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Design shop opens on Diamond

| Thursday, June 5, 2014, 1:30 p.m.
Bill Pribisco | for thye Ligonier Echo
Ligonier Valley Chamber of comerce Executive Director Holly Mowrey (left) admires a necklace being placed around Laurie McGinnis's neck asLHM owners Lisa and Tom McChesney look on.

What was once the lonely space nestled between Persnickety Gifts and Conte Designs has now become home to the vivid and whimsical LHM Designs.

The light-hearted, multi-hued and homey atmosphere of the shop is equally radiated by its owners, Tom and Lisa McChesney, both of whom have been welcoming business owners, customers and any curious members of the community to the shop since its debut in May.

The multitude of wares, which include items such as pumpkin purses from Cambodia, votive eggs from South Africa and luxury garden decoupage, are all complemented by the skillfully handcrafted jewelry designed by Lisa McChesney at her home studio in Rector. The LHM acronym stands for her name.

As to how the evolution of the shop came to be, she offers a simple response.

“It was something we always wanted to do,” she said. “We looked at each other one day and said ‘let's do it.'”

Other items include scarves, soaps, frames, domestic artwork, cards and even delicate, artsy pill boxes that could be used for an array of creative ideas. Commodities are priced mostly in the range of $40-$225, and as an earnest touch, price tags are all hand-written.

“We are consciously not carrying items that other shops have,” Tom McChesney said. “We are not in competition.”

Though having traversed the globe in search of adventure and interesting products, the couple is more than happy with their current location, having already developed solid relationships with other shop owners.

“We are very grateful and enthusiastic about our neighbors,” Lisa McChesney saidd.

Her husband agrees. “They are all great,” he said. “And the Ice Creamery is nearby. That could be dangerous.”

The decor is a medley of colorful, relaxed and polished — all of the furniture once belonged to Lisa McChesney's parents and grandparents.

“We took it all out of storage. It was nice to get it out,” she said. “We wanted to make it like home. You can sit down and have some tea.”

Decorative bowls of candy await their fate as a treat for guests and a stacked book shelf is open for anyone interested in borrowing a book and giving it to someone else.

“If you haven't read it, please take it,” Tom McChesney said. “Read it and give it to a friend.”

There is also a designated area for children to check out some of the treasures.

“I love kids and they can sit there and try on jewelry. Mom doesn't feel like she has to buy anything,” Lisa McChesney said.

The pair's business knack is further exuded in their amicable accommodation of customers and browsers, arranging private shopping excursions for those who can't make it during regular hours and tending to switch to an “open” sign before hours if they notice people outside.

As for the outlook on the future, both are optimistic and excited.

“I live my life by the Serenity Prayer, though sometimes I don't feel so wise,” Lisa McChesney laughed. “Life is too short for negativity.”

LHM Designs is located at 105 East Main St. in Ligonier. Shop hours are 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesday-to Saturday.

For more information, call 724-238-2238.

Rebecca Ridinger is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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