Shop Local: Giancola Wants to Spruce Up Valley

NILES, Ohio — Nick Giancola opened his shop, Spruce Home Décor & Children’s Boutique, in 2014.

As he grew up in Niles, a city home to one of the two major retail centers in the Mahoning Valley, he wanted to bring “something special and unique” to the area, he says.

“The Mahoning Valley is predominantly dominated by box stores and large chains,” Giancola says. “We don’t have many small mom-and-pop stores, where you could go on a Saturday afternoon with a cup of coffee and just leisurely walk around for a little bit and get inspired and see some different things.”

And there are few locally owned home stores in the area, “those interesting little gift shops where you could pick something up for somebody, something you don’t see every day, he says.

Spruce Home Décor, 600 Robbins Ave., offers home accessories selected from vendors at shopping marts. He, his sister or their mother handpicks each item. All are part of the business. “We work with different vendors all over the country,” he says.

The store also sells hand-painted furniture and staff paints merchandise that customers bring in or, for products such as built-ins or cabinetry not easily transported, provides in-home painting services.

As its name suggests, Spruce Home Décor & Children’s Boutique sells children’s clothing, making it a “one-stop shop for the mom or grandma on the run,” Giancola says. “They can grab something for their home and for their children as well.”

Busy season for the store begins in August, when people start decorating for autumn. It continues though December and the holiday season. “Fall has practically taken on its own holiday,” Giancola says.

Community response to the store is positive, Giancola reports.

“People are coming back to Main Street, U.S.A. They don’t necessarily want to go to the malls,” he states.

“What we really try to do is curate an experience for people,” he continues. Part of coming to the store is not necessarily to buy but to experience. We try to create an experience inside the store.”

Pictured at top: Nick Giancola holds one of the home accessories he offers at his store in Niles.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.