Dutchmans Casual Living Store is just that — a living store. Owned and operated by Stephanie Bramble, Dutchmans is a one-of-a-kind home furnishings store. After graduating from school in Sydney, Australia, Stephanie moved to the United States and began working full time as a floral designer. Between that and working craft shows on the weekends, Stephanie saved enough to buy an old building on Main St. in Highlands, NC, which she renovated into her first store. There she sold flower arrangements, home accessories and small furniture, while doing weddings on the side.
Fifteen years later, Stephanie has three stores located in Highlands, NC, St. Simons Island, GA and Cornelius, NC. The inspiration for opening Dutchmans came from the desire for a store that combined all of your home needs into one place. Whether you need mahogany furniture, hand painted accessories, or just a house-warming gift, Dutchmans has it.
“Although we are here to sell you great items for your home, I also want you to walk in and be wowed.”
Beyond the actual merchandise available, Stephanie says that what really sets Dutchmans apart is the constant change going on within the store. “I have a love of merchandising and although we are here to sell you great items for your home I also want you to walk in and be wowed by a display,” she explains. Stephanie continued on to explain how she enjoys changing the store to fit the seasons and holidays, too.
Alongside a constantly changing in-store experience, comes a unique style of furniture. When asked about the creation process, Stephanie spoke about Bramble, a furniture-manufacturing partner of Dutchmans. The process begins with just an idea of a design, and within days the company engineers and craftsmen produce it. From there, each piece is given a mix of different paints to find just the right color. And to finish these masterpieces off, Stephanie can go to the artists and request artwork; which is then individually hand painted using old world techniques. Stephanie attributes Dutchmans’ unique style to this method, “That’s why I love it so much, because it’s not perfect.”
Through Bramble, Dutchmans is doing much more than just designing and producing high quality wood furniture. The consistent use of mahogany wood throughout the furniture from Bramble is due large in part to the strong quality of the wood, but is also attributed to it being indigenous to Indonesia, the manufacturing location of Bramble headquarters. As part of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, Bramble embarked on an ambitious environmental project to plant a tree for every piece of furniture sold. Since the start of this project in 2005, Bramble has successfully grown more than 700,000 trees in Indonesia. It is this effort, along with the ebb and flow of the stores products and setup that gives the ‘living’ in Dutchmans Casual Living Store, an entirely new meaning.
For a bit more info, visit www.dutchmansdesigns.com.