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Carriage House is celebrating 20 years of providing customers with custom framed artwork and accessories for the home. Shellie Dawson, owner, feels she has made strong connections with her customer base and considers them an "extended family." Carriage House works hard to continue to provide the best customer service to their loyal shoppers.
From the outside, the store looks like another gift shop stuck among the hustle and bustle of shoppers enjoying the Amish storefronts. But inside, shoppers will find everything they need to decorate their home in a rustic, country fashion.
Larry and Doris Dawson started the business in 1992. Carriage House "started out of their love for interior design," explained Dawson, daughter of Larry and Doris.
Both of Dawson's parents started out in very different career paths as her father was a barber and her mother, a school teacher. Dawson recalls as a child, her parents would decorate everything in the house. So it just made sense to start their own shop and share their love for interior design with others.
Dawson bought the business from her parents roughly 10 years after the store had been in business. In just a few short years the shop had expanded from 1,000 square ft. to 4,000 square ft. Shellie says her favorite part of running the store is custom framing artwork and meeting and talking with customers. Even after 10 years of owning the store, Dawson still reminisces with customers that remember her parents and enjoy sharing their stories of visiting the store in the past.
"I frame 90 percent of the photos," said Dawson. Most of her business comes from repeat customers bringing in their favorite old pieces and having them re-framed. Dawson says she can have a picture matted and framed for her customer within the same day.
"We have the largest selection of framed artwork in Holmes County," said Dawson.
As you make your way through the store, you find walls lined from floor to ceiling with artwork from artists like Billy Jacobs, Warren Kimble, Bonnie Mohr and even a small selection of Thomas Kincaid pieces. A rustic, country theme seems to be reflected not only in the artwork but also in the home accessories.
Carriage house carries locally made oak furniture, from benches and end tables to bookcases and shelves. Lamps and dining room table settings with table linings and curtains to match are available in traditional country stars and stripes and plaid themes.
"Window treatments are the best sellers," said Dawson. Customers can get curtains for a whole room or their whole house. Carriage house has greatly expanded their curtain line due to their popularity, explained Dawson.
As you walk through the store, you are not just seeing items haphazardly placed on shelves or stacked in a corner. Dawson tries to setup her items to reflect how you might place them in your own home. End tables are set up with lamps and knick knacks next to benches with matching coverings and throw pillows. A dining room table is set with colorful plates and mugs, a rustic table cloth and matching napkins and complimentary centerpieces.
The store is very inspirational to anyone looking to spruce up their home and is not sure where to start. With the holidays fast approaching, country knick knacks and artwork make wonderful gifts for friends and family.
Carriage House interiors is located at 3213 SR 39 between Walnut Creek and Berlin. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information contact Shellie Dawson at 330-893-3653.