Town Talk Features

Love Local 11.21.18

T&S is all about supporting local businesses, especially since we are one! In this column, we spotlight some of the countless area retailers that provide friendly service and unique products.

the fur boutique 
After years managing a fur salon, Ann Hurth had built a reputation for customer service, style and quality. When she left her position, her clients followed. They asked for advice on caring for their pieces and finding the latest styles. Hurth recognized a need and opened The Fur Boutique with former colleague Georgene Frazier. “We carry only top quality merchandise,” Hurth says. “Our customers know us for that.” The boutique offers the latest trends and classic looks, but also provides its customers more than just luxury furs. It operates as a fullservice furrier, offering storage, cleaning and repair as well. Hurth is grateful for the loyalty St. Louis has shown her and The Fur Boutique. “Our customers really put us in business,” she says. “It’s been four years, and we’re going strong because of them.”
hot gifting tip or trend: Hurth recommends keeping loved ones warm with a new hat, gloves, scarf, wrap, cape or coat.

leslie hindman auctioneers
With an original location in Chicago, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has been serving clients as a fine art and antique auction house for more than 30 years. It holds sales for prominent estates and collections, including those of adventurers Steve and Peggy Fossett, St. Louis philanthropists and collectors Eric and Evelyn Newman, and the Saint Louis Zoo Association. The St. Louis office opened in 2014, and Hindman has seven other regional offices and offers 60 auctions annually across 20 categories. It also provides appraisal services throughout the year. “There is a rich history of art in St. Louis,” says Kara Kelpe, director of business development for St. Louis. “Since opening this office, we have been committed to recognizing and promoting locally significant collections in our community, and exposing them to a broader international audience.”
hot gifting tip or trend: Kelpe suggests Hermès scarves and ties and Steuben, Lalique or Baccarat cocktail glasses and decanters.

the refind room
The Refind Room has become a destination for unique, high-quality furniture, home decor and art in St. Louis. Owners Suzanne Woodard and Shawn Lipe have developed the store into a complete shopping experience with original art, designer furniture, eclectic pieces and collector-grade items at affordable prices. The Refind Room also hosts art exhibits, cocktail parties and classes. Woodard says the store pays homage to the past and embraces the present while encouraging beautiful, individual style. “We love owning our business in St. Louis,” she says. “Its history means that customers appreciate heirloom quality, and its size means that everyone who walks in the door becomes a friend.” The Refind Room now offers estate liquidation, estate sale services, consignment and 24/7 online shopping.
hot gifting tip or trend: Woodard suggests vintage decanters, handmade pottery and small vessels for succulents or flowers.

genovese jewelers
Founded in 1981, Genovese Jewelers originally occupied a space that was just 900 square feet. The family-owned jewelry store has grown into one of the largest in the Midwest, offering fine and fashion jewelry. President Joe Genovese says one of the store’s best features is its large inventory. He notes that there are beautiful items for any budget, with pieces starting around $50. Genovese Jewelers also has in-house jewelry artisans who can create one-of-a-kind pieces for customers. “We are unique because we offer a combination of manufacturing and retail to a degree I have not seen anywhere else,” Genovese says. “We are proud to be making jewelry not just in the U.S., but here in St. Louis.” He is grateful for the store’s many loyal friends and customers throughout the years. “St. Louis takes care of its own,” he says.
hot gifting tip or trend: The biggest holiday trend at Genovese is stacked ring sets with a mixture of metals and designs.

k. hall studio
K. Hall Studio started with two lines of candles and seven employees in 1998. As the company celebrates its 20th anniversary, it has expanded to five lines of home fragrance and personal care products: Barr-Co., K. Hall Designs, Lorna Lu, Simpatico and U.S. Apothecary. They are sold by more than 2,500 retailers throughout the United States, including Pottery Barn, Anthropologie and Nordstrom. K. Hall Studio has three company-owned stores in St. Louis and two others in Chicago and Newport Beach, Calif. The company also has a St. Louis factory where 90 percent of its products are made. K. Hall Studio is happy to call St. Louis and the Midwest home, embracing the quality of employees the city attracts and the logistical ease of being centrally located.
hot gifting tip or trend: To reuse a candle vessel, let it cool completely after burning it for the last time. Place it in the freezer for several hours; the remaining wax should fall out easily. Reuse the vessel as an accessory or decoration.

shine boutique
“It’s so important to wear things that make you feel good,” she says. “Accessories are an easy way to accomplish that.” At Shine, which opened in May 2016, Netsch sells clothing, handbags, scarves, jewelry, candles and more. “I try to include unusual, interesting products you might not find anywhere else,” she says. Netsch emphasizes socially responsible shopping and supporting small, local companies. She also has give-back programs that donate a percentage of sales of certain items to charity. Netsch describes Shine’s clothing as fun, versatile and fashionforward. “These are pieces you can dress up or down,” she says. She also provides monogramming services.
hot gifting tip or trend: Netsch’s main recommendation is to shop local and support your community.

elleard heffern
Opened in 1913, Elleard Heffern is St. Louis’ oldest independent fine jeweler. Its mission to provide high-quality, distinctive jewelry continues into its fourth generation, says Kit Heffern, president and grandson of the company’s founder. “Visitors often remark on how different our jewelry is from what they see everywhere else,” he says. “We always seek emerging international designers who offer limited, specialized production.” An example is the Gismondi 1754 line. The Italian collection has been worn by celebrities such as Jane Fonda, and Elleard Heffern is the only independent jewelry store in the U.S. to feature it. The company also is known for restoring and remodeling outdated jewelry. “It’s our pleasure to serve a community that appreciates beauty and craftsmanship,” Heffern says.
hot gifting tip or trend: Heffern says rose gold is popular because the alloy is a warm, unusual color. It’s also comparable in price to other types of gold.

laurie’s shoes 
The original Laurie’s Shoes store on Manchester Road was built as a bomb shelter during the Korean War. Besides housing shoes, it was a safe place for area residents to gather if the need arose. Thankfully, its secondary use was not necessary, but the family-owned business has continued to grow over four generations. Laurie’s carries more than 50,000 pairs of footwear, according to owner Mark Waldman. It offers brands from around the world. The store also has pedorthists on staff to make sure its footwear is stylish and comfortable. “Our goal is complete customer satisfaction,” Waldman says. He notes that St. Louis is a wonderful location for the business. “We have a client base that espouses the Midwestern philosophy of honesty, hard work and appreciation,” he says. “We are committed to this town!”
hot gifting tip or trend: Waldman says women’s low booties are popular in colors like brown, black, olive, gray and burgundy.

wilson lighting
Located near the intersection of Clayton Road and Brentwood Boulevard, Wilson Lighting is more than just a lighting store. It also features home décor items from around the world, according to vice president Brian Wilson. “We carefully source our products for a truly unique collection of goods,” he says. A majority of products in its showroom are in stock, which Wilson says is unusual. The family-owned chain also has stores in Kansas and Florida, but Wilson says being in St. Louis offers a unique benefit. While the company’s primary business is working with new construction, it has seen increased demand for lighting and décor updates in existing homes. “There are many majestic older houses here,” he says. “The rich history of St. Louis neighborhoods is very impressive.”
hot gifting tip or trend: Wilson recommends unusual, high-quality home design gifts for the party hostess or avid decorator on your list.

b. davis design
In 2011, Barb Davis opened B. Davis Design as an extension of her years of design experience. The shop offers a mix of curated home furnishings that reflect Davis’ personal vision. “I don’t shop trends; I just sell what I love,” she explains. She regularly goes on buying trips and brings home one-of-kind items including antiques. B. Davis is a Mackenzie Childs dealer and has a custom wreath and floral department. Davis says the store’s greatest appeal is in its customer service. “We make you feel like you’re in our home,” she says. “We are personally invested in helping everyone pick the perfect gift or item.” The personal attention keeps customers coming back and referring their friends. “St. Louis is a very loyal community, and everyone loves to shop local,” Davis says.
hot gifting tip or trend: Davis suggests combining a pair of mink mittens, a piece of silver and a nice coffee table book for an eclectic gift.

marketplace at the abbey
When Laura Wilson opened Marketplace at The Abbey in 2014, her goal was to surprise and delight her customers with special ‘Abbey finds.’ Today, she continues to offer one-of-a-kind gifts from her curated network of international vendors. The sprawling store showcases everything from custom furniture to made-to-order florals, sliding barn doors, decorative lanterns, gift items and barware. Recently, the company began selling the CR Laine furniture line and is one of few carriers in the region. Wilson says she is proud to be part of the St. Louis retail scene and enjoys the close-knit community, which has allowed her to build strong relationships with clients. The store hosts events year-round.
hot gifting tip or trend: Wilson suggests looking for unique, unexpected decorating items to surprise family and friends.