Monday, July 23, 2012

The Value of Boutiques...

Vignette at The Open House located in Rye, NY
If I were to ask you if you prefer to shop department store, online or boutique, I bet most of my designer friends would say boutique. In fact, New York Interior Designer, Sarah Sarna, responded to this question I posted on Facebook: "Boutique all the way. When it comes to gifts and shopping for the home, I adore the hunt and old world one-on-one customer service that often comes with it." I could not agree more, but I was a little peeved to hear clients requesting their designers to shop the latter. One client asked her designer to get all of the accessories for her home at Pier 1. This just blew me away!

Unique Treasures at The Open House

Now, I'm a bargain shopper myself and love my steal of deal high I get when my favorite clothing store throws their 70% off sales, but I have personal attachments to my boutiques. I am very loyal to them as I get to experience a level of personal attention, ambrosia of fine pieces and a sense of calm that is unparalleled to shopping the mass market stores. Recently I read a blog post with a brilliant comment by Interior Designer, Tammy Conner. She stated: "I always advise my clients to choose quality over quantity. If necessary, I would much prefer that a project take 3 years to complete with quality pieces that will be cherished forever, than 6 months to just fill a house with furniture."

I am a huge fan of a little design shop located in Westchester, NY called The Open House. Owners, Barbara Sperling and Michele Green have created design candy not only for clients like myself, but for interior designers as well. Their store epitomizes what a boutique business is all about. Superb customer service, livable stylish selections and making lasting relationships with their buyers. I know designers have their list of boutiques such as The Open House, that would truly benefit their clients and themselves. It just becomes a matter of exposing their clients to this experience.

So make that list of boutiques to add to your itinerary of locations to shop with your clients. Have them hunt for treasures at close locations to their project so they are reminded of your lasting impression when shopping there. Not to mention the lasting impression the boutique will have of you. There is nothing like getting the VIP treatment from fabulous boutiques like The Open House, The Shop, by renown designer Mariette Himes Gomez or nationally recognized shop EKB by Eileen Kathryn Boyd. The goal is to get your clients to want to continue to work with you for years to come, by making them realize the value of boutiques and what you, the designer, has to offer.

The Open House is located at 8 Purdy Avenue, Rye, NY 10580
I hope you will share your list of favorite boutiques here and your admiration on why you love them so. As a business owner myself, I run my company on the boutique model standards and would not steer it any other way. Happy shopping!

Barbara V


  1. This is a beautiful post Barbara! Well written and beautiful pics!!

  2. Thank Lisa. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Happy shopping!

  3. Barbara, an excellent post. Thank you for including me!! I love your idea of taking clients to boutiques close to home to further leave a lasting impression. Fantastic.

    1. Sarah your statement speaks volume. It was my sincere pleasure. I know clients are getting smarter and more demanding and designers are trying their best to impress. Make it easy for yourself and get back to basics. Let the specialty shops stamp your validity and work. It is always about the experience. Thank you for your kinds words and support on this idea.


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