Amanda Schlitt

Designer/ Executive Office Manager

Country Manor Decorating & Flooring

Prior to Steve and I meeting & falling in Love at the lake in the summer of 2013, I was first and foremost a mom that had my own very small word of mouth business cleaning and reorganizing homes.

I was going to school to advance that into the field of Industrial Organized Psychology. For those of you who don't know what that looks like, I would then be able to go into large companies, discover their processes and flow, and help them evaluate and improve in all aspects and help them change.

During my schooling, I studied the psychology of color and space, body language, as well as work flows and team work. In all of this, little did I know that I was being prepared for the real position God had in mind.

In the spring of 2015, at the very last moment, like classes started in 2 days... I decided to take a semester off because it just wasn't settling with me.

Steve and I married that April, and in August the opportunity of a lifetime came calling to us while at Norfork Lake, AR.

The previous owners of a local flooring store were closing their doors forever. Their main installer called Steve and through a series of conversations, a deal was made.

On September 1st I started training with one of the retiring owners and on September 15th 2015 the store was ours.

The previous owner was a wealth of knowledge in pointing me in the right direction. I jumped both feet in and haven't stopped since.

It has been vital that I overcome my fears. I asked lots of questions, I treated everyone like family, I took notes, checked notes, read all the flooring magazines, read manufacturer websites and warranties, watched Installation videos. I also became a Certified Interior Decorator. Anything I knew to do, I did because failure was not an option.

There was definitely trial and error as we grew. We learned a lot from having to look back at previous years' files in an attempt to help customers of years past.

We learned what information was vital to have on paperwork and conversations that needed to happen before the sale. We instilled a philosophy of all products have a purpose, give the customer the pros and cons upfront and help them make a more educated decision that is right for them & no hard sales.

In our original 3000sqft location, situated on the corner of the main road to get downtown we were 95% word of mouth. With a name like Country Manor Decorating, we soon learned that many people didn't know we were a flooring store.

The shock came because the previous owners had started at that location in the 1980's. So we had some serious work to do.

We had been voted Best Interior Designer in 2018 & 2019. We have always strived to be the "Best of the Best" and offer our customers the best experience from start to finish.

With that mission in mind, we found it necessary to expand. (Maybe it was more like my husband woke up one day, drew up a plan, and said let's do this... and I said ...Okay, where do we start.)  Well, maybe it felt like that.

We found the perfect piece of property in January 2019, located just outside the main shopping area on the main highway to get to the interstate.

October 5th, 2019 we broke ground. We decided to pursue becoming SFN members shortly after. Steve and I worked hand in hand designing and selecting all the materials for our new store. It wasn't just mine or just his, but ours. We had great people to work with and bounce ideas off of. There were a lot of late nights, early mornings and no days off.

Covid Panic hit our area late March early April. Our biggest fear was not getting our building completed. By grace, it was deemed essential work. That first week in April when everyone hit lock down, we were ready, and we moved. It was God's timing.

Unfortunately, all of our Reps were on lockdown, so we moved by ourselves. We cleaned, we took down and rebuilt displays, we filled dumpsters, we built new displays, we sorted samples, we cleaned some more.

We were completely out of the old location April 9th. That day our office assistant Cindy who had been with us 3 years had to work from home. Not directly due to Covid, but because we were still without internet in our new building, which meant no phones, no computers, and a lot of delay in information transfer. We were all very excited when she finally came back full time in the office late May. We again were voted Best Interior Designer 2020 and this year we got Best Flooring Store too!

Covids biggest impact for us has been missing out on having a Grand Opening or Our Five Year Anniversary Event. We missed the opportunity to have everyone that has been a part of our business and life come celebrate with us.

Business is growing, we have 12 on staff and our subcontractors that we keep quite busy. Coming to work is like a dream come true. Sure there are hard days but it's so worth it. In that, we look forward to what the future holds for us.