- Location: 764 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
- Specialty: Rustic Americana
- Price range: $$
- Website: pioneergoodsco.com
- Founded: 2014
- Founded by: Justin Power
- Sister stores: Maison Decor
Lovers of old objects have a kindred spirit in Justin Power. His South End shop, Pioneer Goods, feels like walking into a rustic New England cabin full of treasures from bygone eras. Having grown up antiquing, Justin has an amazing eye for quality pieces worth restoring. While some of his finds show up with that perfect patina, Justin works wonders on others to recreate that aged elegance.
Name/Title: Justin Power of Pioneer Goods Co.
Launch date: While I've been at this business for a few years, working with my mother and brother under the umbrella of our family shop Maison Decor, I branched out to open Pioneer Goods in spring 2014. Though I was ready to roll in early spring (due to red tape and permitting issues) we officially opened in late June 2014
Inspiration for opening: I originally came to this business at the urging of my mother, Amy Chalmers, to open a second location of Maison Decor on Harrison Ave in the South End in September of 2012. As that location become more of my own, it evolved from a French leaning, shabby chic home goods store to a very rustic, Americana inspired shop—like a baby Pioneer Goods. That shop was very small, so we decided not to renew our lease at that location with an understanding that when the time was right, I would branch out on my own and open a shop designed with my aesthetic in mind. The deeper I got into the business, the more I realized how important my personal style was to what I do.
Merchandise source: As a kid, I often begrudgingly got dragged along to fleas, yard sales, auctions and antique shops. What I didn't know at the time was that it was training for what I do today. While I hold my sources close to the vest, I often tell people that with all of the history in New England, it's easy to find quality product nearly anywhere you look. There are auctions and "antique alleys" up and down the coast, and my favorites are often the diamonds in the rough where on the surface it may look like a pile of junk, a critical eye and a patience for digging and editing will reveal great treasures. Even if I'm near a Goodwill or Salvation Army, I'll stop off and see what they've got. You never know what you might find! I like to think that I put in the time to hunt and curate the best of this so that our customers will have a one stop shop to find the best of what's available without having to put in the time and leave the city.
Best selling item: We carry Annie Sloan's line of decorative Chalk Paint, so that always sells well. Beyond that, I always do really well with pieces that are practical and utilitarian, such as bureaus, tables, chairs, etc. People tend to respond best to something that they can take home and instantly add character with a practical use.
Your favorite item: While I spend a lot of time painting and distressing old pieces, my favorites are the pieces that already possess the look I so painstakingly try and recreate. My current favorite is an old church pew that was salvaged, painted white and then blue and then stripped back to reveal the natural wood and the layers of paint that were applied over the years. It tells such a story.
Favorite store (other than your own): Bobby from Boston. Bobby Garnett is such an inspiration. He is the most affable guy in the world, and his shop is what I aspire to be. It is perfectly curated and it creates in instant vibe the second you step inside. Every nook commands attention and has Bobby's fingerprint all over it. He's a genius.