The Village Merchant started way back in 1990 when my mother had an idea that she would like to open a gift and home decor shop. We rented and fixed up a 100 year old brick house in the downtown historic district of our town and went to work. Six months later our modest store front was open. Nine years later we outgrew our space and bought another 100 year old brick house in the same area, just 5 times bigger.
Mail order selling back in the 90’s consisted of catalogs only and we produced a modest catalog with a handful or products around 1992 that we advertised in some popular decorating magazines. This was the part of my business that I always wanted to grow, but the daily operations of running a brick & mortar store and another venture we had, I always had to put that idea in the back of my mind. Then in 2011, with online selling booming in this industry, it was time to do what I had always wanted to do and bring The Village Merchant to the rest of the world! With much thought, tears and sadness, I closed the retail store to concentrate on my online business only. My only regret was not doing it sooner!
Since then, I have been able to to spend my time doing what I was passionate about in this business all along and that was finding unique, comfortable, inspiring (insert all the adjectives here) products that will put a smile on our customers faces. That’s what I really want for our customers…to make them smile. On a daily basis, we used to have customers tell us that our store was a place they could come to “escape”. Whether it was a busy day at work, a hectic family life or just to pick up their mood. That’s what I want for The Village Merchant online store too. A place to escape and unwind and find something that makes you smile!
My partner, my Mom, died in 1999, the week that I purchased the bigger of our 2 stores and before internet selling had really taken off. Without her, there would be no Village Merchant. I hope she would be proud of what “her idea” has become.