[Eco Chic Home]
Words by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by M.Schleif Photography
Eight years ago in June, Maria Bosak opened her South Fargo boutique and has spent every day since then, evolving to better meet the needs of her customers. Over the years, she had been hailed the queen of chalk paint and home decorating by her thousands of loyal followers, founding dozens of successful events like the Eco Chic Design Conference, Junk Market and Vintage Christmas, along the way. This year, was another wonderful milestone. June would mark the opening of her new, larger storefront, Eco Chic Home in the Shoppes at BLU. See inside her stunning new store which celebrates the concept of creating beauty and a sense of peacefulness within the home.
Making the Move
"We absolutely loved what we were doing in our old location, but it was time to step up our game," said Bosak. "We still offer a full line of chalk paint and favorites from our old store, but we've definitely evolved to offer more services and more product in a really beautiful and inspiring setting. I wanted people to walk in and find inspiration in every corner of the store that could be reflected in their own home."
Bosak and her team couldn't wait to take on the challenge of a blank slate, designing every inch from the ground up. "I love the fact that we are surrounded by other strong, local businesses that can come together to create a really fun shopping destination. This new location gave us not only visability and more square feet, but also the ability to collaborate with our neighbors." Bosak's store is actually connected to the new Grain Designs store by a massive barn door which remains open for customers, making it easy to browse either store's offerings.
Gather at the Heart of the Home
Bosak has designed three main sections in the store that she believes will bring joy to any home. "Gathering family and friends and sharing a meal in your kitchen is so important - that was the main reason why we wanted to first design a working kitchen and expand our kitchen offerings," explained Bosak. "We looked at the kitchen from two angles; one as a beautiful place to display our kitchen products and second as a place to show off some interesting design ideas. We're also excited to use this space for small gatherings and events."
When Bosak remodeled "the cedar room" in her own home, she fell in love with the look of red cedar and the warmth it brought to the space. It was in this room that she stumbled upon a combination of colors and textures that would become the inspiration for her new store. "It's the black french doors, and the cedar against the white board and batten that make the room shine - the white board and batten was a must," said Bosak. "When you use a lot of black and white in your design, you need to bring in some wood tones to give warmth to break it up. The entire store is actually based off of "the cedar room".
Contemplate in Comfort
The living room is also a special place and area of focus for Bosak and her team. "This is where we relax, read, pray and contemplate the day, so we wanted to have a great selection of comfortable textures in our rugs, pillows, throws and other things that would bring comfort and warmth into your home," said Bosak. "Finding a nice rug for a space can really give the room life. There's so many different options for styles and textures now, so we're excited to show people what we have available."
Bringing the Outside In
Bosak believes that part of adding life to a space is achieved by bringing the outside in. Whether real or faux, she knows that a little greenery goes a long way. "We love adding floral and greenery to every space in the home. I love florals and just like my grandma, I love gardening - so, I really wanted to expand our floral section, bringing in a lot of high-quality, faux arrangements and stems for accessorizing in the home."
"We love a space that heals your heart when you walk into it."
Within the new store, visitors will also find pillows, rugs, throws and furniture by Magnolia Home with art by local artist Pam Killerlain and jewelry by local designer, Angie Behr. Wanting to add more local flair, the team is anticipating adding more locally-sourced products to feature in the coming months.
Changing Courses & Bringing Joy
For Bosak, her life's course changed when she and her husband Tate got the chance to remodel a home. "I no longer felt bad about spending money on items to make our home something that I really loved," said Bosak. "I saw what it did to a person's physical and mental being. The opportunity to remodel reminded me of how important it is to be surrounded by things that bring us joy - the more we remodeled, the more we loved it. When we realized how it made us feel, we wanted to help other people find that same love for their home."
Evolution of Eco Chic
Recently, Bosak came to the realization that even after eight years in business, not everyone knew what they did and what their store had to offer. "We thought we had done a pretty good job of spreading the word, but once we got more visibility surrounded by other businesses, we gained a whole new set of clients and friends," said Bosak. "It's been such a joy to meet new people who are experiencing the store for the first time."
"To better reflect who we are now, we changed our name to Eco Chic Home. We just wanted people to fully understand that what we do completely centers around being home, going home and loving your home," explained Bosak. "At the end of the day, when I pull into my driveway, of course I love the fact that I get to go home to my husband, but I also love the comfort that my home brings me and I really want to help create that in other people's homes."
Fixer Uppers & Friends
When Bosak had the opportunity to meet Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Upper a couple of years ago, she set her sights on getting both Chip and Joanna Gaines to come speak at her first ever Design Conference in Fargo - they accepted. "It was really the highlight of the year for me and I found a lot inspiration in her love of home, her family and her faith. It just reinforced our mission to keep bringing joy home."
Staging for Serenity
Beyond the new storefront, Bosak and team member Sara Schultz often venture out to manage the staging of homes for builders and realtors in the F-M and Grand Forks areas. "Staging is the process of furnishing and decorating a home so when a potential buyer walks in they feel like they are home,” said Bosak. "The builders and realtors that we work with, have seen how important it is to emulate a warm and inviting environment that will create a sense of peace," said Bosak. "People are not just sold on the house as a structure, they're sold on the way that house makes them feel when they walk in."
"While we don't offer design services for private individuals yet, we do want people to come into the store, bring their photos, tell us what space they're working on and we'll help find the right pieces for their space," said Bosak.
The Eco Chic Home Family
Everyone on the Eco Chic Home team is ready and willing to help. "With Sara, Kyja, Kara, Jordan and Paige, we have such a kind and energetic team to greet people and help them navigate the store and their own home's design. I say 'team', but they are definitely more like family to me," said Bosak. "Sara Schultz is our product specialist; she helps me stage model homes for builders and realtors. She also manages the special orders and does all of the beautiful vignettes in the store."
"It's more than pillows and rugs, it's people and places. Home is your most important place, so we really want to help people create one that brings them joy."
Soon to be completed, Eco Chic Home will have a design room and gathering space that will serve as a place to meet with clients and an inspirational room for customers to get design ideas. The room also offers a cozy place for team members to gather and allows Eco Chic Home to host small women’s events.
Find the Finishes:
For more information, contact:
Eco Chic Home
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