In 2001, when Jamie Merida expanded Bountiful, his successful home furnishings and design business, from its flagship in tiny Easton, Maryland, to Naples, Florida, it was the height of Florida's go-go real estate market. "We rode the wave, but I always had my eyes peeled for storm clouds," Merida says. After limping through a ho-hum season, Merida adjusted to the realities of the region's economic slowdown and shuttered his Naples outpost in 2007. "I took the opportunity to rethink the business," he explains. "I decided I didn't need a bunch of shops up and down the East Coast--with all the stress and travel that requires. Instead, I wanted Bountiful to become a destination of excellence."Merida capitalized on his Maryland business, adding new departments to his 18,000-square-foot store. He also brought in three interior designers, which increased sales 50 percent. Today, Bountiful's revenue tops $2.6 million, nearly double what it was two years ago.
In the face of a regional slowdown, Jamie Merida went back to where he started.