Avec Moi Decor Los Olivos, CA
Interview with Michele Power of Avec Moi Decor
Owner: Michele Power
Store Name: Avec Moi Decor
When did the store open? 2010
How did you get started in the business?
Michele Power: I followed my dream! And here I am.
What do you love about owning the shop?
MP: We meet amazing people every day in the store. We hug them as they leave. It’s really amazing. I love shopping at Flea Markets all over the country; it’s the most interesting adventure, and I love the history lessons I get on many items I find there. American Pickers is one of my favorite TV shows!
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the business?
MP: Paper work. Its a nightmare. I love to sell and buy and meet people but the paper work is no fun; it’s a necessary evil. Thank goodness I have people helping me!
Michele’s favorite quote? “If you can’t be yourself, be a unicorn!” They believe in the importance of keeping things fun at Avec Moi Decor!
What is your favorite entertaining or design tip?
MP: If you love it, buy it as soon as you see it! Fall in LOVE everyday if you can. I never hesitate and I have some amazing items that are so special. I don’t care if it’s valuable or super rare, if I love it and it brings a smile to my face, that’s what counts-so I buy it on the spot! Surround yourself with things and people that make you smile. Everything has a story. We love the stories we hear about vintage items I buy, and we try to pass on any story we can about every item in the store.
Do you have any favorite pieces in the store right now?
MP: Its so hard to say which is my favorite. I love vintage furniture; its my passion to restore old pieces and bring them back to their glory. I had two French slipper chairs that came from a French Flea market and were brought here in a container. I cried when I sold them. It was like saying goodbye to a friend!
What is something you have learned in the business that you didn’t expect?
MP: People say the craziest things! They will tell you really amazing stories if you take the time to listen.
What items are your best sellers?
MP: Some of our best sellers that we love are handmade soaps, beautiful sayings on dishes, and wood signs. Vintage silverware is a favorite of mine. I love anything on paper, so we also sell lots of cards from small companies with wonderful art and cute, meaningful sayings on them. I also have a crown made for a baby’s head that gets a lot of attention; it’s so tiny and special!
What inspires you?
MP: People and their acts of kindness.
Tell us about your team members.
MP: love the girls that work for me…they are all like family! I am so lucky. Each one has a special talent.
What is the importance of customer service?
MP: I worked at Nordstrom when I was young and they truly taught me how to follow up and go the extra mile. One of my girls is so amazing at customer service; she gets thank you notes and gift cards sent to her at the store as a thank you to her for her great service. Not me, but she gets this all the time; we laugh about it! Successful customer service is really what keeps a business alive.
What sets your business apart from online shopping?
MP: The feeling you get when you walk through my doors is magical. And we often hug you as you leave! We frequently text people pictures and thank yous after they leave as well. We know that they’ll be back because we like to be unforgettable!
Do you have a favorite customer story?
MP: Well, we have customers who spend $1,000.00 at a time, and then we have a story of someone else who came into to buy her daughter a wedding gift and paid with all of her change. It was a small item but it made us all cry. They are all special if you take the time to listen!
Are there any restaurants or shops in the area that you like to visit?
MP: Yes! We have a great nursery called J Wooste. He’s been open over 15 years; his shop is so great! It’s one of our favorites.
Are there any happenings or upcoming events in your area that you want to share?
MP: We have a small town Country fair every October. This year it’s October 18th, which is our one year anniversary in our brand new location! My family built the building my new store is in, so it is quite an accomplishment and special occasion for us!