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.