When a friend starts a business, you want to cheer and be there for them. It doesn’t hurt if you think the store offer tasteful and unusual items. Such is the case with Greentail Table, a tabletop and home entertaining store my friend Linda de Valpine opened this summer in a vibrant Boston suburb called Newton. Linda tastefully designed the store with a Scandinivian vibe, playing with simple materials and clean lines. The store is small and cozy, yet because of its incredible ceiling height, never feels cramped. Small shops personalize neighborhoods and give them soul. I’m a big proponent of shopping local as much as you can. I urge you to check this store out, it’s worth the detour! I interviewed Linda this winter and share her responses with you below: enjoy!
Linda, tell me a little about your retail background and how you decided to open a tabletop store.
My background is in retail buying and merchandising having primarily worked for companies focusing on children’s products. Most recently, I co-founded a small Indonesian import business specializing in artifacts and antiques. I knew early in my career that I would ultimately like to own my own store and bring my ideas to fruition–and finally decided to pursue my dream. Tabletop and home entertaining wares are among my favorite items to shop for personally and I knew that I could create an interesting environment and business around them as they are perfectly suited for gifting as well as for personal use.
Tell me about the name of the store. What inspired it?
Greentail was originally short for Green Retailing, with eco-friendly home products being the focus of my original concept, when I incorporated my company back in 2008. I do have a very large percentage of eco-friendly and sustainable products and materials in my current collection, but they are not the primary focus, so I modified the name to include Greentail Table, which represents my focus on tabletop merchandise.
This is such a wonderful shop! What inspires you when you select the pieces?
Thank you! I am inspired by modern, clean, simple lines and by products that are beautiful and functional and particularly in handmade items of natural materials. The interior of the shop has a very clean, bright and Scandinavian vibe.
Where are the items from (country)?
The items come from all over with a focus primarily on goods from the U.S., Europe (country varies by item), and Japan.
What trends are you seeing in the table top industry?
I will be heading to market soon to see what new trends will be important for 2015. However, I have noticed that the interest in metals continues i.e. copper, brass as well as the emphasis on beautiful, functional pieces, in a variety of natural materials–which is just what we specialize in! Customers are much more selective when making decisions to bring something new into their homes. They want goods that are aesthetically pleasing and functional, and not necessarily trend-based.
Peapod Clayworks-Angela Devecchi
How often will you be renewing your selections? will there be some items that we’ll be able to see become store “classics”?
We aim to have new goods coming in the door every month, with a major refresh every 3 months. Summer and Holiday entertaining are of particular importance to our business. We definitely have “classics” and will continue to carry many “go-to” gifts for our customers. For example, we will continue to carry the J.K. Adams line of ash cheese boards, colorful glasses from Spain, Modern-Twist silicone placemats and runners, Terrafirma Ceramics (although one-of-a-kinds–fabulous functional art), and more!
What type of items are most popular?
Our customers really love wooden cheeseboards and interesting servers for cheese. They also love our Chive Pooley Tube Vases, and Loop candleholders of every design, silicone placemats from Modern-Twist, Japanese bottle openers and tea cups. We also have a lovely selection of accompaniments for cheese from L’Epicurien, which are very popular.
If you could take home one item from your shop today, which one would it be and why?
Oh boy–tough to choose! Right now, I currently have my eye on the Middle Kingdom ceramic nesting bowls in off-white. They are absolutely lovely and functional and each piece is signed by the artisan.
I wish my friend wonderful success with her new endeavor! She sure deserves it. make sure to shop her new online store as well.