Shopping online can be daunting, especially when it comes to furniture, accessories, and other goods that can be a big hassle when dealing with shipping, returns, and really even knowing how accurate the photos of the product are on the site. You never know if what you are getting is really what it looks like in the picture or of it is a big hunk of garbage that they call a chair. For that very reason is one of our favorite online sources. Not only is their selection of furniture, lighting, accessories, and gifts top notch, they also stand by everything they sell and if you aren’t happy they will make it right until you are. They do have a stunning flagship in Chicago which is totally worth visiting if you are local, but if not they have quite the curated selection online for you peruse at your leisure. We visited with Caroline Scheeler and Devin Kirk from their headquarters to give us some insight (and hopefully secrets) on why is killing it right now in the design game.
1. Why did you choose this location to open your business?
CS: Jayson Home is in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago. I think early on the local clientele were our buying muses. And to some degree they still are. We found at the time we were starting up, there was a gap in home furnishings in Chicago. Our Chicago and Lincoln Park customers are fiercely loyal and we are to them. We are on a mission to keep finding and making cool things for them, but the boundaries have grown now! We have very happy customers all over the world.
2. How would you describe your store’s style/aesthetic?
CS: Jayson Home’s aesthetic is pretty solidly based in the inspiration and personal nature of collecting and our desire for constant brand evolution. We buy what we love. Sometimes taking risks. Because we are one store and a website we can shift our inventory mix, look and feel pretty rapidly. This is what sets us apart from the big box stores.
DK: It’s important to us to always be evolving. Our customers have great taste and they expect to find something new from us every time they come to our store or our site. It’s a big challenge but we wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s a certain magic that happens when you mix up all these different styles. And for people who are obsessed with their homes, like we are, it’s the best because you’re never really done. You can always tweak and add and move things around.
3. Where did you get your name from and what other names did
CS: The owner of our store, Jay Goltz, has three sons. Jay + Son = Jayson.
4. What types of items are your best sellers?
CS: Whether it’s one of our vintage finds or something from our accessories collection, I think the common thread in our bestsellers is that they’re the unique items that you don’t see everywhere.
DK: Yes, as she mentioned, those are the things people notice when they walk in the room. And we’re making and buying relatively small runs of things so they really do stay special. You’re not going to walk into your neighbor’s house and see they have it too.
5. What item do you have in the store now that you would
want to have in your home?
We found a dress form at a flea market in the south of France from an Italian Opera. If I had the ceiling height (she’s about 12′ tall) I would love
to live with her.
DK: I am obsessed with our new Boulevard Dining Table.
6. What have you been inspired by lately?
CS: Japanese design, Independent makers, The Future, and the mashup of music + fashion + art.
DK: We just go back from London which is always inspiring! James Ivory’s house in T Magazine killed me. Also binged on the first season of “Transparent” and loved the whole 80s Palisades vibe.
7. Is there something you thought would sell really well but
Not that I can think of…but I can think of things that we thought wouldn’t sell and we have sold tons of!
We have pretty good floor model sales twice a year so anything that risks overstaying it’s welcome gets marked down and moves out!
8. Where do you mainly source your items from?
DK: We literally go all over the world finding this stuff. We do design and manufacture our core upholstery collection here in the US, and hit lots of flea markets and shows here too. But so far this year we’ve gone to France a couple of times, Indonesia, Singapore, China, England, maybe others? In every single place we go, we always find out where the local flea market is and make a stop.
This worldly vibe is very much part of our brand but we are constantly looking for American makers. In the past few years there has definitely been a renaissance of creatives that are designing and making just wonderful things. So. . . that opportunity as a buyer right now is wildly exciting.
9. What was the first big lesson you learned from creating this store?
CS: You may think you know your customer . . . but it takes time to build confidence. And that’s a two way street. Respect it.
10. What would your one piece of advice you would give to small businesses?
CS: Find a mentor and plan on working about 100% more than you thought you would.
11. What stores do you shop at?
DK: What stores do we NOT shop at? We both like to shop.
12. Do you have any plans to expand your inventory?
CS: Yes! We are getting in new things every single day!
13. What trends, if any, are you tired of?
DK: We actually don’t really think about trends too much. If we don’t like it now, we probably never did. Some beautiful things get overexposed but it doesn’t make them any less beautiful. Your eyes might just need some time to readjust.
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