HEARTWOOD AND WHIM
A BRIEF Q/A WITH OWNER BARBARA MULLER
Where did you get the inspiration for the store and is there a particular place that you modeled the idea after?
A clothing boutique has been a dream of mine for sometime now. It all started with my love for clothes and fashion. I took this passion of mine and moved to NYC (one of the Fashion capitals of the world) for about 3 years, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Merchandising, doing tons of internships from retail, to corporate, and working many fashion shows. I then moved back home where my entire family is and worked in Marketing and Advertising for 4 years. This store encompasses everything I enjoy in life. People, customer service, business, fashion, and marketing.
There is no particular place I modeled the store after, however I do love Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper. The interior design of the store just stems from my personal style and taste and my entire brand has tons of meaning behind it.
The inside of the store is visually stunning, how did you learn to curate and what aesthetic were you going for?
First of all thank you. One of my main goals was providing my clientele with an amazing in-store experince. I've always had an interest in interior design and that being tied in with my creativity helped with the design of the store. I also believe in the tiniest of details being so important.
The store was designed to represent modern county rustic mixed with industrial. I want my clientele to feel the positvity and beauty of the atmosphere as soon as they walk in the door.
Explain to people the range of styles, brands and pricepoints that you carry at Heartwood and Whim.
I like to say I have something for everyone.Styles range from vintage, bohemian, chic, artsy, casual, sophisicated, exotic, preppy, tomboy, trendy and western. As for a range of brands carried, a few designer are Dooney and Burke, Chanel, Coach, Michael Kors, Prada, and Chloe. Other brands like Free People, H&M, Forever 21, Talbot, Croft and Barrow, Bebe, Levi Strauss, Lucky Brand, Ralph Lauren, Macy's, Chicos, etc. And lastly, the price points really depend on the brand name and wear of the upcycled clothing. An average price point in store is about $14-$16. A comment I have been getting from my clientele is that my prices are great, which makes me super happy. I also carry a donation bin in the store where anybody who comes in can take for free.
I know it is important to constantly get new product, can anyone come in and bring clothing items? How often do you get new product? What do you typically looking at product?
Of course. I don't turn anyone away. All I ask is that they contact me first with a day and time they will be dropping off so I am prepared. I get new product in almost everyday, which is so exciting for my sister and I. When it comes to looking at product, I check for stains, rips, and tears. The clothig must be clean. If it comes in with wrinkles I steam it, and every item gets sprayed with a vanilla and patchouli spray. (just another little detail)
Have you been happy with the turnaround so far? Do you think there is a sustained market for your customer base?
I have been more than happy. Because of the beautiful items people bring in, the turnaround has been farely quick. I already developed a group of loyal customers and have had a large group of amazing consignees, who make all of this even possible.
Yes I do. After doing a ton of research before going out on a "whim" with my store, recycled fashion is here to stay and more and more people are joining the movement.
Barbara can be contacted via email: