An Englewood-based retailer opened its third store in four years in the Mall at Fairfield Commons.
The Primitive Shoppe, founded in Englewood by Rick Joseph and husband Shaun Gatrell of Dayton, opened Friday at the Beavercreek Mall, adding to the company’s original store in Englewood and one-year-old store at the Lima Mall. The store is open normal mall hours in the former Leggings Park location on the top floor near the Macy’s entrance.
“I’ve always wanted to open some sort of business, but I didn’t think it would be this,” Joseph said. “Our moms are both crafty, so we just kind of took it upon that and you just learn as you go.”
The Primitive Shoppe sells a variety of home decor and gift “primitive” merchandise, both from vendors and that the duo creates on their own. When Christmas season comes around, Joseph said he sits in the back room on his sewing machine making snowmen. Though Gatrell has a job outside the business, he also builds furniture and many of the display pieces in the stores.
Among some of the best sellers are outdoor and garden decor and their fragrance department, which includes Elida Candles, Keepers of the Light, The Candleberry Co. and Crossroads Candles, according to a statement from the Mall at Fairfield Commons. The store will also sell grapevine trees, novelty pet items, outdoor décor, soaps, textiles and jewelry.
“The Mall at Fairfield Commons is excited to welcome The Primitive Shoppe and their unique retail experience to our visitors” said Leanne Rubosky, general manager. “This store will be an excellent addition to the rest of our retailers.”
While many other retailers, espeicially in malls, are closing, smaller boutique-style stores like the Primitive Shoppe have been opening new locations.
“We do hand-made items, one of a kind, that you can’t find anywhere else,” Joseph said. “And the thing I get from customers a lot is that our prices are really reasonable. They’ll try to say they can buy something off Amazon, but in reality my prices are still cheaper.”
The business is currently hiring workers that can make customer connections for the Beavercreek store. Joseph plans to primarily continue his day shifts in the Englewood store and stop by the Mall at Fairfield Commons in the evening.
“My customers here (in Englewood), they get upset when I’m not here,” Joseph said. “When we first opened up Lima, I was up there two days a week and I was only in Englewood three and our sales started to decline … I made myself full time here in Englewood and our sales climbed back up … You have to have that relationship with your customers.”
Every year since the company launched in 2015, it has grown, he said. The first store in Englewood moved to a larger locatoin, followed by opening the Lima store and then expanding it and now the Mall at Fairfield Commons location. Across the company, the Primitive Shoppe has grown to about 15 employees.
“We’ve always wanted to be in that mall. I told Shaun last night, Brookstone used to be in this mall and I loved that store. I never thought we’d be opening our own store in this spot,” Joseph said.
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