Minding Your Business: Hygge Home
Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Name of Business: Hygge Home
Address: 185 Front St., Owego, NY 13827
# Years in Business: 3 ½
Owner/Owners: Mandy Neira
Why did you start your business? I wanted a “retirement project” that I could pursue after I leave my corporate job.
Tell me about your business: It’s based on a Danish theory of “Hygge” (pronounced “Hue-gah”), which simply means cozy. I had traveled to Scandinavia after reading a book about the Danish culture and wanted to see for myself what this was all about. I noticed that the climate is very similar to Owego and we endure so much winter, as do the Danes. BUT they are happy ALL the time ! They make the most of each season and I wanted to bring this to Owego.
The boutique is centered around this Nordic concept with cozy décor, neutral colors and lots of textures. It’s all about taking a space and making it into a sanctuary that you can relax and decompress in, either alone or with friends. It doesn’t have to be a whole room, a corner works too! Hygge is about what you are doing, whether it’s self-care, journaling, reading, playing games with friends – the purpose is to, literally, give yourself a break. When you have this space in your home, it will remind you to use it! It’s a big hug for your brain!
Who are your customers? I get many travelers passing through or visiting the Village. I have a strong local base of repeat customers. I would say that people love coming in frequently as I tend to change things up every season so that you get a different visual each time. Plus, it helps people to update and refresh their own space for the season.
What did you do differently during the pandemic that kept your business alive? I had personal shopping appointments; I did curbside pickup; I also posted a lot about how I was feeling and handling the lock down, and keeping my face out there, just as an act of kindness, to let people know we are all doing this together.
Other Important Information: I didn’t open this business until I was 52 years old! I had researched many other business ideas and this was idea #7! I finally went with what I was good at, which is decorating and merchandising! So, it just goes to show that it’s never too late to pursue a dream.
It’s been so rewarding, how customers make me smile even if they don’t buy anything. For customers to walk through my door and tell me how great it smells and how beautiful it looks, truly makes my heart happy!
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