Inside Style, inside the Las Vegas Arts District
Susan Dickenson -- Home Accents Today, 8/1/2013 2:00:00 AM
A couple of years ago, when Las Vegas residents Jill and Marc Abelman began looking for new digs for their design and retail business, they settled on a 65-year-old, 6,000-sq.- ft. "formerly neglected" retail space in Las Vegas' downtown arts district. Established in 1998, the area is known as the 18b Arts District, referring to an 18-block zone less than a mile south of World Market Center, bounded by Commerce Street, Hoover Avenue, Fourth Street, Las Vegas Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.
The move would take their company, Inside Style Home and Design, from a "sleepy business park" to an area in downtown Las Vegas that was bustling with artist studios, galleries and antique shops. In 2010, the Abelmans purchased and began renovations on their 1940s-era property, located along the arts district's "Antique Alley." They officially opened Inside Style at its new address, 1119 S. Main St., in September 2012. Two months later, Marc became the president of the 18b Arts District Neighborhood Association, representing the district at city planning meetings and helping with efforts to draw attention to the area's artists, designers and architects. An ongoing account of the district's cultural events, improvements and business developments is provided on the group's website at www.18b.org.
Marc's involvement in the community has increased the Abelmans' public profile, ignited by Jill's established reputation as a local interior designer. It was her design talent that, in 1999, brought Jill to Las Vegas as a creator of interiors for model homes built by mega-developer Richmond American Homes. A few years later, in 2004, the Abelmans launched Inside Style. "After a long history of working for others, we decided to open our own business as a way to be able to spend more time with our daughters and have more control over our future," Jill said. "First, we partnered in a furniture store franchise that went south after two years. Then we hunkered down into smaller space and worked on building a great design business."
Since then, Inside Style's design staff has worked on projects that range from tract homes to luxury high-rises, and are as varied as a karaoke bar for a home in Henderson, and a three-story penthouse residence styled as an updated vintage Las Vegas nightclub (accomplished with a "modern Zen motif").
Home Accents Today first met Jill Abelman at the January 2013 Las Vegas Market, which she has shopped since day one. On the eve of this month's summer market, we chatted with her more in-depth.
What is your role in the company? I'm the lead designer on all projects and primary contact for all client relations, and I do all the purchasing for the retail side. I'm very social and love to get out and network whenever possible. Marc and I remain very active in the local community and take turns attending as many events as we can.
How much of your business is retail/interior design? Retail 25%, design 75%
How has business been over the past year?
Great! We've had very few slow periods.
Describe your average customer: Our customers range in age from the 30s to 60s. Many are local and find us by seeing our ads or just walking by.
What makes you different from the competition?
Within the Arts District we are the only shop that sells all new merchandise, and the only store downtown that has a high-end design flavor to it. There are very few mom-and-pop or unique independent design stores here in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, we lost many stores in the last few years.
How do you reach your customer? We just revamped our website and most of our design clientele comes from this. For the retail side, we have a very comprehensive social media campaign and are working hard to build up our following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and the Inside Style Youtube channel. We recently launched a Pinterest contest where pinners can "Pin to Win" gift certificates that we hope will inspire them to visit our website and store. Locally, we advertise in magazines like Boulevard, Luxury Las Vegas and the Smith Center for the Performing Arts programs. We also offer our space for events. Recently we hosted a formal dinner for Communities in Schools and a board meeting for the National Association of Working Mothers.
What categories of home accents do you carry?
Accent furniture, lamps, lighting fixtures, wall décor, rugs, pillows, decorative accessories, candles, vases, permanent botanicals, garden accessories, art work
About what percentage of your merchandise are home accents? Home accents are 60%, furniture is 40%
Who are some of your key vendors? Global Views, Arteriors, Leftbank Art, Urbanista, Surya, Jaipur, Lazy Susan, Trend Lighting, Uttermost, Villa Home, Callista Home, Kannoa, Brownstone Furniture, Bernhardt, Stanley, Allan Copley, Nuevo, Creative Elegance
Describe how your store merchandises: I've always preferred to create color stories - concentrating on textures and different scaled, unexpected combinations to catch the buyer's eyes. Most of our vignettes are small living room-like spaces layered with tons of accessories.
What's hot? Industrial is popular, as are bright colors and shaggy, textured area rugs.
Tradeshows/markets you attend: All Las Vegas shows of course, High Point, New York ICFF and we are going to Maison & Objet in September.
Best in-store event you've ever hosted: We had a great turnout for Small Business Saturday as we offered refreshments and a free seminar about holiday decorating.
Hopes and plans for the next 12 months? We are launching an e-commerce site as part of our website. We hope to gain branding and licensing agreements this year for product design - upholstery, decorative accessories and a modern art line. And we'd like to do more international travel to diversify our product lines.
Address: 1119 S. Main St., Las Vegas, 89014
We would love your feedback!
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