Thursday, July 5, 2012
Kate N Alley’s is changing its look this summer with all new merchandise.
“We specialize in previously loved home decor items,” said store owner Donna Mitchell, of East Brainerd.
Formerly Kate N Alley’s Fabric Store, the business began in the 1980s with original owner Cheryl Erwin. Mitchell began working in the fabric store in 1995 and became the owner six years ago. She said times are changing so she decided to go with a new style of merchandise as the focal point of the store. She still sells draperies too and said customers will flock to the store’s Element Tree Essentials candles that transform into lotion.
“I’m always on the prowl for good consignment items,” said Mitchell, adding that she recovers chairs and refurbishes items. “I have lovely pieces of furniture from California and Singapore. I’m trying to keep high-end home decor, furniture, art, lamps, rugs, home accessories and mirrors.
“I’ve got a lot of fabric to recover things. I cut fabric at home and bring it in the next day.”
She said since she specializes in interior design by the hour and knows many local Realtors, she found the home furnishings consignment concept the best fit overall for the store. Draperies, bedding, cushions and pillows are showcased throughout.
According to Mitchell, the concept of furniture consignment is fairly new to the Chattanooga area but is all the rage in Atlanta and Knoxville among trendy homeowners looking for a bargain. She said the current trends she sees include more linens rather than silks. She also said customers request natural fibers and a lot of neutrals.
Eighty percent of Mitchell’s business deals with designing Roman shades, drapery panels and woven wood for home interiors. She also sells blinds and shutters. She said she has more samples of draperies than anyone in town.
“God gave me some natural talent and I honed in on that to specialize in draperies and now consignment,” said Mitchell. “Draperies, interior design and home decor go together. Consigning has brought me a lot of interior design business too.”