With the price of food and fuel eating into consumer discretionary spending, this is a tough time to be a boutique owner.
In fact, during the first six months of 2011, Bedford-Katonah residents watched the doors close at Ruthyan’s Boutique, Chic Trends, Tony’s Cigars, the Greener Cleaner, and Monroe’s Vintiques.
But when one door closes, another opens, and in Bedford Hills, these newly opened doors belong to the Bedford House.
Lesa Vogliano said she realized the need—even in this tough economy —to have a source for those on a quest to create a comfortable, functional, and beautiful home environment. In June, Vogliano joined forces with furniture designer Dennis Anderson to launch the Bedford House.
“It occurred to me that sellers and buyers alike would benefit from a shop like Bedford House. A place where they can consign fine furnishings should something no longer suit their life or style, an advantage when upsizing or downsizing. Also we would offer our services for staging with our inventory,” Vogliano said.
We spoke with Vogliano and Anderson to learn more about their new business, what will differentiate Bedford House from the established furniture shops in town, and what ultimately gave these entrepreneurs the courage to launch a business in a stagnant economy.
Patch: Tell us about your shop. What can a new customer expect to find inside your doors?
Lesa Vogliano: This home boutique is filled to the brim with lovely fine quality furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, rugs and gift items – all the things that will make your house a special haven or delight friends and family with gifts that will enhance their abode.
Patch: What did you do prior to opening Bedford House?
LV: I am a real estate broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Bedford. Prior to that, I worked in fashion and textile design. Dennis is a furniture designer and has worked in the furniture industry his entire career, including designing showrooms, photography styling for furniture catalogues, and product design. He has worked with all the major furniture companies, most notably for twelve years as a consultant to Baker Furniture.
I felt with our two backgrounds this venture was a perfect collaboration.
Patch: What gave you the courage to open a new business in this economy?
Dennis Anderson: The furniture business was down even before the rest of the economy slowed. For me, the down economy made me want to do something that I was more in control of. We realized there wasn’t this type of business—a modestly priced home furnishing boutique anywhere in town.
Also, the home staging business has become more necesary in this economy. In the past (under different economic circumstances) people didn’t think about staging their homes. Now they find it necessary.
Patch: Why did you choose your location in Bedford Hills?
LV: We chose our location for local convenience, but we love the light and loft-like space.
Patch: Speaking of location, you are close to Country Willow. How is Bedford House different than Country Willow and the other established furniture stores in town?
LV: Bedford House is different. We have many unique items. We offer a trove of hand selected items with an eye towards style and value. Bedford House is a comfortable casual mix of new, vintage and antique pieces. Modern style mixes with traditional in a relaxed welcoming atmosphere.
Patch: Describe some of your most unique, interesting items? What should we come check out?
LV: Most of our items are unique or interesting; however we offer several one-of-a-kind lamps.
You can find Bedford House at 17 Depot Plaza, Bedford Hills NY 10507, by phone: 914-241-0415, and online: bedfordhouse.com.