LONG BEACH — A mutual love of the beach and home decorating has led to a business success for two local women, as Karyn Zigler and Kathy Mathews are happily moving into year eight of their joint venture, Home at the Beach.
Zigler and Mathews became fast friends when first meeting as neighbors nine years ago.
“We had a passion to refurbish old furnishings, to bring them into the 21st century, by updating them with paint and make them more compatible with a coastal twist,” said Zigler.
At the time, Mathews and her husband had a small space in one of the local antique malls and invited Zigler to join them and add to their collection of refurbished and repainted furniture and accessories. Zigler said they knew before long they needed more room, so they acquired a second space in the antique mall to accommodate their growing hobby.
“We soon realized by the many customers and their comments that the space we were in did not reflect our style and design sense,” Zigler said.
So after the two women spoke to a number of business owners and friends, they decided a store front of their own would be in line with what they wanted to do, leading them to open Home at the Beach — a name Mathews had been saving to use for a business someday.
“Our friends were very helpful and helped us to make the decision to open up a coastal-slanted gift shop, because after all, we live on the coast,” Zigler said. “We felt the Peninsula had a lot of shops catering to our tourist population but not a gift shop for the local community. And there was real need for a more upscale feel and big city style close to home.”
They moved into one of the suites at 110 Pacific Avenue S in Long Beach, across the breezeway from Long Beach Pharmacy.
Professional design eyes
And while they have a passion for the work, the two also have a background in it, as Zigler worked for a large home building company and designed and chose all the furnishings and accessories for the model homes, and Mathews has an art background and a strong design sense.
“What do you get when you put two creative women together who are decor professionals, passionate about decorating, love a good bargain, believe in recycling and reusing, and live on the ocean?” asked Zigler. “If you are lucky enough to live by the ocean, then you are lucky enough! But if you don’t, you can still have a coastal look and feel wherever you live.”
And while the two may have started more on the decor side — their business offers a variety of home decor and furnishings — they also offer a full-service design center, offering things like floor coverings, counter tops, backsplashs, wall coverings, window treatments, and they recently added cabinetry. They also have developed a staging business for homes that are readying for sale.
“We have staged many homes from Long Beach to Seaside,” Zigler said. “We have also staged hotel rooms in Astoria.”
Home At The Beach offers in-home or business design consultations to assist clients in discovering just the right design for their space or projects.
“We have select contractors, electricians, and plumbers that we refer to our clients,” said Zigler. “A good number of our clients are individuals who try on their own to find a contractor but have had poor experiences in the process.”
Found their niche
So how do Zigler and Mathews make it work in an area known best for its tourist economy?
“We pride ourselves for giving excellent customer service and word of mouth,” said Zigler. “We also make sure we offer one of a kind gift and décor items and the latest trends and decor in our design business. Tourists and locals are pleasantly surprised to find our shop has unique gifts and décor.”
And while their business is a bit of a niche market, Zigler said they made it work for them.
“We discovered a need for people on the Peninsula to have a business they can come to that offers more than the typical tourist gift items,” she said. “We have many people who have moved here as full-time or second home owners that are refurbishing, remodeling or building, and now they have a business they can come to offering design assistance, contract referrals and a showroom with flooring, countertops, window treatments, cabinetry and much more.”
Home at the Beach will be holding a Holiday Open House on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and will feature door prizes, discounts on holiday décor, music, and a surprise visit from Santa.