You could say that Merrideth Kalil, owner of online shop Spark Living, has been working toward opening her own shop since her entire life. Back in the fifth grade, Merrideth would frequent a shop in her hometown of Boston, buying stickers to decorate her childhood bedroom. It was at that young age that Merrideth recognized her obsession with color and pretty things - an obsession that would lead her to launch her own shop in adulthood.
What was the inspiration for opening the store? Inspiration for the store started when I was in the 5th grade. There was a store in the town where I grew up outside of Boston that sold things like colored plastic lunch boxes and scented pencils. I would walk there after school and buy stickers to decorate the walls and furniture in my bedroom. That was when I started wanting to be a retailer. And when I realized I had an obsession with color and pretty "useful" things.
Where do you source your product? I find items for the store in all sorts of places. I've started focusing on smaller, independent designers because I really want our collection to be unique. And as a small business I like the idea of partnering with other small businesses and up and coming designers . So, now I spend a lot of time at various craft fairs around the country and keeping up with different blogs in addition to the tradeshows.
What is the current best selling item? We sell a lot of French Bull Salad Server + Bowl Sets. It consists of a two-toned melamine salad bowl and 10 different brightly patterned melamine salad servers to choose from.
What is YOUR favorite item? I have two favorite items which sort of represent the two sides of my personality. One is the Dog Balloons Wall Decal. It's bright and fun and happy. The other is the Stainless Steel Double Twist Candleholder which looks like two candleholders embracing each other. It's sophisticated and sculptural and I love giving it as a wedding gift.
Other than your own, what is your favorite store? My favorite store is sadly no longer around. I first discovered Velocity Art and Design about 10 years ago while visiting a friend in Seattle. They closed sometime in 2012 and I was honestly heart broken (both as a home decor/design lover and as a retailer) when I tried to pull up their website and discovered it was gone. Local Chicago stores that I have always loved and shopped at are Art Effect and Stitch. And in Boston, Museum of Useful Things.