GREENWICH, Conn. Even as other small business owners are struggling, one Long Island couple is bringing a piece of SoHo to Greenwich with the opening of their designer lampshade store within Estate Treasures on East Putnam Avenue.
Marc Engleson, who co-owns Just Shades with his wife Bonnie, says they have not had many customers yet and are still trying to figure out the clientele in Greenwich. Just like in Manhattan, theyre looking for something nice. They dont want Kmart or WalMart shades. They want to know theyre getting quality for a good price, he said. People are always looking for top-quality shades.
Just Shades has been in Greenwich for only a month, but the business is more than 40 years old. Marc took over eight years ago when the former owners were looking to retire. He said it took a few years of persuading to get Bonnie, who has a strong background in sales, on board. We were nervous a couple working together. It could be dangerous. When we started working together, we do it well, he said.
The couple says they initially were not looking to expand, but the opportunity presented itself when Estate Treasures owner Harriet Roughen was looking to lease out the space. There are so many designers who told us to get into Greenwich, said Bonnie. Its the place to be because there are so many design resources. Now its just a matter of getting the word out.
The store offers custom and ready-made shades in any size made from a range of materials, including paper, linen, pure and synthetic silk, sheepskin and mica. The name may be Just Shades, but Engleson plans to bring in lamps soon as well. In Manhattan, most of his clients own furniture galleries or are antiques dealers. I dont want to be competing with my customers, he said. People told us they want lamps up here. It wont be a large selection, but it will be different.
Just Shades doesnt just service the interior design and walk-in trade. It has provided shades for movie and television sets, including, Boardwalk Empire, Smash, Sex and the City, the Spiderman franchise, and the upcoming Men In Black III.
Were out there, and were providing shades for the whole industry. We do businesses with hotels and restaurants, he said. Weve got a great reputation, and we deal with everybody. When Harriet [Roughen] heard our name and our reputation, she decided we were the one.
Just Shades is located within Estate Treasures at 1162 E. Putnam Ave. and in Manhattan at 21 Spring St.
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