Home furnishings and design source Southern Elevation has been named one of Home Accent Today’s 50 Retail Stars for 2016.
The 30-year-old premier trade publication, based in Greensboro, N.C., has been compiling their nationwide Retail Star lists for 12 years. The list highlights independent, brick-and-mortar, home accent retailers—including furniture stores and interior design boutiques—that possess creative merchandising, a positive local community presence, as well as distinguish themselves from the competition.
Fallon’s Southern Elevation is owned by Jessica Sanders Walker, and is located at 710 W. Williams Ave. Walker’s business was a year old in March, and the store aims to feature an eclectic spread of well-made items. The boutique first impressed the magazine in January at the Las Vegas Market, a global gathering of home design trends. The publication continued to follow the business’ social media presence, positive online reviews, creativity and growth.
“When they told us we were a list finalist,” Walker said, “we were pretty shocked … then they told us we made it. We were very, very excited and honored, especially for being such a young business, and a small business among the other giants. That was huge.”
Twenty-five U.S. states are represented on this year’s list, with a third of the businesses offering multiple locations. Eighteen of the stores have been operating successfully for over 20 years.
This is Walker’s first business owned, and she comes from a family of entrepreneurs. She said she noticed no one in town was doing what she was thinking of doing, and there happened to be a storefront available. Walker is also a military spouse, and she had help from many of her fellow spouses — who came in every day to help her clean, paint and fix it up for a couple months before seeking out the brands they love.
The shop searches for designers who know how to make something that can withstand desert living, as well as moving due to Fallon’s large military community. From solid wood and specific glassware to aviation, nautical and world-traveler themes, their furniture, lighting, textiles, decor and more boast traits such as hand-crafted and collaborative.
“There could be something shipped from Paris that’s from the 1800s,” Walker explained about their product line, “or something made two weeks ago. It’s unique … And we keep our prices as low as we possible can.”
Walker said the community has ben very supportive, and in turn Southern Elevations can give back. The store hosted their second annual “Rescue a Saint” event for the Saints of the West, a dog rescue for the St. Bernard breed, located in Sparks. The business also strives to help local youth, the arts and more.
“We do anything we can,” Walker said. “We’re very humbled and still trying to get our name out there and be the best business that we can really.”
The store will ship anywhere in the country and to overseas military bases.
“Independent retail in the age of e-commerce and chain stores is nothing short of a labor of love,” said Jenny Heinzen York, editor in chief of Home Accents Today. “And these stores represent the best there is in their field. We congratulate each one and encourage everyone to support their own local businesses.”