Taking over the family business his father originated in the mid 1980s, Josh Lee, with his wife Lauren, brought the Dixie Door Company through the depths of the recession and have brought the company back up to continue being one of the top firms to handle installation and service of residential and commercial garage doors.
When Josh took over Dixie Door Company in 2008, new construction in DeSoto County and the country had hit new lows due to the recession. A company that had hit an annual nearly $1 million in sales at one time had dropped to about $200,000 annually because no one was building or adding new doors to their residences.
“In 2006, my parents were talking about moving away from the garage door business because the housing market and all that was collapsing,” Lee said. “Since about that time, we have revamped the whole company and started back. Every year, our sales since then have increased by about 10 percent a year. I've been told that no other garage door company in the area is increasing its sales by 10 percent annually like we are over the last eight years.”
Most homeowners like their homes to make a statement or provide a “wow” factor when visitors come, even to a garage door or a driveway front gate. That’s where Dixie Door thrives, Lee said.
“We will do standard garage doors, but we try to focus on high-end items, where people want quality work,” Lee noted. “I'd rather look for the customer that is willing to spend a little extra money to get the extra amenities and features that garage doors have today.”
Those amenities can include the ability to open or close that entrance from miles away with the touch of a smartphone.
“They have so many different options today, using your cell phone to control the door, or even how the outside of the door looks, such as if you want the door to swing out like how a barn door opens,” Lee said. “That's what we are trying to focus in on, what no one else is
We like when people could come visit and they can say, 'wow your garage door is quiet,' or, 'oh, that's cool.' We want to be set apart from everybody else.”
Lauren Lee added customers can actually have a sneak peak to what their door will look like when done by going to the company’s website, dixiedooronline.com.
“On our website, you can actually update a picture of your house and from the website you can change out all of the garage doors to determine what would look the best,” Lauren Lee said. “You can be your own garage door designer for your own house.”
Josh Lee said Dixie Door Company does much more than hang a custom garage door. The firm does commercial doors as well as residential garage doors.
“It's the regular customers that keep us busy, but that's not what we focus on,” said Josh. “We also do the iron gates, the gate operators and carport enclosures. Pretty much anything that is related to the door we will do.”
Once ordered and received, Lee said it will take on average less than 2-3 hours to install a door. If not in stock, most orders will take about 2-4 weeks to be filled, still less than many of his competitors.
“I love when someone puts the extra money into it and wants us to help them design the appearance of their house and see that completed,” Lee said. “We can take out an old junky door and put in a new custom door. There's something satisfying about that.”
In addition to the website, information about Dixie Door Company can be found by phone at 662-393-6162 or 901-314-4465.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.