Community and Family Make A Different Niche! Stand Apart
In a world where retail giants and online shopping platforms dominate, it’s easy to overlook the charm and warmth of a small, locally-owned store. A Different Niche!, owned and operated by the dedicated Faye Milstead, is a hidden gem that has been winning the hearts of its customers for years. Located on a quiet street corner in the heart of a bustling town, this store offers a truly unique and personalized shopping experience. In this article, we delve into the world of Faye Milstead and her one-of-a-kind store, exploring the inspirations, challenges, and community spirit that make A Different Niche! stand out.
The Beginning of A Different Niche!
Before 2020, Faye owned and operated Milstead Glass with her husband. When the store closed, Faye wasn’t sure what to do with herself. “I just wasn’t ready for retirement,” she laughed. Always interested in home decor and customer service, Faye decided to open the new store and continue working with her local community.
“I knew I wanted to keep going with working,” Faye continued. “I love my community and I love serving people.”
When asked about her inspiration for this unique venture, Faye expresses her lifelong love for home decor and gift shopping. She emphasizes that her store caters to various tastes and preferences, offering a wide array of items from candles to shoes, pajamas, and children’s clothing. While the term “boutique” often implies a focus on clothing, Faye’s store is more of a cross between a home decor and gift shop, brimming with diffusers, unique items, and seasonal decorations.
Faye focuses on keeping her 4,000 square foot store filled with brands her customers want. She stocks Mud Pie®, Tyler Candles®, Orleans®, Swan Creek®, and more. Candles are a major part of the inventory, as well as diffusers.
A Seasonal Embrace
Faye’s passion for her store shines through as she discusses her favorite time of the year. ”Fall,” she said without hesitation. “I love fall. So many people want to skip from summer right to Christmas. I like Christmas, too, but I love fall.” She loves the changing seasons, particularly autumn, with its warm colors and cozy ambiance. However, she notes that, for many customers (particularly in Texas) autumn is an afterthought. It’s not really a surprise, given the change of seasons is not always as noticeable as in other parts of the country.
Despite this, Faye remains steadfast in celebrating the beauty of each season, filling her store with seasonal decor, including pumpkins and Halloween items during this time of the year.
Choosing Local Community over Online Convenience
Listening to customers plays a crucial role in Faye’s business strategy. She listens attentively to their preferences and requests, adapting her inventory to meet their demands. She values the importance of carrying unique and locally unavailable items, distinguishing her store from larger competitors like Kirkland’s or Hobby Lobby.
When competing with these larger stores, it is even more crucial for Faye to be attentive to her customers. She can’t afford to stock everything, regardless of its sales. Still, this attentiveness to her customer base, while requiring more work, further strengthens her relationship with her community. Establishing a relationship with local customers helps give Faye her repeat business. In simple terms, it’s about relationships, not just sales numbers.
Faye acknowledges the rise of online shopping but emphasizes the importance of the local community. She has chosen not to take her business online, instead, relying on the support of loyal local customers who appreciate the experience of visiting her physical store. “I will never sell online,” Faye stated. “You miss out on so much when running a mostly online business. For me, it’s the experience of greeting you as you enter the store. I will talk to you to find out what you’re interested in. We work together to make sure you are happy with your purchase. This is only possible in a physical location.”
Faye believes in the power of hands-on shopping, where customers can see, touch, and feel the items they purchase. She proudly maintains a clean, organized, and inviting store that encourages you to linger and explore. It’s the experience which makes the difference.
Relationships are Everything
With rising costs and competition, Faye faces challenges in maintaining affordable prices while keeping her store stocked with unique and high-quality items. She recognizes the importance of local support and her commitment to providing reasonable prices despite the changing economic landscape. For Faye, the sense of community is worth the challenge. It was this sense of community that encouraged her to continue working in the first place.
Faye’s commitment to community engagement is evident in her dedication to spending time with her granddaughters and offering a special day each week to do so. “I will never work on Sundays,” Faye explained. “Spending time with my family is the most important thing in the world to me.” When Faye shows the same attitude toward her customers, it’s no wonder she has made a name for herself as a beloved local business owner.
While Faye has chosen not to sell online, she recognizes the value of social media in reaching a wider audience. She regularly updates her social media profiles, sharing images and information about the store and its offerings, thereby connecting with customers and keeping them informed about the latest arrivals and promotions.
A Different Niche! is more than just a store; it’s a testament to Faye Milstead’s unwavering commitment to providing a unique shopping experience for her local community. Her passion for home decor, personalized service, and dedication to her customers set her store apart in the retail landscape. Faye’s story reminds us that, in an era of digital convenience, the spirit of local businesses and the personal touch they offer should never be underestimated. A Different Niche! is a shining example of what can be achieved when one’s heart is in the business, and the community is embraced with open arms.
A Different Niche!
2114 McCaleb Road, Building A, Suite 100 Montgomery, Texas 77316
Hours of Operation
Tuesday through Friday: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Closed: Sunday and Monday