How You Can Help Support Your Local Home Boutique
Many small businesses are moving to online-only sales in these uncertain times.
With the closures of school and business, it’s an odd time for everyone as we take a step back from our regular activities in the hopes of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 — and your favorite local home goods sellers are not immune.
On Sunday, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald asked all non-essential businesses to voluntarily close for two weeks. Gov. Tom Wolf also has suspended dine-in services at restaurants and bars, including in Allegheny County, for at least two weeks. On Monday afternoon, the governor took it a step further and ordered a statewide shutdown of all nonessential business.
In response to the pandemic, many locally owned home decor boutiques already had decided to close, limit hours or move to appointments only. In most cases, the businesses also continue to do online sales.
However, because these mostly are small, privately owned shops, the owners are asking for customers’ continued patronage in the hopes of keeping their businesses going.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a roundup of what your local retail boutiques are doing and how you can support them. Please note this is an evolving situation. We’ll do our best to keep the list updated.
In the meantime, you also can head here for some simple ways to help yourself, and others, during the pandemic.
The Fox Chapel shop is closed until the end of the month. However, owner Kym Pelcher says she will be in the shop answering emails and phone calls from customers. The shop also will continue online sales and is offering free shipping. “Please continue to support all small businesses as best you can, as you always have,” Pelcher writes in an Instagram post.
After initially saying it would operate with reduced hours, House15143 in Sewickley early Monday decided to close up the shop until further notice. Items are available for online purchase.
Also in Sewickley, Gather is closed until the end of the month. Until that time, owner Denise Shirley says she will be cleaning, organizing and planning for a post-COVID-19 reopening. Items, including gift cards, are available for purchase online.
Von Walter & Funk
The lifestyle boutique and event creative has closed its physical location in Lawrenceville until the end of the month. However, the online store is still open for business. The staff also will be available digitally. As of Monday afternoon, customers may schedule curbside pickup and private, scheduled shopping appointments.
Black Cherry Design
Black Cherry Design is open by appointment only at its new location in Garfield. Owner Lauren Piasecki has postponed the design studio’s grand opening party that originally was scheduled for April 3. She says a new date will be determined in the future, when the timing is more appropriate. “Please stay safe and healthy and be as kind as possible,” she writes on Instagram. “We’re all in this one together.”
**Update: The studio is now closed and all designers are working remotely from home.
Hot Haute Hot
On Monday, the owners of Hot Haute Hot in the Strip District expressed their sadness as they announced the shop would be closed for two weeks. “Since we opened 21 years ago on our little corner street in the Strip, we have had so much joy inviting people in, letting them see our world, and be inspired. We have appreciated each and every person that has walked through our door more than you know,” an Instagram post says. Hot Haute Hot’s online shop, which includes new inventory for spring, remains open. The owners also note they will spend the next few weeks cleaning and updating the business website.
The shop carrying works from local makers has closed its physical location Downtown, but customers are encouraged to still shop and support its vendors online. Links to those shops are available on the PG&H website.
A relatively new business in Lawrenceville, Make+Matter — a collaborative studio and storefront by three Pittsburgh designers — says it will close until the owners feel it is safe to reopen again. “We are currently brainstorming how we, our employees, and the local artists and designers that we represent can weather this time,” an Instagram post says. “We will be posting here with more ideas and information this week.”
Contemporary Concepts in East Liberty, and its sister business, Contemporary Concepts Too in Murrysville, is open by appointment only until further notice. Items also are available for purchase online.’”We will still be here just a phone call, email or click online away,” an Instagram post says.
Perry and Lora Sigesmund, owners of PerLora and PerLora Loft on the South Side and PerLora Leather in the Strip District, initially hoped to keep their furniture stores open with amended hours, but by Monday evening decided to close. The warehouse is open for pickup March 17 and then by appointment only. Customers are asked to check the PerLora website for the most updated information. The owners also noted they would be happy to assist customers via email and eDesign.
The architectural salvage and deconstruction company already had temporarily closed its store in Wexford, but on Monday, the company noted it also would be closing its second location in Mars. Owner Brian Cooper typically posts many of his newest finds on the SalvagedPGH Facebook page.
The longtime Shadyside furniture store and design studio posted on March 20 that they were now closed. Products and updates continue to be added to the Weisshouse website. “Feel free to email us during this time,” owner Stacy Weiss posted on Instagram. “We’d be happy to continue to work with you.” weisshouse.com