Three area mothers with three distinct styles are penning a new chapter in their own collective story – with the launch of a home décor store to help tell your story.
Story Seven, a home décor and gift boutique opening Sat., Aug. 24, in downtown Webster Groves, offers a mix of traditional, transitional and vintage products. The shop’s grand opening celebration, beginning at 10 a.m., will welcome customers with everything from refreshments to raffles.
Co-owners Melanie Bennett, Sarah Jozwiakowski and Karen Drexler founded the business based on their shared belief that home is where your story begins. “We want customers to find pieces for their home and themselves to help tell their story,” Jozwiakowski says.
The unique boutique takes its name not only from its street address, 7 N. Gore Ave., but also from its three owners’ stories – they have seven kids among them, and they want to help others share special stories.
The trio’s tales first intertwined while they were raising their kids and teaching Sunday school. Once upon a time, Bennett worked for the Charter Club home and apparel brand, Jozwiakowski served as a school nurse and a nurse at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, and Drexler was a high school business teacher who also started a small business, Little Mimi Designs, with her grandmother. “We all had careers before we were stay-at-home moms,” Drexler says. “Now, it’s a great time to reinvent ourselves and share our gifts in different ways.”
The friends’ great eye for home and design led to their next chapter: Story Seven. And when it came to choosing a home for the décor store, the team felt the beautiful, historic and walkable Webster Groves neighborhood had just the right storybook charm for that next chapter. “It doesn’t have our kind of store already, so we thought it was something that was missing in Webster Groves,” Drexler says.
The stay-at-home-moms-turned-entrepreneurs searched near and far – combing both local shops and national trade shows – for “hidden treasures” to stock Story Seven, Bennett says: “Every week, you will find something a little different.”
Among the new boutique’s offerings are like-minded companies with their own unique stories to tell, such as Mer-Sea out of Lenexa, Kansas, Bennett says. “We met the owners in Las Vegas and love their story: ‘At Mer-Sea, we think life should be simple … like life at the beach,’” she says. “We carry their travel wraps, candles, and bath and body products.”
Story Seven also loves to keep it local, carrying area-made Tru Candle Studio hand-poured soy candles, CC’s Notes personalized stationery, Ruby Lou Handmade Bags and art by St. Louisan Stephanie Halpin Kolman, as well as Missouri-made Pickwick & Co. Candles of Kansas City and One Canoe Two hand-painted stationery from Fulton.
The store also strives to stock unique finds from across the country, such as actress Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James brand of Southern-style home accessories, Gabby transitional furniture and lighting, Coast & Cotton printed custom flour sack towels, Hester and Cook gorgeously crafted tabletop wares and Glenda Gies Designs “old Hollywood glamour” handbags.
Additionally, the shop carries jewelry, including enewton’s current, classic and timeless gold-filled pieces, Designs by Raya’s colorful vintage vinyl line and Pearly Girls’ bracelets and necklaces, showcasing classic pearls and modern charms.
As Story Seven pens its first pages, the co-owners want customers to feel at home – hence, the boutique’s cozy atmosphere, complete with a comfy seating area where customers can gather to catch up. “We hope customers will be able to relax in our gathering space and find inspiration for their home,” Jozwiakowski says.
The co-owners also are excited the store allows them to share their love of gift-giving. “There are so many lunch gathering spots in Webster Groves, so you can stop in before you meet your girlfriend for a birthday lunch, and we can help you find a special gift,” Drexler says.
Whether a visitor is looking for a gift for a girlfriend, mother-in-law or hostess, the shop offers treasures at different price points so everyone can pick the perfect present – or find something that helps bring a personal story to life, Bennett says: “We’re really happy to be part of the Webster Groves community and excited to meet our new customers.”
Story Seven, 7 N. Gore Ave., Webster Groves, storysevenstl.com