By ANNA CATE LITTLE
The staff at Harmony Landing doesn’t take the holiday season lightly. On October 1, Christmas trees were already being trimmed, and the countdown to the holiday season began, with the November 3 Open House kicking things into high gear.
Rilla Foley is proud to celebrate her 13th Christmas as owner of the downtown home-décor staple. Boasting fine furniture, oodles of gifts, custom floral arrangements, rugs and high-end upholstery, Harmony Landing can truly turn a house into a lovely home.
Perusing the shop, one gets a feeling of comfort and permanence, from the lasting quality of the furniture to the camaraderie of the staff. Several employees have been there for many years, and Foley feels a great deal of responsibility to them.
“I have a wonderful staff,” she said. “They are so conscientious and work so hard.”
Originally opened in 1999 as a mother-daughter business, Foley’s daughter, Elizabeth, retired after having her third child, leaving Foley as sole owner and acting buyer and bookkeeper, among other duties.
“I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly in retail,” said Foley. “I have a background in retail, or I wouldn’t have survived. I love it, and that’s why I can put the hours in that I do. It’s very, very challenging.”
The name Harmony Landing comes from Foley’s deep roots in Louisville, Ky., where her family’s home was built on a beautiful acreage against the Ohio River banks. Sold from the family during the Great Depression, the land now houses a country club with the same name. And that name appropriately blends family, home and tradition into one.
Although Homewood residents have seen many businesses come and go along 18th Street South, Harmony Landing has become a mainstay. Foley believes that her location, which is sandwiched between the brother-sister businesses of Seibels and At Home, is an advantage.
“I think it’s helpful to have a collection of [home decor] stores together,” she said. “It brings people to the area to have more than one place to shop. We’re a nice mix. I think we’re really blessed by having several different venues of looks, styles and price points.”
Foley’s business has succeeded by evolving with the times, offering unique services and remaining competitively priced while staying true to her “slightly older, more traditional customer.”
“I believe that if you take care of your own business, everything else will take care of itself,” she said.
Harmony Landing’s unique services include two in-house interior designers, custom pine furniture made to the customer’s specs and three top-tier upholstery lines, all made in the USA. And when it comes to Foley’s in-house floral designer, “we marvel at her creativity and endless ideas,” she said.
If the crowds of shoppers who descended on downtown Homewood during the Holiday Open House are any indication of the store’s success, then Harmony Landing should have yet another busy and blessed holiday season. After all, said Foley, “If we don’t act like Christmas is coming, why would the customer?”
2925 18th St. S.
Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.