Seasons at the Lake is a home and garden décor shop in Davidson that packs unique items and dazzling design ideas into their modest space. Gary Skaggs, 60, opened the Seasons at the Lake storefront just one and a half years ago and has seen his business go from strength to strength. “This area has been so supportive—the town of Davidson has been so supportive.” Skaggs says.Although Skaggs earned a business degree at Business Careers Institute in Greensburg, Pa., and worked in the corporate world until he was 30, his heart has always been in home and garden décor and design. “I blame my mother. She was a window designer for department stores in Manhattan. When I was little, she had no one to watch me, so she brought me along to work. She’d sit me in the corner of the window and decorate it for whatever holiday was coming up. I loved it,” he relates. Later, when he was just 13 years old, Skaggs got his first job decorating a Christmas tree in the restaurant where his mother then worked. Skaggs has also designed many ‘permanent botanicals,’ artificial plants, flowers, and elements used in decorating. His products have sold in stores like Neiman Marcus and Frontgate, to name a few. “I would take botanical elements like a magnolia leaf from North Carolina and fly over to China where we would make a mold of it, paint and texturize it, and design it into exact replicas of the original.” His designs are so life-like that he was the first person to develop artificial products used in decorating Colonial Willamsburg.His store, located in the arts district on South Main Street, is filled with beautiful decor and gorgeous, handmade wreaths. “We do a lot of custom work,” Skaggs says. But, Seasons at the Lake creates much more than just custom wreaths. Using fresh as well as ‘permanent’ botanicals, the Seasons at the Lake team creates custom home and corporate décor. “We do table scapes, hearth scapes, door décor, and we do a lot of themed Christmas trees this time of year—each design is completely unique to that customer,” he says. “We come to their home and see what the color schemes are, what themes run throughout the house, then we come back to our shop and create designs specifically for that home.”For the last six years, the Seasons at the Lake design team has headed north to Boar’s Head Inn and Resort in Charlottesville, Virginia where Skaggs’ team of eight people spend 15 days, working 14-plus hours a day to adorn the renowned inn and its grounds with tasteful, colonial Christmas décor. “We design themes throughout the resort. We do live boar and deer topiaries outside, decorate the fences and lampposts running up to the inn with gorgeous ribbons and greenery, and do different Christmas themes in all of the common rooms. This year we will be decorating over 23 live Christmas trees,” he says. “The inn wanted to decorate the property so that people would want to come back year after year—making a tradition of it—having Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner there with their families.”Whether you need something to make your home feel more festive, you’re in need of beautiful, custom wreath or table scape, or you want the Christmas with all the trimmings (and none of the work), Seasons at the Lake is an inspiring place to explore.Seasons at the Lake, www.seasonsatthelake.com, 428 South Main St., Davidson 704-655-2533 open Monday- Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.. Boars Head Inn, www.boarsheadinn.com
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