OK we can all agree that 2020 has not played out at all how we have expected. But we continue to be so thankful for our remodel and new build customers who continue to shop with Village Home Stores even during these (forgive us for using an exhausted phrase) “unprecedented times” for a small business. There are bits of good news everywhere when you seek them out. One of the highlights of our Summer at Village was finding out we were again named a Showroom of the Year by Furniture Lighting & Decor Magazine! That’s a big deal for our small business!
We promise that Natasha and Keri are all smiles behind those masks! There were no in-person awards this year. Instead the 11th annual Showroom of the Year Awards took place live on Facebook. Just like these awards (and rest of the country), we are adapting any way we can to make our online and in-person customer experience as safe and easy as possible. And how showrooms cultivated business amid the pandemic was a common theme we noticed reading the write-ups on other SOTY winners.
“In an environment that is proving challenging for any retailer, the winners of the Showroom of the Year Awards this year have proven that through forward-thinking practices, determination and ingenuity, retail, even during a pandemic, is viable,”Diane Falvey, Editor-in-Chief, Furniture, Lighting & Decor.
Village Home Stores thankfully had our lighting products available to shop online ahead of this year, but adding a webchat feature earlier in the year proved to be a great tool for our small business in 2020. This was especially helpful during the weeks of closed access to in-person shopping and appointments with our customers. Now we are able to have our showroom open to walk-in traffic and appointments following CDC guidelines including the use of facemasks by staff and customers.
There were 11th Annual Showroom of the Year winners named in many revenue categories and were so excited to be named alongside some of these heavy hitters in the lighting industry! Revenue Under $2 Million: Village Home Stores; Geneseo, IL Revenue $2-$5 Million: NorthWest Lighting and Accents; Mount Prospect, IL Revenue $5 Million and Over: Dulles Electric Supply; Sterling, VA Outstanding Merchandising: Lightform Lighting; Scottsdale, AZ Community Involvement: Idlewood Electric; Highland Park, IL Social Media Star: Progressive Lighting – Sugarloaf; Duluth, GA. Winners were profiled in the July/August issue of Furniture, Lighting & Decor magazine (shown below).
So who decides the winners? An accomplished panel of judges carefully reviewed the entrants in the 11th year of this esteemed competition: Bobby Berk, interior designer and Design Guru from Netflix’s “Queer Eye;” Melissa Galt, an interior design business coach, marketing consultant, business speaker and author; and Caroline Hipple, President of Norwalk Furniture. Thank you to all of these judges for your time and votes. We do our best to evolve our products and the showroom to adapt to the changing needs of our clients. One big category in the industry is smart home and connected lighting tech.
There are lots of amazing options available for automation and voice-activated feature for your home lighting. Keri and Natasha continue to receive training on this topic and have even began installing some products in the Village Home Stores showroom. Not only are these two women lighting and tech experts, they also have incredibly great taste! Keri and Natasha can help you select the perfect light for your project! Check out this recent segment from our weekly TV show The Village Home Show that includes some lighting trends and tips:
Thank you so much to Furniture, Lighting & Decor Magazine and to all of our amazing customers for your continued support of independent lighting retailers. Are you looking for a single light, or lighting for your entire home in the Quad Cities region? Village Home Stores is here to help! You can learn more about our second-generation owned small business and shop products here at villagehomestores.com Or of course you can stop by our award-winning showroom too! We are open M-F from 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 9am-noon. Give us a call at (309) 944-1344 or text with our team right now with the chat feature right here on the blog.