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Home Décor From Candles To Crystal Furnish Your home Or Find The Perfect Gift At 121 Home

Jun 12, 2024 08:05PM ● By E. Senteio Photography By Lynn Bohannon

Cara (left) and Paris.

“When customers come into 121 Home, they get excited,” says store manager Paris Hughes. She credits store owner Cara Kettenbach for her “incredible job of renovating and merchandising.” Cara never intended to become a retailer but knew she wanted to own property in Woodstock. When Woodstock Pharmacy—on Central Street since 1853—closed its doors, she says, “We bought the card and gift side of the building. It took about a year to renovate.”

Both Paris and Cara are relatively recent transplants to Vermont. Paris lives in the heart of Woodstock; Cara is still officially a Massachusetts resident. But five years ago, she purchased a home three miles from her store. “When I bought my home, there wasn’t anywhere downtown to get the things I sell,” Cara says. Although she had no retail experience, in June 2023—to fill what she saw as a gap—Cara opened 121 Home.

Since the 21 Central Street address was similar to her horse breeding farm in Massachusetts, Broadfields 121, she thought naming it 121 Home “kept it in the family.” She laughs, “although it sometimes confuses delivery people.”

What’s So Exciting?

“I feel like everyone who comes into our store finds something they like,” says Cara. The shelves and floors are stocked with home décor, furnishings, and gift items from local, national, and international artists and vendors. You’ll find linens from France, bedding from Italy, “stunning” lace flowers on velvet from Woodstock, and candles from Belgium. “We have a woodworker from Vermont, local artists for paintings and photographs, and a potter who makes dishware specifically for our store. We have two jewelry craftspeople—one local, one out west.”

Cara caters to a diverse clientele, including longtime residents, tourists, and students. Custom orders make it possible to tailor to various budgets. “While we display our 100 percent down-filled coil sofa with higher grade fabric to show what we can do, they are not the only things we offer.”
Paris explains, “Our displays are creating stories within the store.” They help customers envision what’s possible and how to make it happen within their budgets. You’ll see seating areas with end tables topped with candles in all sizes and scents, couches sprinkled with decorative pillows, kitchen tables with linen, outdoor lanterns and planters, and shelves stocked with stuffed alpacas.  Both Cara and Paris laugh about the alpacas. “They’re made of ethically sourced alpaca fur and are incredibly soft,” says Cara. “They are one of our bestselling items.”  But There’s More . . .

From ever-changing displays in the window to the small gallery of fabrics and rug swatches to the shelves filled with wedding and birthday gifts, Cara says, “Anything to do with the home we can help you with. I want customers to have a place in Woodstock to grab a runner, order a sofa, pick out glassware, or decorate a holiday table. Customers come in and spend $5 or furnish their whole house. We sell lots of everyday dishes and silverware to locals and visitors. Sofas and candles are big sellers. When I bought my home, I would have to go to West Lebanon or Hanover in New Hampshire to shop for these items.”

“Another thing I wanted to accomplish with the store,” says Cara, “was to let customers know they can have a farmhouse and still elevate it. You don’t have to make it rustic. A beautiful farm table with a piece of crystal in the center, styled with simple but elegant dishes and fine linens, elevates the look.” 121 Home has a wide assortment of crystal to fit your home, style, and budget. “We sell a lot of beautiful William Yeoward crystal and have other wonderful crystal lines.”

Looking Ahead

Cara plans to open 121 Home’s bridal registry in July, and online shopping will be available in September. Eventually she might open another location, but she’s unsure where. “Right now, the store and concept are doing well catering to many different types of customers.” She acknowledges that’s because she’s lucky to be in Woodstock.  121 Home has been open for slightly less than a year but already has repeat customers. “It’s just really fun working with the public,” says Cara. “I like doing the custom orders to work with people one on one. But I also like helping every customer find the right thing.”

“When customers come through the door,” says Paris, “they always comment on how beautiful or fun the store is. It makes me feel good—like we’re doing something right.”

121 Home
21 Central Street
Woodstock, VT
(802) 432-3164 <>

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