There is a new store front in Tremont with a very familiar name. Maybe you saw painters working diligently on the outside of the building on Sampson Street that once housed an upholstery shop and most recently, a photographer’s studio. Or perhaps you saw the day the sign was installed on the side of the building and immediately checked social media to see when the grand opening was scheduled. When the big day finally arrived and you had the opportunity to see the new space to find unique treasures for your home, there was no doubt it was worth the wait. And now with the regular hours the store is open, you don’t have to wait to get your Louisa Jane fix. What could be better?
Welcome to the new home of Louisa Jane-Home Furnishings & Design!
Janet Rocke always loved decorating and the thrill of creating something a little different. While she went to school for engineering, the passion for interior design won out when she started working as an interior decorator. Later, she gained experience as a designer while employed at a kitchen and bath design center. Then in November of 2015, Janet and her cousin, Dawn, opened their own design and furnishing store called Louisa Jane in their hometown of Tremont on West Street. The location was open by “Event Only”, as the space was actually their workshop. Here, they did all the furniture painting, re-purposing, building and carpentry work, so when it was time for an “Event”, it entailed weeks of preparation to prepare the space for retail shoppers. Initially this did not seem to be too insurmountable, as Janet and Dawn both intended to start out slow with their new venture and assumed they would have plenty of time to grow their business to the point of needing a true retail space. Much to their surprise, the business took off right away and it became apparent very quickly their plans for slow and steady growth were being replaced by an ever increasing number of special orders, appointments and continual requests by their customers for more retail hours. In addition, they found themselves hiring more people to help meet the demands for their special design pieces and custom orders. So when the building on Sampson Street became available, it was the perfect solution for the retail part of the business.
When we asked Janet what project she has done that would be one of her favorites, she hesitated and then smiled and said, “The Piano”. A customer had an antique piano that she wanted to keep as a family piece; however, it needed to be updated with a new finish. Unlike many interactions, this customer knew exactly what color she wanted the piano painted and the glaze for the final finish. When she told Janet her plan, Janet’s first reaction was, “Oh no…you don’t really want to paint this piano that shade of mustard yellow!” However, the customer was steadfast in her selection and so Janet and her team started the work. Much to their surprise, by the time the piece was painted and the glaze had dried, it looked fabulous! And when it was delivered, it was just perfect for the space. Janet still smiles to this day and reminds herself that thinking outside the box can be a risk but also have huge rewards. So, whether it is a custom finish on an existing piece, a Louisa Jane original designed and made just for your home, or that perfect find in the store, think different for your home. Think Louisa Jane!