‘Competitors’ share property

Published 10:07 pm Monday, November 8, 2010

A. Dodson’s and Powell Home now share a parking lot and, potentially, customers following Powell’s move to a building on the A. Dodson’s property on Bridge Road.

One of North Suffolk’s premier interior design shops has a new neighbor, and the connection has got folks in the area whispering.

Powell Home is in the business of interior decorating and moved from their Bridge Road location in Eclipse to a house next door to A. Dodson’s, which is known for gifts and unique home furnishings and decorations.

The two stores were both featured at the 2010 spring Homearama in Isle of Wight, where Powell Home decorated Nature Watch and A. Dodson’s decorated The Smithfield House.

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Some folks may have thought the two retailers to be direct competitors, but store owners Janice Powell and Alison Dodson Anderson say there is no reason both establishment cannot thrive on the same property.

“We embrace all retailers in North Suffolk,” said Anderson, whose store has been a Suffolk landmark on Bridge Road for years. “We need to raise each other up, not put one another down. We have to respect one another, and the fact of the matter is that we complement each other well. We can’t really compete with one another.”

While Anderson has done some designing for individual projects, her store is most known for its individual pieces and style, which she describes as being “rustic chic.” The store sells everything from clothing to furniture to accessories to gifts to wall hangings.

“We’re more quirky, whimsical and love anything that’s glitter and glam,” Anderson said.

Powell described the style of her showroom as more of a “traditional-transitional” style, which is geared more toward her own customers, she said.

“Alison is more directly related to a consumer buying experience,” Powell said. “You can go in and take something home that day. What we do doesn’t exactly fit in a shopping bag,” she said referring to the custom upholstery, furniture, shutters, accessories and home designs the store specializes in.

Powell’s move to the 2944 Bridge Road location was an opportunity for both store owners, they said.

Anderson owns the Bridge Road property where her store is located. When the neighboring building became vacant this year, she decided to buy it. When the opportunity presented itself, Powell decided to move in.

“For years people would come in and ask if we had plate stands or something, and we’d always send them over to A. Dodson’s,” Powell said. “She runs a great retail store. It’s expensive to move, but when it became available, I realized that’s where I should’ve been the whole time. I wasn’t in the market to move at all, but when the opportunity came up, I just jumped at it.”

Powell and Anderson both feel the move has been a positive thing, and Powell said it’s opened up a whole other world to her.

“Its less than two miles from my other location in Eclipse, but I’ve learned there are so many people in North Suffolk who have never been up to Governor’s Pointe or across the bridge much. Some people I’ve talked to are scared of traveling over the bridge, but whatever the case is, it seems to separate the communities. Hopefully, we can help draw people from both sides.”