English Traditions in O’Bryonville has a secret weapon. Amongst the beautiful European wood furniture, behind the tables and lamps, and beyond the pillows resides a greeter so charming, guests are guaranteed to have an extra pleasant time perusing the antique furniture store. The greeter is Gus, whose Union Jack bowtie fits perfectly with the little family-owned shop.
Gus, it should be mentioned, is a pug.
His owner, Megann Bailey, manages the store for Mary and Casey Cordill, the mother-and-son owners who are celebrating English Traditions’ 25th anniversary this year. According to Bailey, the store used to have a resident Shih Tzu in its early days. When she made the decision to drive out to West Virginia and back again in one night to pick up her new puppy, she says Mary and Casey immediately welcomed him into the shop early the next morning.
“He’s pretty much been here since,” she says of her curly-tailed mascot.
The Cordills take stocking their store seriously, taking two or three trips a year to Europe to hit the antique fairs and curate the perfect antiques to supply their Cincinnati and Naples, Florida stores. What started as a shop specializing in English and Irish pine furniture has branched out to include French finds and a wider range of antique items.
“Every now and then, we’ll even get a fun Swedish or Spanish piece,” says Bailey. “They’ve developed relationships with people over there, too, so sometimes they’re sent a picture of something that seems up their alley.”
The Cordills’ approach to antiques is designed to appeal to the mix-and-match consumer. Bailey says many of the people that come into the store are looking for antiques that complement their newer pieces. “It’s nice to be able to mix the new and the old and bring out the beauty in both of them,” she says. “I think we have a specific style, and sometimes it can be overwhelming to walk into someplace like an antique mall that has so much.”
For this reason, English Traditions also houses a design center, where customers can ask for help with anything from choosing upholstery for a chair to imagining an entire room from scratch.
Ultimately, Bailey says, it’s about making sure clients are thrilled with the look and feel of their homes. “We want people to come in here and find something they’re excited about.” English Traditions offers a way to explore beautiful, old furniture and accent pieces in a brightly-lit, homey showroom, all while being chauffeured by a dog. That’s not a bad shopping experience in my book.
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English Traditions is located in O'Bryonville at 2041 Madison Ave. 45208.