Retail Profile: Redefined Home Boutique
Susan Dickenson -- Home Accents Today, 10/27/2010 6:13:12 AM
It took six months and three cities for David D'Ambrosio to find just the right place to open his new store, Redefined Home Boutique. His search began in Glens Falls, N.Y., and went as far south as Miami's South Beach. At some point in between, he detoured to Atlanta where he was searching for new vendors and found the "perfect space" - at 887 Howell Mill Road in the West Midtown Design District.
"I had always liked the West Side Provisions District but I had heard about the design community expanding down Howell Mill and decided to give it a chance," D'Ambrosio said. "Once I was in the area I parked and happened to look across the street and saw the perfect space."
Redefined Home Boutique opened to the public on June 18, 2010, following four months of renovations. It was the culmination of a dream that began several years ago - to create a retail store that inspired its customers.
"I have roughly four years in retail experience ranging from fashion to furniture," said D'Ambrosio, who graduated cum laude from American Intercontinental University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. "After my education in the United States, I studied abroad in Costa Rica, Florence and Barcelona to expand my design knowledge. My work spans from high-end residential, maritime, high-rise development and execution. In the past, I've operated my own freelance design company but I always knew that I wanted to have both a retail and full-service interior design firm."
Redefined Home Boutique is the embodiment of D'Ambrosio's original concept, acurated mix of well-made furnishings, one-of-a-kinds and beautiful art.
Describe your store: The store feels very open because of the 14-foot ceilings, all of which are composed of exposed charcoal painted wood. The walls are mostly cream-colored drywall with some of the original brick exposed and hand-scraped to bring it back to its natural patina. The floors are concrete and are done in a mottled cream finish with hints of cafe con leche. The space is composed of five showrooms which break down to two separate environments, the Gallery and the Experience. The Gallery is airy and open with lots of natural light, and features furniture as the art for the space. The Experience, which is one step higher than the main gallery level, is where you'll experience home products such as candles, books, bath, body and culinary delights. We have a lot of layered displays of both new and vintage pieces. Whimsical music is filtered throughout the store, and we burn Kobo candles.
Did you have second thoughts at all about opening a new store in this economy? I actually did not. I feel that the market is on a turnaround. When people spend money, though, they want to buy a product they know will last. We offer high-quality products at very reasonable prices; our customers know they're getting the best value for the money.
How much renovating did you have to do to the building? I had to do a complete renovation. The space was a yellow brick box. It had two-toned, completely destroyed concrete flooring and multicolored wood ceilings. After coming up with the floor plan, I had to have the bricks scraped, all new walls built from the ground up, and installed support beams, electrical, HVAC, surround sound, security system/cameras and a new concrete floor.
Describe your average customer: Our average customer is someone who is looking to spend money on a quality product that will last a lifetime.
How do you reach your customer? We reach our customers through special events, being involved in the community, and social media. We are on Facebook and Twitter and have a blog, all of which are linked to our webpage. We have generated a lot of interest using Facebook and Twitter.
How's business? Business has been going very well. We have become very popular within the design community and also with everyday shoppers looking to furnish their homes with great accessories and furniture.
Biggest challenge(s) thus far? The overwhelming response from the design community. Also we are quickly realizing we need more space to store product, as we sell most of our pieces right off the showroom floor.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job? Watching people come in and seeing their eyes light up as they become inspired. I feel like it can be hard to feel inspired since, as a society, we are always rushing from one thing to the next. Markets/tradeshows you shop: High Point, Atlanta Americasmart and several antique/art shows
Do you see any trends emerging or remaining "hot" in home accents for your area? I know there is a huge market for one-of-a-kinds right now and we also see it being evident through our sales patterns. Everybody wants something truly unique to call their own, not a mass-produced replica.
Approximate size of your showroom: 5,200 square feet
About what percentage of your sales are home accents? 65%
What categories of home accents do you carry? Accent furniture, lamps, lighting, wall decor, decorative pillows, throws, garden accessories, tabletop, decorative accessories, bath and body, candles
Key home accent vendors: Currey & Company, Noir, CFC, Kobo Candles, Bella Cucina Artful Food, Hans Turnwald
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