Early in November Sharon Tibbitts will celebrate 30 years as the owner/operator Country Woods Country Store and Antiques.
During those years Sharon has shared countless cups of coffee with her customers at Country Woods, learned about multiple decorating styles and home décor needs and made more friends than she can count. “My customers have really become my friends. I want to make sure they all know how important they are to me and what a huge role they have played in my success.”
Country Woods Country Store and Antiques, located at 1771 Foote Avenue Extension, south of Jamestown, opened on November 8, 1986 and hasn’t moved since. Sharon’s husband, Douglas, built the plaza to include space for Sharon’s store. “This is something I always wanted,” she said. “I enjoy looking through the design magazines, I’m a fan of the home décor shows on TV and I felt this area could use a specialty shop with a focus on country.”
Country Woods has seven rooms that express her desire to help customers make their homes perfect. She features Vera Bradley bags, Yankee Candles, jewelry, scarves, cookie cutters, rugs, curtains and a wide selection of unique home accents. One room is devoted to a selection of Scandinavian items; the store participates in the Scandinavian festival and they are part of the Scandinavian heritage days held each year. Sharon opens the store to tours associated with both events.
Sharon encourages her customers to browse, relax and enjoy coffee (pumpkin spice was offered during one recent visit) while shopping.
“The best part of my job is the customer contact; I talk with them about their decorating style, help them decide what they are looking for and often get ordering ideas and product line leads from them. I have a loyal customer base – there are visitors from Germany, California, Virginia and Canada who return year after year and tell me they always include a stop at Country Woods Country Store and Antiques during their vacations here. In some families the grandparents, parents and children have all shopped here – it’s become a multi generational experience for both of us.”
Over the years the Tibbitts children have all worked in the store, and Sharon’s granddaughter now helps out with the social media aspects. Sharon is sometimes joined by Maggie, her Yorkie terrier, in running the shop and greeting customers. “Maggie is very popular.” Additional employees will come on board for the holidays.
“There have been changes in retail over the years. The Internet has made a huge difference in the way people shop. But we can offer the same products and add customer service, personal advice, friendship, a connection and coffee – to their experience. You can come into Country Woods Country Store and Antiques and actually see the colors, you can touch and feel the quality. You’re doing more than shopping, you’re creating a relationship. I’m always happy to do special orders, help you make the right color match and offer decorating suggestions.”
From the more traditional country home décor to the more modern, simple and elegant country designs to the curtains and rugs, and from one of a kind home accents to Scandinavian keepsakes or candles and cookie cutters – shoppers can find the right piece for their home or a gift for someone special.
Country Woods Country Store and Antiques is located at 1771 Foote Ave. extension, just past the south side plaza. The current hours are Tuesday to Friday 10 to 5, and Saturday 10 to 3. The store is closed Sundays and Mondays and will be closed Thanksgiving Day but open on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, extended holiday hours will start in December. Country Woods can be reached at 716.483.1276.
To read more of Katie Smith’s creative and informative contributions to the Jamestown Gazette, please go to www.jamestowngazette.com.