Bella Casa adds in-house servicesIn 2009, Cheryl Smith-Mohn and business partner Linda Kelly bought KS Interiors from its previous owners and moved the interior design business from Tile Drive to downtown Red Wing, renaming it Bella Casa Interiors in the process.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
In 2009, Cheryl Smith-Mohn and business partner Linda Kelly bought KS Interiors from its previous owners and moved the interior design business from Tile Drive to downtown Red Wing, renaming it Bella Casa Interiors in the process.
Nearly four years later, Smith-Mohn is again giving the business a fresh look.
“We wanted to look at what the future will be,” she said. Previously, the interior design studio sold flooring, designer wallpaper, countertops and window treatments. It also sold consignment furniture. But last April, Smith-Mohn realized Bella Casa was missing something.
“We didn’t focus on the whole picture,” she said.
The solution? Smith-Mohn invited four small business owners — all people who worked with Bella Casa in the past — to round out her design business. Now, Bella Casa’s space at 419 Main St. also will house studios for Storing’s Flooring, Doreen’s Custom Sewing, Welchwoods Custom Cabinetry and Vintage Masonry.
“My goal was to bring experts in all under the same roof,” she said. “Now … we have everyone at the same table; (it) makes it easier for the customer.”
But bringing in the “experts” meant the layout of Bella Casa needed to be reshuffled too. Previously, the main floor served mostly as a design studio, with window treatment, wallpaper and flooring displays taking up most of the room.
The consignment furniture — sales of which make up about 20 percent of Bella Casa’s business — was housed in the basement. Now, the studios for three of the small businesses have their display spaces in the basement.
The main floor of the business is now taken up by the consignment furniture. It’s a move that changed the whole feel of the store, Smith-Mohn said.
“The energy wasn’t there (before),” she said. “Now there’s a fun energy in here. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on my bookkeeping.”
Welchwoods Custom Cabinetry
Jerry Eckstrom has owned Welchwoods Custom Cabinetry for 10 years, but has been woodworking for nearly his whole life.
Out of his workshop on his property in Welch, Eckstrom builds cabinets for newly constructed homes, existing homes, bathroom remodels, entertainment centers and commercial offices.
“Cheryl was looking for someone that builds a quality cabinet that can install,” Eckstrom said. “It was just a logical partnership.”
Eckstrom’s cabinetry display is on the main floor of Bella Casa, and he meets with customers at the store by appointment. Because Welchwoods does no advertising – instead relying on customers’ word-of-mouth referrals – Eckstrom said having a display in Bella Casa will help build his business.
“It’s going to add to it,” he said.
Tony Storing is a fourth-generation flooring installer. By moving into Bella Casa, he said he is the first in his family’s flooring business to actually own a store.
“It’s a whole nother step as far a customer relations go,” Storing said. “I’ve always been a home-based business. My work truck has always been my office.”
Storing’s Floorings offers a variety of carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate and vinyl floor coverings, along with installation and refinishing.
Storing is available in his Bella Casa location by appointment to help customers choose the best type of flooring. But as far as what it should look like, Storing said he usually leaves that part up to Smith-Mohn and designer Anne Marie Bahl.
“They do such a good job with design that I almost feel like I get in the way,” Storing said.
Doreen’s Custom Sewing
Doreen Eichman has been doing custom window treatments and other sewing for Smith-Mohn for years, she said.
“Then I was working out of my home,” she said.
But Eichman’s home workshop limited the size of the projects she could take on. In addition, that space was getting more and more crowded, she said.
“It just wasn’t working,” Eichman said.
Now that she’s moved into the basement studio at Bella Casa, Eichman said the bigger space now allows her to do more reupholstering projects, something that she couldn’t do before. It’s a segment of her business that complements Bella Casa’s consignment furniture sales, Eichman said.
“It all works together,” she said.
In addition to custom window treatments, shades, pillows cushions, and upholstery, Eichman does clothing alterations and custom dance costumes.
Since the move, Eichman said Doreen’s Custom Sewing has gotten more exposure.
“It’s getting busier,” she said.
Casey Cohneour is the second0generation owner of Vintage Masonry.
“We pride ourselves in combining old-world craftsmanship with authentic materials to restore historical, architectural and structural integrity to our clients’ homes and businesses,” Cohneour said.
Vintage Masonry’s services include “basically anything concrete and masonry,” Cohneour said. Those include fireplace surrounds, walkways, archways, water features and concrete countertops.
What: Bella Casa Interiors
Where: 419 Main St.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; by appointment
More information: 651-388-0307, www.bellacasaredwing.com