Express Yourself
Leather Expressions, in partnership with Ed’s TV, now offers customers more options than ever for revamping the home
by Leigh Stuart

“One-stop shopping” has a whole new meaning, thanks to Leather Expressions, purveyor of fine leather furniture, and well-known local company Ed’s TV. The two have joined forces to offer customers a room-building experience like no other. This is because as of just this past April, the two local giants teamed up to offer shoppers the best in not only electronics but furniture as well.

“We’re combining two stores to give a whole new lifestyle experience,” says Mark Richman, Ed’s TV sales manager.

While each store will maintain its own independent identity, the two prove that the sum is greater than the parts by teaming up to offer entire room renovations to customers.

“Now, we’ve got a whole experience for customers, with seating, AV equipment and more,” Richman says. “Now, a customer can build an entire room here, versus going to multiple locations.”

Ed’s TV, which has joined Leather Expressions in its existing showroom space in Colmar, has been in business for more than 35 years and has, during that time, amassed a wealth of knowledge relating to all things electronic for the home. This includes, but is not limited to, offerings such as LED and plasma TVs, with accessories such as mounts, brackets, stands and tables; Blu-Ray and DVD players; home theater devices; speakers; CD players; sound bars; amplifiers; and headphones and turntables. All the equipment offered is by top industry purveyors such as Soundcast, Yamaha, Paradigm, Sonos, Denon and Definitive Technology. More than all this, Ed’s TV employs a skilled and knowledgeable staff to help with everything from selecting the best product to suit one’s lifestyle through the installation phase.

“We do a lot of jobs that the chain stores don’t do,” Richman notes. “We do custom work all the time. We have our own installers. A lot of times we get customers whose work other stores won’t touch. That makes us look that much better.”

One of Ed’s TV’s newest and most popular offerings combines ease of access with all of the above. What’s known as “home automation” has “really taken off in the past five, six years,” Richman says. This, he observes, is because home automation has become more affordable, and devices of all kinds have become more compatible.

He explains the process of home automation simply, saying, “It’s basically a computer put somewhere in your home.” This computer can do virtually anything, from coordinating all elements of a sophisticated sound system to even the most basic functions, such as dimming or brightening lights. “You can even control your Mr. Coffee, or your blinds,” he says.

The experts at Ed’s TV can automate these various electronic systems in such a way that clients can even control facets of their home from their smartphones or computers. Garage doors, front gates and security cameras can all be set up to work with a smartphone or computer as well, allowing the phone holder or computer operator to access and see information from any such device while they are away from home.

A home’s thermostat can be tied into this automation as well; systems are so advanced that they actually “learn” individuals’ heating and cooling patterns, and can adjust according to each individual’s needs.

As one can imagine, learning the ins and outs of such devices is no easy task. As a result, the Ed’s TV team travels frequently for training in the latest systems. Most recently, the team spent a week in Charlotte, N.C., studying usage and best practices surrounding the Control4 home automation system.

“It’s crazy how fast things change,” Richman notes. “There’s always something new coming out. That’s where the help we offer comes into play, because if you don’t do this all the time, it’s hard to keep up with. Even a simple TV can be a much more complicated setup, because of networking features. Now, 70 percent of TVs are wall mounted and a lot of people don’t want to bother tackling that themselves.

“Just trying to find time in the busy world we live in today can be tough,” Richman continues. For this reason, it only makes sense to let expert installers such as those at Ed’s TV do the “heavy lifting” in terms of setting up complex home theater and automation systems.

On top of electronics, Ed’s TV offers hand-crafted, top-quality, Amish-made custom wood furnishings, including custom cabinets and consoles, wall units and home-theater seating. This is all a perfect complement to the supple and fine leather furnishings offered by Leather Expressions.

“The clientele that will enjoy the new showroom is a combination of each one of our store’s separate customer base[s], which we are looking to combine,” Richman says. “Also, the higher-end clientele which are looking for either higher-end AV or higher-end leather, each go hand in hand.”

It is no coincidence that Leather Expressions itself has become synonymous with luxury; after all, the Erdman family, which owns Leather Expressions, has been in the furniture business since the 1920s. During that time, what was once a broad business has focused its scope on leather furniture and now offers one of the finest Natuzzi galleries in the country.

“We’re really excited to see the already combined nature of the customer base,” Richman says. “The leadership is excited because this type of showroom is one that is revolutionary, as there is no other like it in the area where you can experience the lifestyle setting as we display it here.”

Leather Expressions

Ed’s TV

927 Bethlehem Pike
Colmar, PA 18915

Photograph by Jody Robinson