One of the best things about social media is that it allows us to discover new brands and shops around the country. One wouldn’t normally think of Kansas City, Missouri as a haven for cutting-edge design, but home decor shop Coveted Home is the perfect example of how great new retail locations for decor are popping up everywhere and having a local impact. Owner and designer, Jaclyn Joslin offers her keen eye for great design to those in the area, mixing both new trendy pieces with one-of-a-kind vintage finds. We sat down with her to talk about running a shop as well as her own design business.
How did you get into design, did you feel that vocation from the start or were you on a different path?
I was definitely on a different path. My first year of college was at an art school where I studied photography. After that, I switched schools and became involved in community activism and environmentalism, and only after getting a bachelor degree in humanities did I feel myself being pulled back towards something artistic. A few years after graduating, I went back to school to get a degree in interior design!
You are based in Kansas City, tell us about the design scene in your hometown?
In Kansas City, some of the design scene is a little cutting edge, but most of it is still very rooted in traditionalism. Although, I’ve seen a pretty big change over recent years with the infiltration of online platforms like Pinterest and Instagram that give people access to all kinds of design styles.
What makes Coveted Home a unique retail experience?
We offer a large variety of goods and services. For instance, the other day a woman was in the store and asked me in a very confused tone: “You carry old AND new things?” I forget sometimes that this is a unique concept. The store is truly a mix of old, new, home and lifestyle products. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a strict enough point of view, but for me, somehow the mix works.
You opened up shop in 2008, what inspired to have a brick-and-mortar location besides your design business?
I had wanted a store for a long time. For a while, in my early twenties, I thought it would be a stationery store, and then I thought possibly a shoe store. Once I started design school I knew it would be a store based around the home.
How do you decide what to sell in your shop? Do you have brands that you work with over and over, or are they mostly one-of-a-kind global finds?
Both actually! I have some lines that we always keep in stock like Happy Habitat throw blankets and Convivial Production ceramics. Then we have other artisanal, small batch lines that we bring in. We might re-order the line if it was really popular or we might not if we find another line that we love and want to bring in. Plus, there is the ever-rotating stock of one-of-a-kind vintage and global finds!
How did you want to set up the space, was there any particular design aesthetic or functionality that you wanted to include?
The space was originally intended to house smaller accessories up front in the shelving units and display tables and then house furniture vignettes in the back half of the store. We ended up with not as much furniture offerings as we planned and decided to fill the space with more lifestyle products instead. In terms of aesthetic, I prefer the shop to be a bit of a blank backdrop so the product stands out. White walls and neutral floors everywhere! However, I do have the back walls adorned with hand-painted Porter Teleo wallpaper which I am still obsessed with!
How do you balance the design part of your work with the responsibilities related to the shop? Is there one that takes over more than the other?
This is the hardest part of my job. I’ve told so many people over the years that I actually run two businesses because each is really a full-time job. They really take turns; it just seems to work out that way. When I focus on one, I set it up to take a break for a month or so and focus on the other. It’s a constant back and forth. This month has been all about the shop because of the holidays. So I’ve been nurturing the store, seeing what’s selling, what people are asking for and setting up orders for early 2018. Then after Christmas, I’ll be able to focus on my design clients.
What was a challenge you faced since opening in 2008, any lessons learned?
One challenge?! Ha! Good gracious, every day has a new challenge. Learning how to manage my reactions to these challenges is my biggest takeaway. I try to remind myself that everyone is doing the best they can and to be forgiving. Learning how to let go of things has also been key. I used to hang on to things people said or did and let them keep me worked up for days. It would wreck my concentration and productivity. Now, I’m able to move past an incident in minutes. I’m literally just too busy to be bothered that long about anything and life is too short!
For those of us new to Kansas City, what’s a place you recommend to grab a bite to eat?
Room 39 in midtown! It’s been a favorite restaurant for years. I just moved into a house down the street from it, so I’m currently pretty obsessed.
Take a tour of Coveted Home in our slideshow and shop her wares online here.