Our Story


In 1977 successful business man Richard Lesson and his wife Jeanette retired to Port Royal in Naples, FL with the 3 youngest of their 7 children. It was important to the Lessons to instill the strong work ethic they passed on to their older children. So, in 1978, as their next youngest daughter turned 18 and 2 youngest children were busy finishing Naples High School, the Lessons purchased land near the corner of Pine Ridge and Shirley street in hopes of building a business for their daughter to manage.


In 1978 Pine Ridge Road was just one lane in each direction and essentially led to now where… I 75 had not found its way to Naples yet. Goodlette road ended at Pine Ridge and then remnants of the old train tracks headed north to Ft. Myers and beyond. The vacant lot was nothing but very fine sugar sand on the outskirts of the north end of Naples. But, within a year they had built the building that is home to Patio Gallery.

The Lessons took a gamble in many respects – not only on the location, but by deciding to open a retail patio furniture store in an industrial park and by entrusting their 18-year-old daughter Laura, with running the whole shebang! Over the next few years Richard spent many hours teaching his daughter all his business wisdom – it was his version of a college business degree.

The initial purchase of 3 or 4 furniture sets looked sparse, but due to the low overhead Laura was able to keep prices low and word spread across town. The sparse showroom quickly grew to 5,400 sq. feet of a well thought out variety of outdoor furniture.


In 1985 her husband Eric joined the company full-time. Their two daughters Marcie and Alli were raised working in the store starting with cleaning and eventually working all angles of the business.

Over the years, the lessons Laura learned from her father have helped her excel with the tangibles and intangibles of running a business. She is able to pass on good prices and free delivery to her customers by keeping her overhead low, ordering in bulk, and most valuably in the furniture industry – managing her inventory. Over 41 years she has learned everything there is to know about her products. She knows what works best for commercial or residential, homes vs. condos, dogs vs. children, full sun vs. partial sun, etc. She loves to support USA and local manufactures, but will confess when Canadian or over-seas companies are better. Whatever your special circumstances are – Laura has the experience to help you get what you need!

Then there are the intangibles – simply put: customers at Patio Gallery havefun!

Laura treats all her customers like family. Over the years many customers have come in for repeat business and she has an amazing ability of remembering their names and even what they purchased. Laura is quick to tease couples as they argue over fabric selections, who is paying, or who is going to be home for delivery.

Patio Gallery has an excellent reputation for customer service.

The company has fixed strapping on loungers or caps on chair legs 10 years after products were purchased. If they don’t know how to fix it, they know somebody that does!

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