In 1992, Sharon Garfield opened Traditions Interiors and Accessories, a 7,700 square foot space offering furniture and accessories arranged in vignettes. Traditions now employs nine staff members, including four designers ready at any moment to help customers perfect their interiors. Here, Sharon reflects on more than 25 years of prosperous business operations.
How have you ensured success since you opened in 1992?
We transitioned with the times. During slow periods, we brought in items that we didn’t normally carry. We also made it a priority to stay up to date with the changing tides of design in the industry.
Why did you pick Park Road as a location?
Park Road Shopping Center has always had some of my favorite places and I wanted to join the group. It’s bustling even during slower seasons, which made it a great place for us to get started. Plus, it’s a one-stop shopping center with a nice blend of merchants.
What is the significance of the name: Traditions Interiors, Classic Interiors Redefined?
We added the second line to our name because as society redefines itself, we’ve had to redefine what “traditional design” means. Through it all, we’ve maintained our workmanship, craftsmanship, and quality of products.
How has your business evolved since opening?
We’ve added more lines, including a jewelry department and some clothing pieces. Simultaneously, we have introduced ourselves as one of the top furniture store destinations in Charlotte on social media. In fact, our social media presence brings customers in daily and is one of the main drivers of walk-in sales.
Who are your typical clients?
We see a variety of age groups, but our typical client is between the ages of 35 and 45 years old. We are starting to see a lot of empty nesters, as well as couples moving into retirement centers.
What does your business offer that gives it an edge over its competitors?
Our customer service and design knowledge go a long way in bringing in clients and maintaining our relationships with them. We also accommodate both walk-in customers and one-on-one design customers.
Do you have a hand in picking the pieces that are displayed in your store or do you leave it to the designers?
We all have our hands in it: the designers know what we can sell, and I know what we can afford. It makes for a lovely marriage.
Do interior designers use the store?
Yes, they walk their clients through the store to see items in person, feel fabrics, sit in sofas, and truly know what they are purchasing for their home.
What would you recommend to customers visiting your store for the first time?
I would recommend that customers ask questions and always approach us for help. We also suggest being open with us about your budget, because we can work with all budgets while still ensuring the quality of pieces.
In 2019, why is it still important to have access to brick and mortar stores?
It would be foolish to say that we aren’t facing competition from online shopping. That being said, it is very important to be able to see, sit, touch, talk to someone knowledgeable, and know exactly what you’re purchasing. I would never buy an upholstery piece without sitting in it. To me, it is worth the little bit of extra money you might have to pay to shop in-store.