Marigold Home Interiors bills itself as the Hudson Valley’s premier interior design and home furnishings resource. That is a lofty claim. But owner Maria Mendoza can back it with a wealth of career experience, starting with work as a certified interior designer in New York City. Her business, Marigold Interior Design, thrived in a competitive market for several years, serving clients on commercial, residential, healthcare and hospitality projects. After a successful run, Mendoza split from her business partner and decided to reinvent herself in the Valley, where she had enjoyed a second home for several years.
Mendoza’s original intent was to open up an interior design studio. However, she switched gears and opened the doors of her first retail shop in January 2008.
“It was all an experiment. I sort of challenged myself, although it was a big financial risk,” she said. But five years later, Marigold Home Interiors is still going strong, offering interior design services, custom window treatments, home furnishings, furniture and lighting, gifts and accessories, custom reupholstery, and custom draperies. Mendoza does it all, from shopping trade shows to creating marketing schemes, all the while advising clients on classic and trendy design scenarios.
“It's been a good run, considering eight months after I opened up the business, I was challenged by the hard economy. I looked past the conversations of difficult times, and continued to work endless hours. Five years later, I feel like I am rewarded with great clients, fabulous projects and great profits. So now I just signed up for another five-year lease!”
Initially, Mendoza was unsure whether her services would be in demand by locals. Guided by the “build it and they will come" philosophy, she went forth. Once the store was open, she hand-planted hundreds of marigolds in front.
“I worked super-hard and I prayed to goodness! And yes, my marigolds grew and bloomed abundantly, and yes, people came and patronized my services, and they're still coming!” Mendoza currently has a client base in excess of 1,200 customers and saw sales leap by 150 percent last year.
A typical day for Mendoza involves client appointments for either design consultations, job project management, or measuring for window treatments. And that is even before she arrives at the shop at 10am to join her staff. In the store, the day is filled with non-stop merchandising, bookkeeping, phone calls, making contracts, placing orders, marketing and advertising, design work for clients, preparing for meetings, and greeting walk-in customers. (Customers are usually greeted first by the store mascots, Cooper and Gucci, two energetic standard poodles.) Once a week, Mendoza heads south to accommodate Manhattan clients.
She says that she has never understood the adversarial relationship that some industry colleagues have. “If I can't offer what my customers want and need, I make recommendations for competitors where I think they can get them from."
Daily operations, she said, are guided by a single value: honesty.
“I am honest to my customers on my design opinions, deliveries, any issues that may occur, as well as resolutions I have to offer. I am honest to my staff about what I expect from them to create an enjoyable experience for customers. I am honest to myself about changes I need to improve the shop environment.”
The new year brings innovations to Mendoza’s services. She now carries Hunter Douglas Gallery window fashions displays. The product mix will also emphasize upholstered furniture pieces and new home décor and lighting items.
“Marigold Home Interiors is not just a destination,” Mendoza said. “It's a lifestyle.”
Marigold Home Interior
747 Route 28, Kingston, NY 12401