Christopher Clayton Furniture
Interview with John Kilduff of Christopher Clayton
When did you open your store?
JK: We opened Christopher Clayton Furniture & Design House in September of 2012.
How did you get started in the business?
JK: We have been in the interior design business for almost 24 years. We found in Edmonton that there seemed to be a shortage of furniture and design centers that were willing to offer products that were a bit out of the box in regards to style, fabrics etc.
What do you love about owning the shop?
JK: We have met some amazing people in the shop from all parts of Canada. We have had clients in from Montreal, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Calgary, and all over Alberta that have all said “this is exactly what we have been looking for!” It’s these comments that make all the hard work rewarding.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the business?
JK: We have found dealing with shipping companies and arrival times of goods into Canada very challenging.
What is your favorite entertaining or design tip?
JK: Get the clients to dig deep and reveal their likes and dreams, this helps us create a beautiful room(s) which reflect their personalities and perhaps push the boundaries for them as well…
PHOTO: Left, Christopher Clayton. Right, Merle Prosofsky Photography Ltd.
Do you have any favorite pieces in the store right now?
JK: We all have our favorite pieces in the store. You will find we have an amazing cross section from very traditional, to quite contemporary, all displayed in a very cohesive manner.
Is there anything in particular that your shop is known for?
JK: We have quickly become known for the variety of styles and colors. Did I say color? You should see our array of fabrics that we display on our upholstery! One can never say that we are very “beige.” We change up our wallpaper and paint colors on the walls frequently to keep our displays fresh. It’s a lot of work, but worth the reaction we get from our clients!
What is your favorite quote?
JK: “I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not sure.”
What is something you have learned in the business that you didn’t expect?
JK: Never underestimate the worldliness of a customer…Information is global today, so they see things and research well before they even come into the store!
What items are your best sellers?
JK: We have a number of great sellers from small occasion chrome and stone tables to larger dining tables. We love the quality of LEE Industries; it is becoming one of our top upholstery lines we carry.
PHOTO: Younger Furniture
PHOTO: Left, right top: Christopher Clayton. Right, middle & bottom: Cindy Gannon Photography.
What inspires you?
JK: We challenge ourselves daily with our displays and bring to Edmonton a level of quality that you don’t find everywhere.
Tell us about your team members.
JK: We are small but mighty. Four designers, Three delivery boys, a receptionist, Three office personnel, and the three owners/partners. All are senior in experience and all love what they do!
What is the importance of customer service? What results have you seen from going the extra mile for your customers or employees?
JK: We do this on a regular basis… In a high end store the expectation is high, and our standards are higher. We treat everyone with respect and value both clients and staff equally. Great clients are hard to find, but so appreciated, and so are great, dedicated employees.
Are there any restaurants or shops in the area that you like to visit?
JK: We go often to Milestones, in our neighborhood.
Are there any other tidbits you would like for us to include in this feature?
JK: We sell wallpaper, carpets, and also recover clients existing furniture too, which is not common in a retail furniture store. We sell ourselves as a design center that sells furniture. We can assist with almost any kind of job big or small.