By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
If a survey were to be taken, its results would show that typically it is the lady of the house who chooses and shops for home décor.
This holds true at Home Style in Shinnston. Although, according to Home Style owner Melissa Aldridge, men shop there as well … but usually for a gift for the lady in their life. Now, they will have a few more choices – including unique clothing and jewelry items that can’t be found elsewhere locally!
Home Style has been carrying t-shirts and sweatshirts for a year now. Store Manager Amanda Sayers calls them “Webster” t-shirts because their cute sayings define mother, nurse, football fan, etc. What they have premiered in the new year, though, is something a little more trendy.
Sayers said that she and Aldridge had been discussing this possibility for some time, and when they visited the Philadelphia Gift Show, they found exactly what they were looking for – great layering pieces that are made in the USA and one size fits all!
“We loved everything about them,” Sayers noted. “They are feminine and come in a multitude of colors. For example, one item is a sweater/shawl that can be worn three different ways.”
They also purchased tops in a very soft, wash and wear fabric that feature bell sleeves, several tie-up shirts and scarves. “All of these items are comfy, very wearable, can be dressed up or down, are easy to care for and pack well,” Sayers added.
Although the shop has carried jewelry for some time now, what is new includes necklaces, bracelets and earrings in rose gold, gold and silver. One or two necklaces can be worn together, and with one necklace in particular, just a couple of twists and it becomes a bracelet!
Melissa explained that when they found these new trendy items at the gift show, they did a live facebook video from the merchants’ booth and asked their followers to respond. It brought exceptional feedback, so they purchased. Melissa said that both the new clothing as well as the jewelry have been great sellers … and just since mid-January, they have had to restock and are currently awaiting their third shipment! Always willing to offer more, she will expand the clothing line as the need arises.
Other good news is that Urban Market is returning again this year. The pop-up shop next door to Home Style debuted last year, featuring the modern farmhouse look. Each month it was held, the three-day event had something new – even new paint colors on the walls!
Urban Market will be open Thursday, March 15th from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday, March 16th and 17th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first Urban Market in 2018 will display a beachy look and shoppers will be delighted that new upholstered furniture (tufted chairs, settees, etc.) made in Tennessee will also be available.
“We are very excited to do the Urban Market again this year,” Melissa said. “The definition of ‘country’ has broadened to include a modern farmhouse appeal and even the industrial look, and we want to offer what is trending and current. These items are sometimes difficult to find and that’s why we have customers coming from many counties throughout West Virginia and even from across state lines to shop with us.”
Melissa is approaching her ninth year of doing business in Shinnston, and she says that she knew she couldn’t continue to sell only what she offered nine years ago and remain up-to-date.
“Home décor is always a work in progress … something that is done in stages until you achieve the vision you’re looking for in your home. That is why it has been necessary to expand our merchandise, and it’s worked well for us,” she stated.
Although she continues to add new lines of merchandise, shoppers can still find country prims, rugs, window treatments and seasonal décor at Home Style year round.
Eight-plus years ago, Home Style was open Wednesday through Saturday. Home Style is now open six days a week – and sometimes on Sunday during the holiday season. Melissa has also had to expand her store space … and she has added several employees as well. These have been good problems to have!
Melissa has been quite busy since opening Home Style – expanding store space … offering craft classes … adding a paint line and offering how-to classes in that as well … attending business workshops … seasonally decorating the store … going on frequent buying trips … keeping up with Facebook and Instagram … hosting ‘Girls Night Out’ events and open houses … and the list goes on. Her wheels are always in motion!
Her ultimate goal is still to feature an online shopping opportunity on her website. When time permits, she has been working on the site for two years now.
“We’re almost ready to flip the switch,” she exclaimed. “The site will feature our bestsellers from the shop. The products are in, and I’ve worked out the packaging; my final step is to determine the easiest and most affordable shipping and we’ll be ready to go. I need about a week out of the store to focus on tying up all the loose ends so we have no glitches, and then folks will be able to shop from home by visiting www.homestylewv.com!”
Melissa concluded, “I have never been shy when it comes to hard work, and I have a great team of people working with me. Locating my business in Shinnston has been a very good move for me.”