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Owned by husband and wife team Eric and Sary Em, Home | a furnishings boutique is one of East Passyunk's newest store additions. Everything from furniture and lighting to paper goods and home accessories line the walls of the 500-square-foot shop, which was designed with a home-y, welcoming vibe in mind. Here, Sary dishes on the most difficult part about opening her boutique and tells us about Home's best-selling (and -smelling!) item.
Tell us a little about Home's inventory.
We carry furniture (new, refurbished, and custom), lighting and home accessories, paper products, and small gift items. As far as accessories go, we have a wide range of things: glassware, vases, pillows, candles, stationery, books, small leather goods, bowls, tea towels, jewelry, framed artwork...Brands include Arteriors, HomePort Collection, Ferm Living, Sugar Paper, Rifle Paper, Russel + Hazel, Lostine, Noir, Canvas, Robert Abbey, and Dwell Studio.
Do you have a background in design?
Since high school, Eric knew he wanted to be an architect. He moved to Philly to get a degree in architecture from Drexel. I started out in architecture as well, but ended up getting a degree in interior design—also from Drexel. We started a design firm together called (re)work architecture & design where we've done some residential and small commercial projects.
What does Home offer that can't be found elsewhere?
Everything has been carefully selected, and are all things that we felt were unique. We've worked hard to find pieces that are different, things you may not find in other stores—at least locally. We've worked with local craftsman to design furniture, and we love finding unique vintage pieces that we can update. Finding new and emerging designers is also really important to us. Since we also have our own design firm, we also offer architectural and interior design services.
Why did you open a boutique?
It's hard to remember a time when I didn't want to own a shop. I love meeting and talking to new people and its even better that I get to meet a lot of people that live not only in the same city, but the same little neighborhood. Being able to showcase beautiful pieces and introducing people to designers or artists that aren't as well known is really exciting.
How did you decide on a location?
We moved to the neighborhood about six years ago, and I can't imagine living anywhere else in the city. It has been so exciting to see how the neighborhood has changed over the past few years, and I knew it was the only place I really wanted the store to be. East Passyunk has a very small town feel and it is wonderful to be a part of it.
Did you hit any roadblocks along the way?
It was actually pretty difficult finding a good location. Since we only wanted to find spaces on East Passyunk, our options were limited. Available commercial spaces on the Avenue are not easy to come by—especially one that wouldn't require too much work. Another difficult thing was finding good quality furniture that was also affordable. We wanted to find pieces that could be with you for the rest of your life, but they also needed to be accessible to folks like ourselves, 30-somethings that are settling down and ready to invest in some furniture.
What was your vision for the boutique?
We wanted the store to feel like you were walking into someone's home rather than a store. The boutique is a mix of different styles—from vintage to traditional to modern—but it all works together seamlessly. Most people don't have the luxury of starting with a clean slate and usually have to work with existing pieces. We wanted to show that you can mix and match, blend old with new, modern with traditional.
Has anything taken the lead as a hot seller?
Candles have been really good sellers for us, especially our decorative fruit candles—they're small brass pears and apples with a vanilla scented candle inside. The great thing about them is that once you are done burning them, you are left with a cute, decorative item that you can still use in your home. We sold out of all the pears and only have one apple left, but we have more on the way!
· Home | a furnishings boutique [wordpress]
· Home | a furnishings boutique [Official Site]
· New Home Furnishings Boutique to Open on Passyunk Avenue [Racked Philly]