Posted on | February 19, 2015 | 1 Comment
There is an abundance of home stores across the state that reach out to address the home décor needs of savvy shoppers. And then there is Blacklion. Founded in Charlotte in 1996, by Nita and Bob Emory, this wonderfully unique store is North Carolina’s go to destination for shoppers interested in all things related to home décor. By offering an extensive selection of furnishings and accessories, Nita and Bob have set up Blacklion as a multi-merchant shopping center – where numerous design experts rent space in order to offer homeowners a fantastic selection of handpicked home goods.
Images Courtesy of Blacklion ©
Blacklion was the first store of its kind, and both the flagship location in south Charlotte as well as the Huntersville location remain near and dear to the community that embraced it almost 20 years ago. North Carolina Design sat down with Nita to find out what is so special about this store – both to Charlotte, and to the shoppers who visit.
“I think part of our appeal is that we offer the best of two worlds,” she begins. ”We have 68,000 square feet of space. However, our individual merchants have come in and built their own unique spaces and created their own separate environments. So, it’s one big store with one central checkout, but it still offers a huge variety of original and unique merchandise.”
Variety is indeed the cornerstone of Blacklion’s enduring appeal. “We have every category of furniture and décor,” says Nita. “Traditional, transitional, modern, mid-century modern – our selection runs the whole gamut, with everything from farmhouse styles to over-the-top dressy styles. We have furniture from major sellers like Hooker, Bradington Young, Robin Bruce and Broyhill, and we have one-of-a-kind repurposed and recycled handmade furniture.”
Whatever their style preference, shoppers can count on Blacklion for offerings that are fresh and current. “We stay on top of what’s popular,” affirms Nita. “We pay attention to the color of the year, and what’s new in furniture and décor. We also change out our displays to reflect seasons and holidays.”
Nita credits much of Blacklion’s success to the store’s merchants. “They are so talented,” she explains. “They have a special expertise for bringing in items that people really want to purchase – things that are different, exciting, and on-trend. Shoppers know they will see something new every time they come.”
Shoppers also know they will have the luxury of instant gratification. “You don’t have to order a piece and then wait for it – you see it, you buy it, you take it home,” says Nita. “In addition, our merchants focus on finding good buys, so we can keep items at a reasonable price point. Shoppers don’t have to deliberate – they know they are getting a great look for the money.”
Blacklion’s variety, quality and value make it a wonderful resource for those in the trade, as well. “Designers often come in and shop with their clients,” Nita explains. “They know they can accessorize easily here – there are no catalogs, there’s no waiting, and there are so many options to choose from.”
Blacklion doesn’t just benefit shoppers – it provides merchants with a great business opportunity. “They have their own space, and they do not have to be here to run it,” notes Nita. “They don’t have to worry about advertising or overhead. We provide all the help, we pay their sales taxes, and we even offer them a rental storage area for excess merchandise. This leaves them free to focus on developing their concept and their brand, and on buying the right things.”
Blacklion is more than just a home store – it’s a destination. “This is a place where you can come to have lunch with friends, or to entertain your out-of-town guests,” Nita asserts. “It’s also a concept original to Charlotte, and a unique part of the Charlotte landscape. It supports local entrepreneurs, and encourages people to buy local. In essence, it’s a one-stop-shop, where everybody wins.”