Jen and I have been to one home decor store after another looking for something unique. Wherever we go, it is the same accessories, the same furniture simply dressed in a different way. No character, no style, no real identity. How can you, as a consumer, avoid the cookie cutter home décor emporium trap?
1) Stay away from the mall! Mall rents are a bit higher, so chains can buy space, but the average small business person generally stays outside looking inward.
2) Bigger is not always better. If you want your home to look like everyone else’s, go to a large store and buy what everyone else is buying. The only exception to the big box rule is Hobby Lobby, in my opinion they bring in unique items all the time and the prices are unbeatable.
3) Look downtown and not just the big city. Our smaller cities and towns are a great source of little holes in home wall decor stores. Take a place like McKinney, TX, for example. Downtown McKinney Square is an incredible source of home décor and specialty shops. Lee’s Summit, MO is another good example of a downtown plaza with several decor stores.
4) Don’t be afraid to travel a bit. Gather a couple of friends, jump in the van, and go on a day trip. Nell Hills in Atchison, KS is one of the top home décor destinations in Great Plains. 95% of your customers come from more than 50 miles away. If you are in St. Louis, Kansas City, Omaha, Sioux Falls, Wichita, Lincoln, or Des Moines, consider a day trip to Nell Hills.
You’re definitely not doomed to a bland, copycat home décor life with the flavor of the moment. Follow these rules and you will find those diamonds in the rough and open up a whole new world of possibilities.