Updated: 11:23 a.m. Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | Posted: 11:22 a.m. Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Pink Hippo offers ‘from the chic to the unique’ decor


The Pink Hippo offers ‘from the chic to the unique’ decor photo
Jo Wise, owner of the Pink Hippo in downtown Lebanon, stands in her shop Tuesday, June 29, with beloved her beloved children's toy that inspired her store's name. Staff photos by Apryl Pilolli

By Justin McClelland

Staff Writer

LEBANON —The Pink Hippo may refer may refer to the color “pink” in its name, but store owner Jo Wise said the store’s mission is all about being green.

The newly opened interior design and decoration store in downtown Lebanon offers a variety of reconditioned and refurbished furniture and decor. Much of the store’s wares are refurbished by Wise in her workshop at the rear of the store, while others are crafted by local artisans out of recycled items.

“I wanted to sell things that were different and not mass-produced in China,” Wise said.

To that end, Wise rescues older furniture from the brink of a refuse pile, and fixes it up to create decor that, as her motto describes it, is “from the chic to the unique.”

“I travel all over, from auctions and garage sales to the occasional curb looking for things that just grab my fancy,” Wise said.

Besides unique decorations and furnishings, Wise offers services in interior design, color consultation and repainting of existing furniture.

Wise said that she has always loved decorating and interior design.

“When I was a little girl, I would decorate my Barbie mansion,” Wise said. “Its something I’ve always had a knack for and just loved.”

Wise said that friends and family often asked her to help redecorate.

“Opening the store actually helped me save money because I stopped buying all this wonderful stuff just for myself,” Wise said. She admitted to having difficulty in not taking some of her items home.

“Every now and then, I’m tempted to swap something out of the store, but for now, I’ve left it alone,” Wise said.

The store’s name comes from a beloved toy Wise received when she was five years. Now much faded but still loved, “Pinky” the hippo watches over the store as a mascot and one of the few items not for sale.

Wise’s first foray into interior design was the Open Window, a store within a store she operated out of Cabins and Castles on Mulberry Street. Wise said she outgrew the space and decided to venture into her own storefront in downtown.

“My goal is to have all artisans here someday,” Wise said.

Contact this reporter at (513) 696-4544 or jmcclelland@coxohio.com.

The Pink Hippo

Where: 15 N. Broadway, Lebanon

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday

Info: (513) 836-3738


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