May 24, 2024
Home Flavor: Area woman opens home decor shop in Johnstown

By Charles Erickson/For the Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN – Sonya Christiano has worked in retail for about 30 many years, such as stints at local outposts of some of the national chains.  She is not dismissive of Significant Retail, with their platoons of purchasers and merchandisers and marketers, but explained the way they have a tendency to do things tends to make her take pleasure in what she has been ready to execute in her single retail outlet.

Christiano is the proprietor and sole personnel of Household Taste, a residence décor store which opened in April 2021 at 18 North Current market St.

“I’m responsible for each minor element,” she mentioned inside of Dwelling Taste late on a modern Saturday afternoon.  “When anyone arrives in and they are thrilled to see the shop and they give you compliments, that is seriously heartfelt for me for the reason that I pick out each and every single point in the store.”

For the last 13 months, Christiano’s skilled lifetime has straddled the two finishes of the retail spectrum.

“I just decided I’d experienced ample of only doing work for anyone else,” she said.  Her retail occupation incorporated stops at Trend Bug, Lane Bryant and T.J. Maxx, where she experienced been a division head.  She continue to performs element-time in the T.J. Maxx store on N. Comrie Ave. 


Early last year, Christiano notified her manager that she would be scaling back again her several hours as she prepared to launch her retail store.  She then commenced hunting for a appropriate spot.  A pal suggested that Christiano glance at the vacant storefront at 18 N. Marketplace St.  She drove earlier and was taken by the suitability of the room having a large sidewalk display window.

Residence Flavor opened final yr on April 24.

“It’s been a number of points,” Christiano said.  “It’s been a tattoo parlor.  It is been a flower store.  It was, I feel, an business office of some type.  Everybody asks, because of the sink.” 

A counter juts from a wall in the middle of the keep.  It incorporates a sink and most likely dates to when the put was employed for advertising flowers.  Christiano uses the counter to exhibit items getting a back garden topic.  There are serving trays, watering cans and birdbaths.  Christiano’s fiancé, Richard Negus, tends to make the birdbaths out of concrete poured into molds formed like diverse styles of leaves.

Christiano had possession expertise right before opening House Flavor.  From 2010-14, she operated Stuffable Creations, a Johnstown store in which individuals created their have Teddy bears.  The keep catered to particular situations such as birthday events.  It was not a traditional retail centre, and Christiano nevertheless yearned for a retailer in which she could sell items for residence décor.

Pleasing TO Several Tastes

Dwelling Taste options themed sections in the retail outlet.  Some themes are permanent even though the shares of other folks are rotated on and off the flooring all through the 12 months.  With the themes, Christiano tries to have objects which charm to a vast audience.

“It’s about who you are as a person and what you delight in, and it displays in your home,” Christiano explained.

The Farmhouse Selection portion is situated on a wall just within the entrance doorway.  It is a person of the long lasting themed sections and it a short while ago contained products including a kitchen area canister established for flour and other consumables, candlestick holders, weighty bookends cast in the shape of fleurs-de-lis and a tin indication studying “Farm Fresh new Absolutely free Selection Organic and natural Eggs.”

“We’ve acquired a good deal of white-and-black, a good deal of the galvanized things,” Christiano mentioned.  “Animals.  The stuff with texture – the burlap.”

Just beyond this part, in a little nook, Christiano uses the house to host various themes.  On the 1st Saturday in May, the topic was yellow and lemon – with all objects linked to that color.  A sign showed a plump bee together with the text “It’s excellent to be the queen.”  Past themes in the nook have been pink cars and crimson trucks.

Five tables have been positioned in the rear of the retail store, along with some cabinets and a scenario.  The Adirondack, Beach front-Sea-Coastal and Shabby Stylish sections are right here, and Christiano mentioned merchandise from these themes have been some of her most effective sellers.

“This keep is a distinctive area,” explained Rhonda Brown of Johnstown.  She explained herself as a typical patron of the retail outlet.  “You uncover unique, high quality points at acceptable prices.”

Selling prices on latest stock ranged from $5.99, for some salt and pepper shakers, to $100, for a established of three shabby chic candlesticks. 

“I’m delighted with the way points have been going and people’s response to them,” mentioned Christiano, born and raised in Gloversville.  “It’s been genuinely fun.”

Hand-etched mugs, depictions of deer, moose and bears on collectible figurines and other objects, and rustic indicators ended up observed on the Adirondack desk.

The section with things relating to the seaside and sea, most with a bluish shade, provided pillows, baskets, block indicators, seashore wraps and windchimes.

“The coastal things, primarily at Xmas, was a big vendor for the reason that people today up listed here have relatives who reside in the south,” Christiano reported.  “They despatched it to them.”

Quite a few of the things from the Shabby Chic area were sand-colored and highlighted a blend of wooden and metallic objects.  There ended up painted baskets and standing image frames, alongside with modest mannequin collectible figurines.

“Sometimes, people will pin postcards or images to them, or set necklaces or jewellery on them,” Christiano mentioned of the diminutive mannequins, which had the curves of this sort of fixtures as utilised in the 19th century.

“I just adore the way she shows the merchandise,” said Rita Hinkle, a shopper from Saratoga Springs.  “It just retains you wanting.  The new merchandise – she keeps turning stiff above, very usually.”


Christiano just lately began utilizing Facebook’s Store application to market specified Dwelling Taste items.  She mentioned she hopes online revenues will come to be a wonderful enhance to the bodily keep but thinks in-person income will always outsell all those on Fb simply because customers can hold the merchandise as a substitute of only seeking at images.

Feminine consumers seriously outnumber the guys, according to the operator, but she reported some males are regulars and they like to get things from the store’s range of candles.  

In a time of superior gasoline rates and financial inflation, Christiano feels it is essential for a shop like hers to function in her property community.  She knows her viewers, she stated, and did not have to have to be sent merchandising and pricing advisories by a headquarters for field employees.  This is Tiny Retail.

“I check out to get various points, stuff you are not going to uncover at all the other merchants all around,” Christiano said.  “You arrive in here with $20 or $25 and you can get a awesome gift for anyone.”

Images, taken by Charles Erickson, for use in his story about House Taste in Johnstown:

Adirondack 1 and Adirondack 2

Sonya Christiano with some of the Adirondack-themed merchandise she sells in her Johnstown retail outlet.  Dwelling Flavor opened in 2021.  The leaf-shaped item she is holding is a birdbath and will come from the store’s backyard section.

Farmhouse 1 and Farmhouse 2

Sonya Christiano, operator of Home Flavor in Johnstown, opened the residence décor keep in April 2021 following spending most of professional profession functioning for retail chains.  The keep is located at 18 North Current market St.  “The hardest element was obtaining a put in city,” she claimed.  “And then it just kind of took on its have normal training course.”

House Flavor 1

Residence Taste opened in April 2021 in a storefront at 18 North Sector St. in Johnstown.  Proprietor Sonya Christiano has labored in retail for about 30 years.

Shabby 1 and Shabby 2

Sonya Christiano, proprietor of Household Taste, stands among the Shabby Stylish and Beach-Sea-Coastal topic sections of her retail outlet in Johnstown, which opened 13 months ago.  “Business has been wonderful,” she said.  “People have been seriously supportive and joyful with the products.”

Correction 12:17 p.m. 6/8/22: An earlier picture caption had the incorrect handle for the retail outlet. Home Flavor is at 18 North Market St., Johnstown