Boutique Shopping with a View!
When Bobbi Karr opened Hartwell House in November of 1995, there
is no way she could have known that after nearly 20 years of
floods, the advent of online shopping, and countless other
changes, her shop would still be open right on the heart of Main
Street in Pomeroy. But six days a week, she and her staff are
there, providing shoppers with unique items as well as a unique
“Where we are is such a beautiful location,” Karr says, “Right
on the river and such a wonderful view of it. And we have come
to see the floods as just a way of getting some spring cleaning
done. They’re an excuse to move things around and toss out other
things you don’t need any more.”
Offering home décor, candles, glass art and clothing, Hartwell
House thrives because it offers exactly what big department
stores cannot - unique items in a friendly homegrown
environment. Because she knew shoppers were lacking those kinds
of places locally, Karr opened her boutique on Main Street where
a fabulous riverfront view is complimented by high traffic and
“We knew if we opened there, others would follow. And more shops
and attractions draw in more people to shop in town," Karr said.
"Once there’s an established customer base, the whole downtown
area becomes an attraction.”
New products and new ways to sell them are also important to the
ongoing success of Hartwell House. Recently the store hosted a
two-day event featuring one of the glass artisans who makes
Trollbeads. Online sales have also helped the shop’s bottom
line, allowing anyone around the world to purchase unique gifts
from Ohio’s southern shore.
To those thinking about starting their own businesses in Meigs
County, Karr says there is plenty of opportunity and a public
eager for more.
“People are tired of ‘big box’ stores. They want variety. They
want an eclectic mix. They want folk art and handmade items, not
everything mass produced carbon copies. And they want it
someplace pleasant, not a warehouse.”
Offering business owners and their customers something unique is
what Meigs County can do for you. For more information call
Perry Varnadoe, director of the Meigs County Economic
Development Office at 740-992-3034.