Moving Forward

Woodharbor Kitchen & Bath relocation brings exciting new opportunities.

If there’s anything positive to say about 2020, you have to acknowledge that the uncertainty has forced many people to take a step back and reevaluate priorities.

The same is true in business.

When Greg and Cheryl Arganbright, owners of Woodharbor Kitchen & Bath in Urbandale, began contemplating a new location for their cabinetry and remodeling business last spring, they weren’t anticipating a national pandemic would interrupt those plans. “Our lease was ending at the end of July. So in the spring we started making plans to move into a brand-new building and expand our space,” Greg says.

But when the quarantine began having an effect on so many businesses and individuals, the Arganbrights decided to take a step back and reevaluate their options. “We put the brakes on the move at first while we waited to see how things would go,” Greg says. “But our lease was still coming up, and we had to do something. So we started looking for a temporary location while we finalized our plans.”

While touring properties in search of that “temporary location,” the Arganbrights found the answer they needed. And in a year when nothing seems to go right, the pieces all came together smoothly. Greg says, “We walked in here thinking it might be a good temporary location while we customized another location. But as we stood here looking at it, we realized it met all the criteria we were looking for.” Those criteria included office space for them and their design team, a smaller showroom area, and a larger warehouse space.

As the industry has changed over the past few years, more shops are moving toward boutique-style showrooms to highlight new products and finishes. With the anticipated move, the Arganbrights decided to update their approach to the showroom, plus the displays in it. “We moved a couple of the displays,” says Cheryl. “But we created some new ones to highlight unique cabinetry colors and backsplashes. We also made a point of including nearly every option available for storage.” Every drawer and cupboard is a demonstration of the myriad storage options available at Woodharbor, from spice and utensil units to those designed especially for pots, dishes, and more.

The new space already had office space laid out, but the Arganbrights opted for some changes there as well. “We took out the wall and doors dividing the front offices from the showroom,” explains Cheryl. “And we chose different cabinet finishes for each of those offices, too, so customers could get another chance to see some of the different options available.”

One of the key motivations for the move was to increase warehouse space, and the new location has opened up numerous possibilities. “We have so much more space here than in the old space,” Cheryl says.

Greg adds, “It’s going to be wonderful during the colder weather to have all that space for our team to do assembly and installation. In good weather we can just unload and assemble right in the driveway of the home, but that’s not possible in the winter. Now we have all this great space to work.”

The couple has been discussing ways to put that added square footage to use in other ways as well. Greg says, “With a larger warehouse and a dock for shipping and receiving, we can add more products and services for our kitchen and bath customers. We’re still considering what those products and services might be to best meet their needs.”

In addition to the typical cabinetry and hardware samples, Cheryl says a variety of other products in the showroom demonstrate the other areas of Woodharbor’s remodeling work. “We have flooring, backsplash samples, and paint and finish displays for the cabinetry,” she says. “Right now we have several kitchen displays and bath cabinetry displays.

“We’re also talking about setting up a display to show how a home can be adapted for aging in place. That’s a growing market, and a lot of our clients are looking for that. In the Urbandale community, around our new location, so many of the homeowners are in that situation. They’ve been in their home for a while, and they don’t want to leave their neighborhood, but they need to make some changes in order to stay there long-term.”

In some ways, that’s exactly what the Arganbrights did when they relocated the Woodharbor offices to the new Urbandale site. Greg and Cheryl were looking to stay in the area, wanted to make their space work for their changing professional lives, and anticipated remaining in this new space for many years.

Rethinking their move allowed them to achieve all those goals. The pandemic may have forced them to pause and take a step back at first, but it also gave them the opportunity to really make a significant leap forward.