Storage Magic



Canned goods buried at the back of the pantry, a mixer deep in the recesses of a cabinet and wasted space in a laundry room closet—common findings in just about any home. But ShelfGenie can solve those problems, making closets, pantries and work areas organized and efficient.

Philip and Nancy Lavely have recently purchased the Charleston area franchise of ShelfGenie, adding the Lowcountry market to their existing franchises in Jacksonville, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and the Bluffton/Beaufort area of coastal South Carolina.

The Lavelys got into the ShelfGenie business about three years ago, and response to the product was so great they decided to acquire additional franchises.

“We love Charleston. It’s a beautiful city and it has a good market for ShelfGenie,” Phil Lavely says.

ShelfGenie started in Virginia in 2000 and has taken its Glide-Out shelving systems nationwide via local franchises. Products include rolling shelves for kitchen cabinets and pantries as well as bathrooms and laundry rooms. Accessories such as spice racks, lazy Susan shelving and drawer inserts are also available. They even offer a solution for hard-to-reach “blind” corners.

Lavely says the Glide-Out shelving solutions often double the amount of space homeowners have while giving them access to areas they may have never even used before.

Most home pantries, for example, are outfitted with basic, inexpensive metal racks, Lavely says. Those shelves are spaced far apart so homeowners are double and triple stacking items on the shelves, meaning they lose track of what they have. It’s a lot of wasted space.

The Lavelys, based in Savannah, don’t have a physical location in Charleston but do have a designer in the area and are in the process of hiring additional designers and installers for their new market. Interested homeowners can call the corporate office in Atlanta to schedule a visit from a designer. The designer visits a home, sometimes spending up to two hours to assess the space before working up a plan and quote, all free of charge. After the homeowner commits to the project, an installer makes another home visit to take careful measurements.

Then the shelving is custom designed to fit the specific cabinets or storage areas. The installer puts the ShelfGenie products in place, and the company later follows up for customer feedback.

“People love this,” Lavely says. “We’ve been getting glowing reports. It just makes life so much easier.”

Because each product is custom designed and built, the pricing varies. A pantry could range from $1,700 to $2,400, depending on the number of Glide-Out shelves used and their heights. But, as Lavely notes, making the best use of existing space is more cost efficient than remodeling an entire kitchen, which could cost $20,000 or more.

ShelfGenie offers a lifetime warranty and will repair or replace the product if something goes wrong. “We don’t sell junk,” Lavely says. “We sell a very attractive, well-functioning product. It’s the best retrofit choice on the market.”