The Colonial Housefitter ~ Jamesville, NY

by admins on March 24, 2009

Name of Shop:  The Colonial Housefitter

Owner/Proprietor:  Chris Esposito

 

Address:   4538 Apulia Road.  Jamesville, NY 13078

 

Telephone: (315) 492-1977

                                                                                                                                           

Q&W

How did you get started in retail/having your own shop? 

 

Chris

A vision and a passion for country antiques lead me to open The Colonial Housefitter when my youngest daughter went to college.  We started out with mainly antiques and quickly added quality American made reproductions. (We have been open for) 4 ½ years.

 

Q&W

What type of experience are your customers looking for when they come to your shop? 

 

Chris

Our customers are looking for a relaxing, inviting atmosphere, one that surrounds them with primitive antiques and quality accessories for their homes.  We want them to say “I could live here!”, which many of them do.  We want them to think, “ I want my house to look just like this”.   With that in mind, they feel a sense of relaxation and excitement;[ all at the same time!

 

Q&W

Do you establish friendly relationships with your customers? If so, is that important? 

 

Chris:

The relationships with my customers is by far the most important aspect of my business.  Without these wonderful people, I am not here!  I know most of my customers by name and have become “friends” with many.  We share much more than just the love of primitives!  I have to be careful not to chat too much and give them time to shop!!

 

Q&W

What advantages do you believe a small country shop has over large shops?  

 

Chris

Small shops such as The Colonial Housefitter, evoke a sense of home, gatherings, simplicity and friends.  We have become a destination for those who know us.  It’s hard to get that feeling in larger shops.

 

Q&W
Do you have any advice for shop owners & artisans on weathering a poor economy? 

 

Chris:

Retailers, artists, craftsmen and customers are all having a tough time.  Try to hold on to that pioneering spirit that inspired you to start your own business to begin with.  Be positive with your customers, price your items fairly, and service your customers, i.e., special orders, delivering large items and lay away.

 

Q&W

Do you advertise?

 

Chris:

Absolutely.  It reminds the customer that they might want to stop in to see what’s new in the shop.  (We advertise in) Local newspapers, mailers, word of mouth, and the regional Home Show all seem to work well.

 

Q&W

We have heard time & time again, that during this tender economy, handcrafted goods are still selling strong.  Has this been true for you & if so, why do you believe customers are paying more for Made in USA versus imports? 

 

Chris:

Now more than ever, buying from American craftsmen is so very important.  We sell only American made reproductions in our shop.  Most of our customers appreciate that and are willing to pay a little more to support these artists as well as the pride they may share in having items made by these very dedicated and talented craftsmen.  I think we are all very aware of the importance of “Made in America”.

 

Q&W

Please describe your shop, what makes it unique? 

 

Chris

The Colonial Housefitteris a small country shop located in the Hamlet of Jamesville, NY.  There is an unmistakable warmth that is felt upon entering.  The combination of antiques and primitive reproductions, lends itself to the most peaceful of shopping experiences.  One of our customers always announces “I’m home!” when she walks through the door!  I think that says it all!

 

Q&W

What is your decorating style?

 

Chris

Primitive all the way!  Is there any other way?!

 

Q&W

Why do you think staging or creating vignettes are important? 


Chris

We can give our customers a feeling of home and how to display or use an item in a way that they may not have thought of. 

 

Q&W

Is it important to love what you do/buy?

 

Chris

I only buy what I love or would want in my own home.  And as far as loving what I do, I look forward to every day I spend in the shop.  It gives me the same sense of peace it gives to my customers.

 

Q&W

What makes an artist stand out in your mind? 

 

Chris

An artist stands out in my mind when I see the dedication and pride they have in their work.  Also, the excitement they have when sharing it with the shop owners.  I feel so privileged to know so many of these wonderful and talented people.  I have also become friends with many of them which makes selling their wares such a pleasure.

 

Q&W

What American handcraft sells well in your shop?

 

Chris

Our shop does well with textiles, lighting, small useful wooden wares such as wall cubbies, shelves and of course all seasonal items.  Our shop only carries American made items.  It is foremost to our commitment as a retailer.

 

Q&W

Should shops keystone hand made items?

 

Chris

Absolutely, we have a responsibility to represent and showcase all of the very talented craftsmen we have gotten to know well through the shop.  They are wonderful people who work very hard to supply us with  products we can display and sell with pride.

 

Q&W

How do you find good American artists/vendors? 

 

Chris     

Wholesale shows, Early American Life magazine, internet and word of mouth.

 

Q&W

Can you recommend any good shows, literature, magazines and books for creative inspiration? 

 

Chris

Judy Condon’s books are a great source of inspiration.  Also, Early American Life magazine and the vendors at the wholesale shows, some of whom are so creative in displaying their wares.

 

Q&W

What do you think American artisans/venders can do to make themselves more marketable/sellable?

 

Chris

Quality is by far the most important factor that an American artist can have as his or her selling point.  Also, selling at a fair price to the retailer (is important).  Signing or branding an item also adds to it’s uniqueness and (drives home the) “made by hand” notion.

 

 

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Visit grabmyessay.com reviews to learn the most dependable reviews by college students