Small Business Spotlight: 1900 House and Home
Describe your business:
1900 House and Home is located just outside of downtown Spokane, WA in a refurbished warehouse. It is a shopping destination to discover unique housewares, furniture, and locally made goods. From light fixtures to earrings, you can find one-of-a-kind pieces here. Owned by an interior designer, the store carries products that are current with today’s popular trends.
The store’s atmosphere compliments the rustic style and neutral palette of the décor sold. The space that 1900 House and Home is located in was once a tire store, and the original mural listing tire prices still decorate the wall. The tall ceilings and exposed beams make the store feel open and industrial.
You can find iron hardware, reclaimed wood furniture, and distressed décor at 1900 to give your home the farmhouse style that is popular today. We carry several local vendors as well including Concrete Earth, Concrete Habitat, Dandle’s Candles, SoulFuel Company, Little Happi Pillows, and Coy Jewelry. We’re more than just a furniture store; we’re an eclectic collection of treasures small and large.
What is the most important piece of your business:
Building relationships with customers are crucial to our business. In addition to owning 1900 House and Home, Debra Howard is also an interior designer. She runs her design business, Gestalt Studio, out of the same brick-and-mortar space as 1900. Building relationships help Debra understand her clients’ style so she can meet and exceed their expectations. Having these long-term design relationships benefits the store as well. Design clients come back to 1900 for their holiday shopping and refer their friends and family to our store. In a world where advertising can eat-away at a small business’s budget, word-of-mouth marketing is our favorite tool. We have been called one of Spokane’s “hidden treasures,” so any type of referral helps us immensely.
Give some recommendations to moms from your perspective:
When shopping for furniture, make sure you are getting pieces that are made of durable materials that can withstand the joys (and messes) of childhood! We have been known to squirt ketchup on fabric samples to make sure that custom-built furniture is easy to clean and stain resistant. Yes, quality furniture can be expensive. But if you are willing to make the investment, these pieces can last for decades as your little ones grow up.
What’s mindset change you had after you began your practice:
Staying flexible and being open to change has helped us to stay in business for the last 14 years. Life throws you curve balls when you’re least expecting it, and it’s up to you to decide how to react. When business slows down, get creative about how you get people in your front door!
How can people start this same journey?
If you’re looking to get into interior design, we recommend getting into a design program at one of the local colleges. The community colleges offer a great two-year program, and WSU has an excellent four-year degree. Having the design education makes you credible as a designer and gives you industry knowledge. Also, know your strengths and weaknesses. If you want to run a store but you are admittedly unorganized, look for employees who possess organizational skills and attention to detail. Nobody can do it all on their own, so build an accountable team around you who all have the business’s best interest at heart.
Provide important links that people can find you: