting this year with Christmas, she plans on providing much more décor for the various seasons and holidays.

“I’m all about carrying good quality products and trying to keep price points within a reasonable amount,” she said. “I’m not the cheapest, but I’m not the most expensive either.”

Lohman added that being a business owner in Liberty Hill has been a wonderful experience, which is why she also looks forward to helping nonprofit organizations, like Operation Liberty Hill and L4 Cares, when she can.

“It is so nice to live in a community that looks out for one another, which is why I like to give back to the community,” she said. “It is important to contribute to organizations that make the greatest impact on the greater good of the community overall.”

Blinded by the Light is located at 14125 W. Hwy. 29 in the Water Tower Plaza. The store is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit blindedbythelightdecor.com.

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