By Kelly Newsom | Photos by Killion NewsomWalking through Well Stocked’s front doors is like entering baking & cooking heaven. With it’s high ceilings, gorgeous flooring and calming color scheme, Well Stocked provides a large array of home and kitchenware goods. A recently added men’s section makes the shop an all encompassing place for men and women alike to purchase gifts for themselves or others.
But the true shining star of Well Stocked is it’s Co-owner, Lacey Mares. She is the dreamer and creator of this truly amazing space and shop. Lacey’s retail management experience, with both William Sonoma and Z Galleria, has given her the upper edge when it comes to choosing product inventory, vignette design, and creating a welcoming environment for shoppers. Aside from her extensive retail experience Lacey is the type of person that when you meet her you end up just really liking her. She has an easy going vibe that is caring, attentive and just plain lovely.
Since opening in April (of this year!) Lacey has been pleasantly surprised by Well Stocked’s reception. So much so, that she is broadening her shop’s repertoire. Lacey is working closely with Chris Dreith, President of The Home Improvements Group (a Woodland based business), on adding a full working kitchen. The plan is to have cooking classes and demos for both adults and children. The hope is to have the kitchen open by the end of the year.
“I’m excited to see my crazy ideas to come to life and then to have so much support to see it grow even more is the completion of my dreams.” – Lacey Mares
BEING UNIQUE TO WOODLAND
Lacey: Well Stocked Kitchen, Home and Gentlemen is centered around a lifestyle shopping experience. There is a little bit for everyone. Good quality home essentials, unique and innovated gifts and generally great product that you can’t find locally, unless you to travel to Sonoma or Napa. We are a combination of an old world classic elegance with a casual look. My store has some vintage aspects mixed with industrial. My cook top will really reflect that. New beautiful stainless steel appliances with vintage style wood finish paired with rustic, vintage red tractor seat stools.
TAKING THE LEAP
Lacey: I grew up in retail and have always felt that at some point I would own my own store. My husband (and Co-owner, Tony) has heard me talk about owning my own store for 12 years. We were having brunch at mojo and I may have had one too many mimosas…He said you need to either open your own store or stop talking about it! That planted the seed.
Kelly: What was the timeline from being a little tipsy at Mojos to getting the keys? Lacey: January to March. I was still working at William Sonoma. I picked up the keys at the end of February. I put my two weeks in and just dedicated myself to this. Luckily, I had been already been attending gifting trade shows so I had a mock up of a business plan.
Lacey: After Mojos, we pulled over right in font of the building we are currently in and called George Rowland. We asked him about available spaces. He mentioned our current space and gave us the building owner’s number. We instantly fell in love with the space – it’s high ceilings, clean white walls and beautiful flooring.
Kelly: So the space was built out? Lacey: The walls and the floors were here. it’s was my inspiration for the color scheme and I was familiar with the display systems. I could instantly see a floor plan. I pitched the idea to Ron Caceres (building owner) and he was so generous and kind. He said, “if you can make this happen, it’s yours.”
CONTINUING A LEGACY
Lacey: Having kids has been my inspiration for this. I want to hand down something to them and I feel like this is a good legacy to give them. I grew up in my Grandma’s book store. I learned so much from her; the business aspect and working with customers helped me grow as a person. So much so, that I started in retail at 16 and moved into management quickly. From there, I kept my ears open and learned a lot which gave me confidence to do this. Now, I can’t see myself doing anything else.
CUSTOMERS FUEL THE FIRE
Lacey: I’m so impressed with my customers. How caring they are to me, how they want to see me succeed…on a daily basis, I am impressed. I sold a customer a gorgeous cooper jam pan. She had her eye on it for a couple of weeks and came in to purchase it. She now brings me jam that is made in that pot. It is amazing! I’m excited to see my crazy ideas to come to life and then to have so much support to see it grow even more is the completion of my dreams.
ME TIME AND FINDING BALANCE
Lacey: Gardening with my kids and going to the farmer’s market with them. I look forward to that. Also, baking and cooking with what I get from my own garden or the market.
Kelly: How do you find balance though? Lacey: I tear my hair out! No, when I leave the store at the end of the day, I leave the store. So, when I’m home with my kids I’m there fully. That’s the good part of being a manager of retail for so many years. As a beginner manager, I would eat, sleep and breath my job because I wanted to impress my boss. I received some really good advice that when you leave the store, you’re done. On my day off, I’m off. I need that mental break and its refreshing when I come back.