Tallmadge -- A boutique with a mix of new and used home furnishings and accessories has opened its doors at 52 Metric Drive.
The Cottage Shoppe of Tallmadge, a collaboration of co-owners Sandy White, of Streetsboro, and her fraternal twin daughters Sherina Wood of Copley Township and Shannon Wunderle of Tallmadge, officially opened for business last month. The store is in the Tallmadge East Business Park off East Avenue, the former home of Taggarts Ice Cream & Grill.
"We have everything you could possible want in a house, but not appliances ... We're trying to keep it affordable, clean and nice," said White, a 1978 graduate of Stow-Munroe Falls High School.
Wood and Wunderle, 28, are 2003 graduates of Hudson High School.
Used merchandise for sale comes from a variety of sources -- tag sales, furniture stores that have gone out of business and even customers who sell items of good quality, condition and character to the store.
White, who described the store as an "upscale resale boutique," said the furniture, accessories and decorations sold are a reflection of her rustic, natural taste and the more contemporary tastes of her daughters.
White wants customers to feel comfortable browsing the merchandise so she made sure to incorporate a "light, bright" feeling into the environment.
"I hope [customers] feel comfortable here, hope they walk away with a feeling that they have something exciting, and it was fun while they were here," she added.
Her daughters added they want the store to be somewhere they would like to shop and hang out with their mom as a trio.
Every day, the store offers something new, usually a small accessory or decorative piece, and weekly it adds a larger item, such as furniture.
If customers don't find what they're looking for in the store, a complimentary "wish list" service is available where she and her daughters keep an eye out for the requested item while they're buying merchandise for the store.
A wonderful family adventure
Entrepreneurship is rooted in the family, so White believes launching her own business came naturally to her. Several decades ago in a rural area of Virginia, her grandmother opened a salon for hair and makeup, while her grandfather simultaneously ran his own convenience store and taxi service.
For years, accredited interior decorator and former local real estate agent White dreamed of having her own store home furnishings store, and with her daughters grown up and both expecting their first children, she thought this was the perfect time.
"I love to decorate. I've decorated for years. [Opening a store] has always been something I've wanted to do," she said.
While she mans the store Monday through Thursday, she and her daughters take turns staffing it on Saturdays.
Wunderle and Wood, associate dean of student services and associate director of admissions for Bryant & Stratton College in Akron, respectively, became involved in the business because they saw it as a "wonderful adventure."
"The three of us are really best friends. This has been a dream of our mom's for a long time, and we were thrilled to be part of it with her," they said.
White hopes the business will grow to the point where it can expand and offer more merchandise.
"I'm like any business: I want to prosper and hope to involve the family as a family adventure," she said.