MOREHEAD CITY, NC — The 34th Annual Coastal Home and Garden Show was back last weekend in Morehead City.
What You Need To Know
The 34th annual Coastal Home and Garden Show took place last weekend
Over 50 vendors participated, including Byron Knight with his Pool and Patio store
Knight says it’s been busy through the pandemic as more people renovate their homes
Big projects, like pool installations, are booked until next fall
The event was very popular again this year with about 1,200 visitors coming through each day. Many homeowners have been working on home and outdoor renovations throughout the pandemic, making the show a convenient place to find what they need.
The show had over 50 vendors, including Byron Knight and his East Carolina Services Inc. Pool and Patio store.
“I think the whole theory behind the home and garden show is for homeowners to come out and see what’s new and what they want to do to their home,” Knight said. “And get them excited about spring and anything they might want to change or update.”
Knight has owned this business since 2005, but his dad and uncle started it in 1983.
Hands-on shopping is an important part of the job, and one of the reasons the home and garden show was so important.
“It’s very difficult to talk to a customer about something that they’re purchasing when they can’t see it or touch it,” Knight said.
While summer is always Knight’s busiest time of year, the past two years have been busier than ever.
“We had a pretty large drop in business for about a month and a half after COVID came in just because of the unknown,” Knight said. “And then the phone calls started. So we’ve been very, very blessed. I know a lot of people have not. We’ve been very blessed because everybody wants to spend time at home.”
Instead of traveling, people were spending money on home renovations and new pools.
“I think people are still of the mindset of wanting things for their homes,” Knight said. “And I think a lot of customers know of the lead times. They understand that when you order a product you’re not gonna get it in a week or two weeks as you were pre-COVID.”
Knight says although general repairs may be done in a few weeks, big projects, like pool installations, are booked out until next fall.
“If you and your family decided you wanted a pool for this summer, then you probably are not going to be able to obtain that just because of the process of the construction but also because of the lead times on some of the products,” Knight said.
Before COVID-19, Knight said a custom hot tub would come in two weeks, but if you order one now, it won’t be here until next spring. Many of these delays are due to demand increases, but some of them are because of supply shortages as well. That means Knight is always thinking ahead and keeping things in stock. Especially because business hasn’t slowed down with COVID.
“What we’re doing for the customer is fun,” Knight said. “It’s going to be something that they’re going to enjoy for a long time and so they’re very excited about it.”