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In a time when it may seem convenient to shop online, small shops like J.HORTON in Madison continue to offer a different kind of customer experience. Shop owner Joan Horton's background as an artist, stylist, interior designer, event planner, and host helps to make her store feel like a boutique that you might want to live in.
"My store is an obsession and passion project," says Horton. "I'm always adding beautiful new items and we've become a magnet for people who are looking for new experiences, new trends, and new ideas. Whether they're shopping for ceramics, jewelry, scarves, or handbags or just inspiration and personal connection, they can touch, feel, and explore the products in our store, knowing they're buying things they really love and want to bring home."
Once located on Wall Street in Madison, Horton needed to find a new storefront as the neighboring Scranton Memorial Library was set to expand.
"I had just become a grandmother for the first time, and my store was expanding, too," says Horton. "I moved from my first foray on Wall Street to my new J.HORTON store on Main Street and I felt like I had really 'arrived' in Madison for the first time. Of course, I've added new baby clothes that make me smile, and as we see lazy beach days in our not too distant future, I've curated another collection of beach bags, blankets, textiles, and towels, plus hostess gifts that will ensure you're invited back to the party next time."
Having been in business since 2013, Horton aims to create an ideal shopping experience every day. Part of that experience is providing the perfect oasis, often offering conversation, dark chocolate, cookies, and cocktails. She may share treasures she's discovered, or show her new favorite jewelry. (Be prepared to start wearing at least a handful of bracelets at a time after you see how she pulls it off.)
"As new customers and old friends wander through my store, they'll find colorful and intriguing gifts I've sourced at clothing and gift shows," she says. "And they'll find one-of-a-kind wedding gifts and graduation gifts, plus perfect presents for Mother's and Father's Day, too. Many have likened shopping here to wandering through a gallery where they are sure to find exactly what they are looking for and something totally unexpected.
"It's always exciting for me to make new friends and meet new customers and open their eyes to something they haven't experienced before. I'm eager to share my collections and perspectives with visitors and every day brings new pleasures, experiences, and connections," she continues. "I'm committed to making J.HORTON and our town an experiential retail destination and I feel like we've already made great strides in attracting new visitors to Madison and making them happy they've made the journey."
This story and photograph were provided by J.HORTON, located at 690 Boston Post Road, Madison. For more information, call 203-779-5343 or visit www.jhortonstore.com.
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The annual guide to the CT River Valley has arrived.