Home is where the heart is
January 18, 2013
No doubt about it — it's definitely Christmas time in Heart & Home. The cozy home-decor store on Mill Street in Grass Valley is adorned with Christmas tree ornaments, holiday wreaths, festive dolls, inspirational signs and much more. Christmas music enhances the colorful shop, as does the sweet cinnamon scent of candles.
"Basically this store is filled with everything I love," said Stacy Hereford, who owns the business with her husband, Mark. "I grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where there are small Amish communities. That has definitely influenced my choices in the store, but it also has a Nevada County, country farmhouse flavor to it."
Prior to moving to Grass Valley, the Herefords spent many years helping to run a large home center in Incline Village on the shores of Lake Tahoe. It was there that they raised their two children, who have long since flown the coop.
"After all those years, we were tired of snow," said Mark. "We loved the seasons in Grass Valley and had always wanted to have our own business."
Once they were able to secure an empty building on Mill Street — the best part of town for retail shops — they had the exciting task of filling it with merchandise. They've never looked back.
In June, Heart & Home will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Three years ago, the store relocated to a larger space across the street.
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Among local residents, the shop has developed a reputation as the go-to place for home and seasonal gift ideas.
"We owe so much to our loyal local customers — we're very grateful," said Stacy. "I've made a lot of friends who started out as customers. People are always in a good mood when they come in here."
Popular items include Jim Shore figurines, Woof and Poof fabric dolls from Chico, inspirational signs, decorative linens and locally made birdhouses by Bill Roth.
Customers also regularly seek out WoodWick scented candles that crackle as they burn, jewelry and garden decorations. Stacy and a friend make bath lavender and oatmeal bath products for the store.
Several times a year, the Herefords attend gift and antique shows, mostly in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition to locally made items, they make an effort to buy merchandise made in California and the United States, said Mark.
"Our motto is: 'Gifts from your heart, treasures for your home,'" said Stacy. "Our store changes with the seasons — right now we're clearly in the holiday mode."
The shop mascot is Leo, the Herefords' 7-year-old dog, who works daily alongside the Herefords.
"Leo has his own fan club," said Mark with a laugh. "People bring him cookies, and he even gets Christmas cards. Some people know Leo and have no idea what our names are."
Having worked together for more than 30 years, the Herefords say they wouldn't have it any other way.
"I wouldn't want to work with anybody else," said Mark. "It's been a wonderful partnership all these years."
To contact staff writer Cory Fisher email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4203.
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