Interview with Lisa Baggett of ISABELLA BLEU
Owner: Lisa Baggett
Store Name: Isabella Bleu
When did the store open? April 2014
How did you get started in the business?
Lisa Baggett: My love of design and antiques came from my father and uncle. As a young child, I never understood their endless decorating discussions and pursuit of the next great find; not until later in life did I learn that my uncle was designing holiday windows for stores on 5th Avenue in New York City!
I opened my first store when living in Minneapolis, MN. I enjoyed visiting monthly occasional sales that showcased antiques and vintage finds. It was fun seeing what was offered each month, and my love of decorating blossomed. I decided on a whim to open my own store and it has been a dream of mine ever since.
What do you love about owning the shop?
LB: Isabella Bleu is a unique lifestyle store offering beautiful adornments for our customers and their homes. Owning my own store allows me the ability to interact with so many wonderful people. It is a joy to see customers excited about their purchases and sharing their dreams
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the business?
LB: The most challenging aspect of business is finding the right mix of products, while staying loyal to our design style. And of course managing paperwork, marketing, and inventory!
What is your favorite entertaining or design tip?
LB: My favorite design tip would be to have your customers determine what type of feeling or atmosphere they want in their home. This important question will determine their style of decorating and the items they select. I suggest mixing old and new items to give each home it’s own unique personality and character; that way when guests visit their home, they discover something interesting and new about them!
“I’ve discovered that we quickly develop great relationships with customers, because they love our store as much as we do!”- Lisa Baggett, Owner of Isabella Bleu
Do you have any favorite pieces in the store right now?
LB: Yes! I love so many pieces of furniture, jewelry, and accessories in the store. I am often a little to sad to see a one of kind piece leaving the store, even though I know it is going to a good home. My favorite piece right now is a two tier antique buffet that is our statement piece in the store.
Do you have a favorite quote?
LB: My favorite quote is: “If your dreams don’t scare you…they are not big enough.”
What items are your best sellers?
LB: Our bestsellers right now are chests and dressers that can be used in a variety of different ways in many different rooms in the house.
A Testament to Customer Service
“We have a customer who is so excited about Isabella Bleu that she has brought all her daughters and daughter-in-laws into our store to buy for them. She frequents our store often, and even wants to shop in our backroom!” – Lisa Baggett
What drives your passion?
LB: Our customers and their hopes and dreams for their homes. It is an honor to search for the perfect item that they will love as much as we do.
Tell us about your team members.
LB: In addition to myself, our team has 3 other members. I couldn’t ask for better people to work with.
Charlie: My husband and business partner. He is the big picture guy and is a jack-of-all-trades.
Leonard: Handy man and helper of all things.
Sandie: Our manager who brings a wealth of retail knowledge and expertise, not to mention her great personality and people skills.
What is the importance of customer service?
LB: Customer service is the most important aspect of our business. We pride ourselves in getting to know our customers and providing a personalized shopping experience from beginning to end. Design assistance is just one of the specialty services we offer.
What sets your business apart from online shopping?
LB: Isabella Bleu offers a personal shopping experience and consultation that customers cannot find online. We scout out the perfect items to help our customers in their everyday life. Each customer may have a specific need that they convey to us, and we help to fulfill it.
Are there any restaurants or shops in the area that you like to visit?
LB: My favorite restaurant in the area is Milton’s, a farm to table restaurant that has great seasonal menu items. The Queen of Hearts Antiques and Interiors is where I also sell antiques and home furnishing. It’s a great store with over 300 dealers! Sis and Moon is another favorite; it’s an art co-op with all types of handcrafted items, jewelry, & clothing. They also have artist in residence, which makes their shop even more unique!
Do you have any happenings or upcoming events that you would like to share?
LB: We will be having many special events coming up in the next few months, such as Ladies Night Out, Fall Preview Party, & Holiday Open House. Be sure to keep checking in for more details!