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At Home On Main Street: One resolution at a time

 

Last updated 2/15/2007 at Noon



Marie Kinnaman, owner of the charming retail store At Home On Main Street, decided to enforce her very own 2007 New Year’s Business Resolutions. Rather than remaining complacent with her past business philosophies, Kinnaman embraced a few new ones.

“We are trying to make a change in three areas a little bit this year,” Kinnaman said.

Her personal interest in these areas foster product enhancement, promote fair trade and environmental issues. While jetting across the nation attending trade shows this season, these resolutions radiated from within, guiding Kinnaman in her future purchases.

“I’ve decided that there is so much available for the home right now that I would like to think that the things I sell are useful and beautiful at the same time,” Kinnaman explained. “If you are going to have something sit on your table in your home, why not make it a bowl, a vase or candlestick?” Aside from classic artwork, such as a sculpture, Kinnaman is promoting a dual purpose in her inventory.

In reference to where items are manufactured, Kinnaman is leaning on the side of purchasing items around the globe rather than in countries which dominate universal production.

“Two of my other favorite words are ‘fair trade,’” she explained. “That means…the country manufacturing something is paying a fair wage and the people making it are able to make a living from what they are doing.” Kinnaman is passionate about fair trade and conveys the importance of it when purchasing products for her retail shop.

While Kinnaman finds going to trade shows in New York an exuberant experience, she is especially fond of The Buyers Market of American Craft in Philadelphia. She explained these pieces are truly eye-catching, as they are all handmade by artists in the United States and parts of Canada. “It’s probably my favorite show for finding the truly unique and handmade items.”

The last important resolution Kinnaman expressed was in reference to the material for packaging. As a merchant, she relayed that she feels responsibility to the environment.

Kinnaman said with the high volumes of orders they receive, her business makes a conscious effort in recycling. “We give the Styrofoam peanuts and popcorn packaging to three or four people in town who have businesses that ship. They take it off our hands and it is reused again,” she said. This type of teamwork truly pleases Kinnaman.

One resolution that will always exist with Kinnaman, she says, is to provide blue-ribbon customer care. This viewpoint is the cornerstone of Kinnaman’s business, and one that she treasures. “My favorite part of the business is to work with the customer,” she said, smiling.

 

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