It’s the story you tell without saying a word. A story portrayed by the look and feel of your home, whether guests are coming over or you are staying in. A story told by the paint that covers your walls and the pillows that land haphazardly on your couch.
So the question is this—are you telling your true story?
“So many people just don’t have the time anymore to decorate the way they would like to,” explains Jan LeVan, co-owner of Ambiance, a home décor and gift store located in St. John. “We love showing our customers how they can take something original and unique in their home and build around it with new and beautiful things. It’s all about getting inspired again.”
Indeed, all it might take is one step inside the new store to get inspired once again. Filled to the brim with elegant yet simple, trendy yet classic merchandise, owners LeVan and Tina Hines are proud to offer something a bit out of the ordinary to area shoppers. “Both being from this area, we both have shopped here often and have found most stores, whether boutiques or big box, carrying very traditional merchandise,” explains Hines, who has worked in retail for the past 10 years. “We wanted to offer something completely different, merging the old with the new to create a truly unique atmosphere.”
This unique atmosphere is on display right when you walk in the door, making the biggest impression through a feature focus stone wall and recycled palette tables to showcase merchandise. The owners also dedicate much time collaborating and showcasing the work of fellow women-owned businesses. “We feature many local artists and designers throughout the store,” remarks Hines, who opened the doors of Ambiance on August 5. “We love to give back and work with creative people like ourselves.”
Next year, plans are to expand the Ambiance brand to include interior design home services. “Both Jan and I are always on hand to listen with both ears to our customers,” says Hines, who lives just blocks away from the store. “We look forward to a time when we will provide our customers in home services, but until then, we love when someone comes in with pictures of a particular place in their home and ask how we can jump in and help them with it. It’s like bringing their house into our store.”
Because while both LeVan and Hines know how fun and wonderful designing the interior of a home can be, they also know that doing it will leave their customers more time to truly spend on what’s most important—family and friends.“We like to say the store is not who we are, but just a part of who we are,” reflects Hines. “We are passionate about what we do, but we are all about getting out and living one’s life.”
“I came home from the store exhausted the other day, and my 23 year old son looked at me and told me how proud he was to see how far I have come in my career,” concludes LeVan. “That’s truly what it is all about.”