After 23 years operating Dolce Designs in the Short Pump area, Carol Giuffrida is closing her store and relocating to vendor spaces in two of The Lazy Daisy Gift Store locations and in The Shops at 5807.
Her shop at 11341 W. Broad St. near Trader Joe’s in the Short Pump Station shopping center is closing by the end of June, she said.
“We were one of the first Short Pump stores,” said Giuffrida, who started the business in 1992 working from home and later opened her first store in 1996.
“Walmart was in, and Wendy’s, but that was it, not even the strip next to Walmart. We were over by where Publix is now and Stein Mart. We were known as Draperies, Décor and More,” she said.
After 10 years, she moved to space in the Shoppes at Westgate across from the Short Pump Town Center. Needing more space, she moved to her current location in Short Pump Station in 2014.
The growth of online retail has "changed the entire game," she said.
"Everything is online and availability to everything, design advice, color selectors....But with that comes mistakes. Consumers can order something and it can be totally wrong size, not comfortable. So it's a matter of price and no service versus service and paying for quality," she said.
In addition to the retail store, Giuffrida does interior design and home staging and will continue to offer those services.
She will have vendor spaces at the Lazy Daisy locations in Midlothian and in Short Pump and at The Shops at 5807 at 5807 Patterson Ave. Lazy Daisy and The Shops at 5807 operate with multiple vendors under one roof and staff on hand to ring up customer purchases.
She didn't have firm dates when her locations will open.
“We are going to continue with our better selling lines but that can ebb and flow. We just won’t have the big furniture items and large mirrors and that sort of thing except through interior design,” Giuffrida said. She plans to carry items such as gift cards, baby items, candles, guest towels, kitchen items and more in the shared retail spaces.
Home décor started out as a hobby for Giuffrida, who trained as an accountant and attorney.
“My grandmother was a seamstress on Park Avenue in New York. I somehow inherited her design and sewing genes. I never took a sewing class in my life, but I did bridal gowns, draperies, slipcovers, all kinds of things. It just sort of evolved. I had four children and didn’t want to work full time. That’s how I started the shop-at-home business. It just grew from there,” she said.
People can reach her through her website at dolcedesignsonline.com.