After 25 years, Burds to semi-retire
Chances are, Lyle Burd has been in nearly every home in Hebron.
“Yes, that’s close,” Burd said.
He said business at The Decorating Store in downtown Hebron has been very good the last several years.
“We’ve lived well, thanks to the people in Hebron and Thayer County,” he said.
He and his wife, Linda, have decided to slow down a bit. On Feb. 6, it will be official. The store that specializes in floor coverings — laminate, vinyl, carpet and wood — will continue to operate by appointment only. To commerate their semi-retirement, the Burds held a customer appreciation day Jan. 30.
They opened The Decorating Store in 1981. Burd had seen an empty storefront for sale downtown. He went home and asked Linda if she thought they should buy it and start a floor covering store.
Major work was needed on the building. The Burds capped a well that was used for cooling and installed new ceilings, walls and Burd’s speciality, flooring.
Then came new windows and a sign for the store.
The store was multi-functional because Linda sold wicker and flower arrangements for a time. She and Clara Price arranged flowers for funerals and weddings. Price’s husband ran the funeral home and Burd picked up some side work.
The partnership between the four worked out well, Burd said. He still helps with funerals and removing the deceased.
Burd said Linda was bored working at the store, so she took a job at the Hebron Journal-Register.
They’ve had one more important part of business for the last 15 years.
“Denise Wiedel is The Decorating Center, let me tell you. She does everything but install,” Burd said.
Burd didn’t know it back then, but he was grooming himself for the future through hard work. He started at Montgomery, Tibbetts and Cotter Furniture store while in high school. He said it changed to Tibbetts and Cotter. After high school, Burd went to Fairbury Junior College to major in business. Later, Burd had a notion for funeral home school, but Linda didn’t agree.
Over at the furniture store, Burd learned how to sell and install floors. After it closed in 1972, he built houses for Lawrence Reinke and after, worked for Jim Day. Eventually, Burd went into a carpet installation and remodeling business with his brother, John Burd.
“John and I were together until about 1980,” he said.
Now more than a reliable and local source on flooring, Burd said there are precautions he takes when installing floor coverings, such as evaluating existing floors before the covering is installed.
“When we sell a floor, we make sure the floor is in good enough shape to install it,” he said.
And, on staying power as a business in a small rural community, Burd has two words: