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AUSTIN EDITION NOTEBOOK Downtown paint store gets new owner

Smokey Carlson is at it again, and this time he is trying to paint the town.

Carlson, who owns the Carlson Home assisted-living facility at 301 First Ave. N.W. in Austin, sells for Sterling Real Estate, farms his own land outside of the city and works as an operator at Austin's Wastewater Treatment Plant, is taking on yet another job.

This time he and his wife, Karen Carlson, purchased Austin Paint &; Wallpaper at 124 Third Ave. N.W. from Lyn Anderson on July 1.

"When you enjoy something, it is not work," he said of all of his business projects.

This time, getting into business was a way of helping out a friend, Carlson explained.

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Anderson, a friend of the Carlsons for 20 years, bought the store from her parents, Bob and Gloria Anderson. She staffed the business by herself.

"Lyn was getting worn out here by herself," Carlson says.

Then he made her an offer. Now Anderson works in the store as part of a staff of five.

"Lyn has all the experience and all the knowledge," he said.

The store's focus on paint and wallpaper will remain the same, although Carlson does have a few additions planned.

He is adding window treatments, specifically designer blinds by Hunter Douglas, to the store's offerings. Carlson expects to be named an official dealership within the next 60 days.

Classes on decorating and design will be offered at the store in the near future.

"It will be where they (people) come in here and learn decorating techniques," Carlson says of the planned educational offerings.

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Benjamin Moore brand paints will still be on the shelves, and he plans to have more grades of it available.

In-home consultations to help people choose wallpaper or a paint color will remain on the menu for customers. Anderson's in-home consultations at the Carlsons through the years are what sold him on the business, he said.

As he works to link the store's past with some new angles, Carlson is determined to keep one thing the same.

"We want to be known as a downtown business," he said. "I think a paint store works here."

Kiger's Notebook appears on Mondays and Fridays in the Austin Post-Bulletin. Send questions or business news tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or call 434-7350. Look for updates on his Web log at postbulletin.com.

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