Celebrating the best in independent retail – introducing the 2023 Retail Stars

Welcome to Home Accents Today’s Class of 2023 Retail Stars. This year we celebrate 25 of the best and brightest independent home décor retailers across the country that excel in the areas of visual merchandising, social media and online initiatives, community interaction and outreach, in-store events and business building—all of which distinguish them from the competition. The nomination process included retailer submissions as well as those from vendors, all of which were vetted by Home Accents Today‘s editorial staff. Many of this year’s Stars shared their best retail ideas, the mantra they live by, and the accomplishments that make them most proud.

  • 2Modern, Mill Valley, Calif.
  • Anthem Interiors, San Francisco
  • Banana Manor, New Orleans
  • Bide & Burgeon, Spokane, Wash.
  • Bountiful Home, Easton, Md.
  • Calypso 968, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Clive Daniel, Naples, Fla.
  • Christopher Collection, Birmingham, Ala.
  • David Lyall Home & Design, Lancaster, Penn.
  • Decorum, Norfolk, Va.
  • Delight In Designs, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Furnitureland South, Jamestown, N.C.
  • HER, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • HomeGrown, Haverford, Penn.
  • IBB Design Group, Frisco, Texas
  • Interior Illusions, West Hollywood, Calif.
  • J & B Home Decor & Gifts, Elkhart, Ind.
  • Kenneth Ludwig, Chicago
  • Kindel & Co., Saugatuck, Mich.
  • Leon & Lulu, Clawson, Mich.
  • Mustard Seed Home, Blowing Rock, N.C.
  • Oasis Home, Asbury Park, N.J.
  • Obelisk, Springfield, Mo.
  • Palacios, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • PS Home Boys, Palm Springs, Calif.




Mill Valley, Calif.

Greg Finney, founder and CEO

Retail Star Quality:

2Modern bills itself an “e-commerce-first business pioneer,” having started shipping online orders for furniture as early as 2003. The catalog and web-based retailer globally sources its furniture, lighting and home décor “from Paris to Tokyo” for an inclusive and varied mix of goods curated from A-list to emerging designers and vendors.

Mantra: Treat others the way you want to be treated – in work, life, all touch points. Relationships are everything.

Business highlight: There are many, but I choose 2Modern’s 20th anniversary. I started the company from scratch. By having grown the business organically, we’re able to maintain our integrity and commitments to our customers, partner brands, and employees, alike. Coming off another record year, I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished and of our talented team.


Anthem Interiors

San Francisco, Calif.

Janelle Loevner, founder

Retail Star Quality:

Anthem is The Bay Area’s go-to source for fine home furnishings, décor, and home goods. Loevner brings her expertise in design and merchandising to the retail operation, which spans five locations.

Mantra: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

Business highlight: We are excited to have brought joy and inspiration to our thousands of customers over the past 15 years.


Banana Manor Rug Co.

New Orleans, La.

Scott McKearn, co-founder and co-owner

Retail Star Quality:

Never mind its whimsical name, the retailer promises its shoppers “thousands of rugs, zero bananas.” The 10,000-square-foot floor plan expands outside with the store’s signature “Backyard at Banana Manor” space, where a banana-yellow vintage RV shares a large patch of artificial turf with a selection of novelty outdoor furniture, rugs and décor items.

Mantra: My favorite quote in home furnishings has always been, “You make money when you buy something, not when you sell it.” Giving in to my former business managers in India, after 15 years of pleading to do a joint venture, has made it impossible to beat me on price and for our profitability to be strong, even when selling at factory price points that are below what anyone else is offering.

Most pressing issue facing your business today: The abundance of online rug retailers selling low quality machine-made rugs [misleads] many consumers, [giving them] unrealistic expectations of what they should pay for a handmade rug.


Bide and Burgeon

Spokane, Wash.

Heather Hanley, creative director

Retail Star Quality:

Well organized and supported by a loyal sales team, the historic store offers home décor merchandise and presents it in a thoughtful and curated style for its target shopper of regal and local customers. Sister store Tin Roof, located across the street, expands on the retail experience with an extension of products and styles.

Mantra: Never give up! Never surrender! Just kidding. I’m not sure if I really have a mantra, but I do strive for continuous and never-ending improvement with regard to the business. I want us all to be a little better tomorrow than we are today.

Business highlight: Opening Bide & Burgeon for our 75th Anniversary on the exact day in the exact location my grandfather originally opened his business (in 1945) was really special. I know both he and my grandmother would be proud of the business we’ve built. Bide means to stay in place, burgeon is to grow and prosper – and we’re doing both!


Bountiful Home

Easton, Md.

Jamie Merida, owner and designer

Retail Star Quality:

Bountiful Home is an award-winning retailer of furnishings, home accents, gifts, one-of-a-kind antiques, handcrafted items, custom framing, and Hunter Douglas window treatments. The store is part of The Jamie Merida Interiors family of brands, which also includes: Bountiful Flooring, which offers flooring, carpet, stone, tile, and custom cut-to-fit carpeting; and Bountiful Kitchen & Bath, a full-service kitchen and bath renovation firm. Additionally, company owner Jamie Merida designs a signature collection of furniture and home accents under the brand Jamie Merida Collection for Chelsea House.

Mantra: Service is key, and above and beyond is always the way to go. I know it sounds trite but, truly, “The customer is always right!”

Business highlight: We’ve been in business for over 20 years, and right now – this moment – is the highlight because things keep getting better and better. This year is already set to eclipse last year, which was our best year. We have put together a great team that allows Bountiful Home and its partner businesses Jamie Merida Interiors and Bountiful Flooring to run like a charm on a day-to-day basis, even when I can’t be there. That is a real highlight for me – to have a business that is very busy creating beautiful things, and doing it all in a smooth, efficient way. I’m a lucky guy.


Calypso 968

West Des Moines, Iowa

Karen Seifert and Melodie Barkley, co-owners

Retail Star Quality:

The 24-year-old eclectic gift store aims to engage its customers with “a life-changing shopping experience.” The merchandise assortment mixes antiques and contemporary goods sourced from “thousands of vendors worldwide.”

Mantra: Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

Business highlight: Growing with our customers through the years and not just helping them find that perfect gift but helping them with their life challenges.


Clive Daniel Home

Naples, Fla.

Clive Lubner, chairman; and Daniel Lubner, CEO (father and son team)

Retail Star Quality:

Led by its eponymous father and son duo, this three-unit chain (with a fourth location in the works) offers a total-home approach to home furnishings across a range of décor styles – from modern to traditional to casual.

Social media strategy: We use social media to communicate the personality and authenticity of our brand to our customers. It’s not only a means of showcasing our work, but a space to connect.

Your best-yet retail idea: Our business has been, and remains, project focused.


Delight In Designs

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Jessica Crosby, owner and lead designer

Retail Star Quality:

Soon after opening its doors in 2018, the home décor store launched its inaugural “Ho Ho Home” event. Shoppers purchased 500+ tickets to view a curated Christmas celebration in a local mansion, featuring furnishings from the store. The proceeds went to CASA, an organization that helps abandoned children find love and support. Delight In Designs recently moved to a new and larger location in town that is triple the size of its former spot.

Your best-yet best retail idea: We partner with other retail shops, even with our competitors. Having an event where we partner with other retail shops helps shoppers learn about us and draw traffic to our shop.

Social media strategy: Promote product, events, and even follow our clients’ stories as they purchase product. We have clients submit their newly purchased item and where they put it in their home. It’s a fun way to keep engagement.


HER Home Design Boutique

Indianapolis, Ind.

Keianna Rae Harrison, principal and lead designer

Retail Star Quality:

HER Home Design Boutique is the brick-and-mortar retail side of the HER Home Design family of companies, which also includes an interior design and home staging firm and a residential remodeling firm. The boutique specializes in offering affordable furniture, home furnishings, home décor and accessories as well as jewelry and gifts. Additionally, residential cabinetry, flooring, countertops and vanities are also available for sale. These categories are merchandised in unique vignettes creatively styled around the store’s more than 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Mantra: Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. And to thine own self be true.

Business highlight: Our new brick-and-mortar store is the highlight of my career. I have loved building this business and working toward the opening of HER Home Design Boutique. I remember back in 2017 cutting out pictures of what I wanted my retail to look and feel like and posting those images on my vision board. Now that the vision is a reality, I still look at my vision board every day and thank God for the journey and the blessing


Home Grown

Haverford, PA

Elizabeth Bloom, owner

Retail Star Quality:

Since opening its doors in 1996, the store has built a reputation for being the Philadelphia region’s retail hub of fine tableware and home accessories. The offering spans classic to modern styles available in a range of price point brackets to serve its broad range of customers.

Mantra: Quality, not quantity. Less is more. In a world where everything is seen as relatively disposable, I am a true believer that if you surround yourself with quality goods, you will love them, love the space you’ve created for yourself and your family, and find true contentment in your home. From there, anything is possible.

Business highlight: That’s a tough one because after 26-plus years, we’ve had a lot of highlights. If I have to choose just one, I’d say the styling jobs we’ve done for restaurants and office spaces in and around the Main Line. After a space is beautifully designed and installed, the accessories and the finishing touches really bring it to life. I love working on those projects and seeing commercial spaces transform.


IBB Design Fine Furnishings

Frisco, Texas

Shay Geyer, co-owner and designer

Retail Star Quality:

This full-service fine furnishings store and design center offers both high-quality home furnishings and interior design services. The merchandise offerings span a diverse mix of branded luxury home décor and accessories items that are hand-selected from markets around the world by the company’s in-house team of professional interior designers.

Mantra: The mark of a really good designer isn’t pinpointed to one specific aesthetic but instead their ability to design for each individual client. It’s all about the look and the quality, and how that room is going to function for them. The key to harmony at home is to live amongst what you love.

Social media strategy: One of IBB Design’s primary marketing channels is social media, where we share our designers’ projects and spotlight our in-store vignettes to show our clients how living in style can be easy. We use Instagram (@ibbdesign) to give our customers insight into our home design projects and see behind-the-scenes photos as well as let them know about the latest furnishings arriving daily to our store.

Business highlight: The highlight of my career is working with my mother, Beth Rafferty, IBB Design Fine Furnishings’ founder and highly regarded interior designer. My mom has always inspired and motivated me, which evolved into a passion for interiors and interior products. Each day is an opportunity for me to learn and grow from experiences that enrich my life as a designer.



J&B Home Decor & Gifts

Elkhart, Ind.

Brad Priest, owner and founder

Retail Star Quality:

J&B Home Décor & Gifts shoppers are greeted by Miss Piper (Priest’s Australian Blue Heeler) and fun dance music upon entering the 1,725-square-foot, well-appointed store. J&B specializes in hosting private group shopping parties, complete with champagne.

Mantra: Celebrate everything! From a special occasion to cleaning the house, always make it feel special with your favorite music, your favorite beverage, and a smile on your face.

Social media strategy: My use of social media comes in daily posts on Facebook and Instagram that highlight our new arrivals, fresh displays, and/or gift-giving ideas. But the main use of our social media is our Facebook Live weekend morning show, “LIVE with Brad.” Every Saturday at 9 a.m. ET, we host a 40- to 50-minute interactive broadcast to discuss home décor, gift giving, and new arrivals to our store as well as answer questions from viewers/customers and promote other small independent businesses and local charities.

Business highlight: The highlight of my career has been the community support that I have received. This new “store/adventure” is a tribute to my late husband, Jonathan Tuff (J&B stands for Jonathan & Brad), who passed away unexpectedly on March 28, 2021. J&B Home Décor & Gifts officially opened its doors on September 6, 2022. Miss Piper and I love coming to work every day and sharing all that is J&B with our clients.


Kenneth Ludwig Chicago


Kenneth Ludwig, founder and creative director

Retail Star Quality:

Kenneth Ludwig Chicago is a hybrid of retail, interior design and to-the-trade sales. In-store curated and eclectic vignettes feature samplings of the 100+ vendors included in the merchandise assortment, which includes upholstery, case goods, lighting, fabrics, rugs, artwork, pillows, dining and tabletop goods, decorative accessories, bed and bath linens, wall coverings and gifts. Committed to its community, the business actively supports its local chamber, animal shelter, schools and nonprofit organizations as well as hosts social events such as monthly wine-and-design gatherings, private shopping parties and more.

Mantra: Make sure you are having fun and rewarding experiences in your career. For me, it’s always exciting to see what the next day will bring. It’s never the same in this retail/to-the-trade arena.

Social media strategy: We use social media to enhance our marketing efforts and to promote local sales. It’s a wonderful tool to feature our 100+ line package and new product arrivals to the showroom floor, and to increase our attendance at our parties and open-house events. We use both Facebook & Instagram equally to achieve these goals.


Leon & Lulu

Clawson, Mich.

Mary Liz Curtin and Stephen Scannell, co-founders and co-owners (wife and husband team)

Retail Star Quality:

Located in a former rollerskating rink, Leon & Lulu bills itself as “15,000 square feet of shopping fun.” The mix includes women’s clothing, gifts, books, furniture and home accents priced from $.75 to “Holy smokes, that’s expensive,” notes Curtin. The store also offers several services, including custom upholstery and complimentary design services plus apparel styling and gift-giving advice from on-staff stylists and product experts. The store’s team of designers creates bright, engaging vignettes to give shoppers inspiration and ideas for decorating their homes. Committed to supporting those in need within its Detroit-area community, Leon & Lulu hosts multiple charitable events throughout the year as well as its signature store events like Michigan Made Market, Books & Authors, Fashion Shows and Girls’ Night Out.

Mantra: Use the good dishes every day, always wear lipstick and make every day a party.

Social media strategy: We continuously engage with our customers through email, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, with a focus on storytelling and entertainment instead of pushing sales first and foremost.

Business highlight: Watching the young adults who started working for us when they were kids grow up and use the skills we helped teach them.


Mustard Seed Home

Blowing Rock, N.C.

Madeline Stewart, marketing and merchandising manager

Retail Star Quality:

Mustard Seed Home is a unique blend of biophilic design and mountain lifestyle aesthetic. It offers floral design services and has an exclusive contract with Blowing Rock Country Club as well as interior design and styling for customers who want to bring the store’s merchandise to their homes. The product assortment spans houseplants and floral arrangements, locally sourced and curated gifts, furniture, artwork, lighting and décor. Additionally, the store hosts quarterly “sip and stroll” events as a way to interact with members of its community and other local businesses.

Mantra: I had a soccer coach in high school who always said, “The most valuable player is the one who can play any position.” I apply his quote to every aspect of my life, especially business. Some days we need an energetic person on the retail floor; other days, we may need someone to open inventory and break down boxes. Sometimes, I lead a floor reset; other times, I assist in making floral arrangements. Regardless of the task, adapting to any need on any given day has been an enormous help for me in the management sector of business. While it’s great to be specialized, adaptability and flexibility in business are crucial in a fast-paced work environment.

Your best-yet retail idea: Offering services such as floral and interior design, whether it is as simple as a few bouquets or arrangements or a full interior design project.


Oasis Home Designs

Asbury Park, N.J.

Nancy L. Mikulich, founder and designer

Retail Star Quality:

Oasis Home Designs is the brick-and-mortar retail segment of NLM Design Interiors firm. Since opening its doors eight years ago, the store has moved once to its current (and larger) location, where it offers an array of home décor, upholstery, accessories, wall art, scented candles and more, as well as hosts special events to support the community and local charities.

Mantra: I have two. “Sense of place, sense of space – come home to your senses” and “Every house should be an Oasis. Are you home yet?” These mottos for my design brand translate to my retail brand extension quite naturally in that my store not only sells home décor, upholstery, art, etc., but it also carries our Oasis Home-branded scented candles.

Social media strategy: I use Instagram quite a bit. I will typically post design projects during the week. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, I post “Instagram Specials” for my retail business, such as “Mention this post for an additional discount [on your in-store purchase].” This helps build followers and dedicated shoppers in a destination town.



Springfield, Mo.

Nathan Taylor, owner and principal designer

Retail Star Quality:

Located in a completely renovated industrial structure houses, the store carries a curated assortment of products spanning of-the moment lifestyle brand names and a rotation of design treasures. Obelisk Home is also a favored community gathering spot for both retail shopping and design projects, both large and small.

Mantra: There is no virtue whatsoever in creating beautiful spaces that are not personal and practical.

Business highlight: One of the highlights is that the store turns 15 years old in November. Throughout that time, we’ve grown into a full-service design firm and retail destination that has become a hub of creativity and inspiration for the community. Having this space has been the highlight of my career.


Kiến Vàng Group

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