Paloma & Co. Curates Shop By Reflecting On Personal Tastes
When Paloma Contreras, designer and blogger, and her business partner Devon Liedtke, also a designer and a former tabletop buyer, teamed up to open Paloma & Co., their specialty home goods store in Houston, TX, the duo made a commitment to bring unique wares and an immersive shopping experience to the community.
Both avid home entertainers and travelers, the duo, who met when Contreras hired Liedtke to join her design firm Paloma Contreras Design, curates the shop with tableware, home décor and accessories that are a reflection of their personal tastes, as well as that of their design clients and social media following. Their goal is to ensure the shop is filled with interesting finds that while purposeful, are also pleasing to the eye and have a story to tell— a popular formula for reaching today’s home entertaining consumer.
“I had an idea of doing a store for a while. I was used to curating finds on my blog, and then for my clients, and I would have followers and clients following my exact itineraries while I’m shopping or sourcing for projects. I think the common denominator between all of my businesses, be it the blog, my design firm or now, the shop, is sharing things and focusing on things that I’m very passionate and knowledgeable about,” Contreras said.
Just as the tabletop industry and broader retail landscape continues to shift into new territory, the road Contreras followed can also be considered a new path to retail, one that is in response to the changing desires of the consumer.
Contreras began her career as a teacher, yet was always fascinated by design which prompted her to begin her now popular home design blog, La Dolce Vita, back in 2007. At the time, design and lifestyle blogs were a new and popular source of inspiration for design enthusiasts around the globe. Contreras’ devotion to her blog and its popularity led her to soon leave her career in education and start her own design firm in 2013. Soon after hiring Liedtke at the firm, the two women realized their collective passions for the home would become inspiration for opening their shop last year.
Contreras and Liedtke, both fond of entertaining at home and tableware, carefully curate Paloma & Co. in a way that represents their design styles, which is based on various influences such as travels here and abroad, as well as their own personal tastes.
“Our entertaining collections, for example, come from Devon’s passion for tabletop. What’s nice about our shop is that we have everything from handblown glassware from Italy, vintage finds, as well as serveware and other accessories that our customers are happy to bring to a dinner party as a hostess gift or to complete their own table at home,” said Contreras.
Glassware, dinnerware and accessories are often displayed in a way that feels as if a shopper is visiting a good friend’s home, enabling them to peruse offerings that might work best in their home and with what they have already.
“With the role that technology has played, opening up consumers to a broader pool of ideas, we feel it is our role as designers, influencers, or store owners, is to be really authentic with what we’re sharing, what we love and to help our audience make informed purchasing decisions,” she said.