In October, Burke Decor opened its doors to offer what it says are the kinds of home furnishings that can’t be found anywhere else in the Mahoning Valley.
As an online retailer since 2007, the store was used to competition, but e-commerce comes with a different level of risk than a traditional brick-and- mortar operation.
“We put a lot of concentration on putting together things you can’t find anywhere else,” said Erin Burke, the store’s owner. “We have a certain standard for design and the strength and quality of a product. The story behind a designer is important to us, too.”
Online, Burke Decor carries more than 40,000 products. It deals with as many as 80 vendors across the globe in addition to designing and sourcing material for its own products.
Its new store, at 1419 Boardman-Canfield Road in Creekside Place, stocks items from niche designers available in a boutique setting.
Rugs, pillows, bedding, throws, furniture and mirrors are just a few of its offerings. With its website and warehouse, if a customer can’t find what they’re looking for, associates can place an order.
Burke said the store’s reception thus far has been positive with steady business but added, “I don’t think a lot of people know we’re here yet. The people who do come in say it doesn’t feel like Boardman, but New York City.”
Both the retail location and its online counterpart are gearing up for a busy time of year, Burke said. A quick glance at the company’s website shows a page dedicated to holiday items that keeps visitors scrolling, with items ranging from paper poinsettia ornaments and festive wine cylinders to Birch Nested Square Gift Boxes and stockings of all kinds.
In an attempt to draw more than just a segment of its online customers and curious passers-by, Burke Decor will have an open house from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a host of sales, wines and appetizers.
“I think we want to set up here for now and keep growing our customer base online,” Burke said. “But obviously, if we pass a certain threshold, we’ll open other locations.”