Mike Lowry, owner of Lowry’s Interiors located in the Towne Center, has great respect for his grandfather and father whose business shoulders he stands on today. The generational legacy that his grandfather started in Hawthorne, California has evolved with each generation.
In 1943 Jimmy Ray Lowry moved his family from Tulsa, Oklahoma to the South Bay area and opened Jim’s Upholstery and Used Furniture in Hawthorne. Over the years Ray’s Upholstery was another business name that he used. While Jimmy Ray built up and established the family business, his son Wayne joined the aerospace industry and worked for Hughes Aircraft.
Mike says his father was rebelling from being involved in the family business when, in the late 1950s, Wayne was faced with the threat of being laid off. By that time he had a wife and two daughters to support. Jimmy Ray took that opportunity to encourage his son to stay with Hughes as long as he could, but also take over the successful family business.
In 1959, Wayne stopped rebelling, quit his job and took over his father’s business. He also purchased a piece of property from him in Lawndale, where he relocated and renamed the business Lowry’s Furniture & Upholstery and began selling new furniture too.
The family’s third generation business owner was birthed in the summer of 1960, when Mike was born. Mike attended schools in Torrance, and unlike his father, jumped into the family business in 1979 at the age of 19. With the change in ownership so also came another change in the business name to Lowry’s Interiors.
Mike had his share of adventures in Lawndale, when, during one of the Rotary picnics, he was able to save the life of Mayor Sarann Kruse by administering the Heimlich maneuver while she was choking. As a gesture of appreciation, she awarded Mike with the keys to the city.
By the late 1980s, Mike was becoming discouraged with traffic congestion and what he calls the influence of the “beach element.” He was drawn to the community of Canyon Lake by its water skiing, golf and its small business and family-friendly atmosphere. In 1988, Mike relocated his family to Canyon Lake and also added a second business location in the Towne Center. His family enjoyed all the amenities of Canyon Lake, where the kids were also involved in community sports.
Mike maintained both interior businesses until 1990 when he closed the Lawndale store and focused exclusively on his Lowry’s Interiors business in Canyon Lake. By this time he was doing renovations for prominent Canyon Lake residents and business owners in the Towne Center. Mike says one of his claims to fame was the Menifee Valley Hospital renovation. He says he also renovated the Hemet Federal Savings Bank.
At the age of 30 Mike ran for Canyon Lake City Council against opponents Jack Wamsley and John Ghiardinelli. He lost his 1990 bid for City Council but says in retrospect that he is glad he didn’t win. Mike continued to enjoy his business successes and, in 1995, he and his family travelled over 20,000 miles throughout the U.S. and Canada. After returning from their travels they purchased a home in Menifee.
The evolution of Lowry’s Interiors continued in 1999 and again in 2014. At the end of 1999 Mike relocated his business from the Towne Center to Newport Rd. in Menifee. He operated successfully in that location for 14 years until the owner of the property sold it to the City of Menifee to make way for the expansion and widening of Newport Rd.
That change in 2014 provided Mike an opportunity to once again relocate his business to the Canyon Lake Towne Center. His current location at the center east end of the Towne Center helps him to better serve not just Canyon Lake, but also the cities of Menifee, Sun City, Murrieta, Winchester, Temecula and Tuscany Hills. He even serves Palm Springs and mountain areas with pick-up and delivery.
Over the years much of the furniture industry has moved toward what Mike calls “disposable furniture.” Assemble-yourself or cheap furniture that is not capable or worthwhile of restoration falls into this disposable category. That shift in the industry also caused the Lowry family to shift away from selling furniture and focus on interiors, including re-upholstery, repair, restoration, window coverings, shutters, blinds, carpet and tile.
Mike likes to provide friendly service to his clients, who have a variety of needs when it comes to furniture repair and restoration. He is just as happy to repair a broken recliner or do a chair cushion replacement as he is to restore an antique or quality piece. He offers a wide variety of upholstery fabrics and styles to meet any design preference.
Mike provides full service restoration for antiques and quality fine furniture like those found at Ethan Allen and Thomasville type stores. He says the furniture just needs to have good bones. Re-upholstering a quality piece of furniture can be a cost effective way to obtain a different look for furniture with good bones but worn out wood, fabric or cushions. Referring to restoration Mike says, “Unfortunately it’s a lost art.”
Mike would love to eventually pass down the art that has grown and developed through three generations of Lowry’s. Time will tell whether or not it will be carried on to the fourth or fifth generations. Mike and his wife Patty have three grown children: Michael, Amber and Katelyn. Currently Michael is a welder and has two children. Amber and her husband Mark Poncy, a pastor at Temecula Hills Christian Fellowship, have five young children. Mike and Patty’s youngest daughter, Katelyn, graduated from college and is currently a jewelry salesperson.
Regardless of how small the request may seem, Mike welcomes all inquiries and will gladly offer friendly quotes, advice and quality service with a smile. After all, that is part of the legacy that has developed and continued for the past three generations. Lowry’s Interiors is located at 31526 Railroad Canyon Rd Suite 1, Canyon Lake. Mike can be contacted by phone at 951-244-4330 or online at lowrysinteriors.net.