We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Siviski and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I grew up in a seaside village in CT with locally owned gift shops, bakeries and fish markets so small retail has always been in my heart. Shopping in those places always felt like pawing through a treasure trove. Everything felt special. So after years of working in interior design and high end retail I felt like it was time to give my own vision a try – a shop that was just as luxurious as the high end boutiques I had worked in but more approachable price wise. I wanted everyone to feel welcome.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We opened in the fall of 2017, so by the time Covid came around we were just really hitting a groove and feeling steady on our feet. We were closed for about 3 months, which was scary, but we really bulked up our website so that customers could shop from home. We shipped, delivered (while my 18 month old napped in the car), and offered curbside pick up. It was such a weird time, and I really felt like 2020 could have been the end of us, but our customers were amazing. The local community seemed to realize that if they didn’t support local businesses they would be gone – so we saw a tremendous amount of local support, which felt like a warm hug at a time when you couldn’t even get within 6 feet of another person. 2020 ended up being a huge year for us and it has only gotten better since.

I think it’s all about the feeling you create in the store that keeps people coming back. Our space is small, but organized neatly and mostly by color, which feels good in my brain and I think resonates with others, too. We have merchandise from all over, but a lot is sourced locally to Maine, or New England. It’s not too chaotic or packed full. It’s an easy to shop environment with no pressure sales. We are here to help if you need us, and will bend over backward to make your shopping experience a smooth one – honestly, we’ll hold your baby so you can shop, we’ll give your dog treats and a fresh bowl of water, we love to hand out stickers and slinkies to older kids who can’t sit still so that Mom or Dad can pick out a housewarming gift, or whatever it is.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Love love to eat at LB Kitchen, Green Elephant, and Flatbread on the water for a low key delicious pizza and local beer situation. You can’t miss out on Standard Baking (everything is to die for but their granola bars and brownies are insane). Scratch Bakery over in South Portland is another go-to. The bagels sell out fast, but are worth waking up early for.

Portland has a ton of breweries. We love the little pocket of breweries off of Riverside. They are family and dog friendly, and there are usually food trucks so you can grab a bite while you drink. They’re an awesome place to hang out year round, and there’s plenty of parking.

Portland has a great museum, the PWM is a fun little afternoon or evening visit, bonus if it’s on the first Friday of the month so you can check out the Art Walk where local vendors line Congress St. and shops stay open a bit later.

The beaches are amazing here. I really love Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth. It’s small, and feels like a little secret. It’s a bit rocky but there are tide pools for kids to play in and you can see a bunch of little islands with Pine trees just off the shore. Very picturesque.

You can’t come to Maine without visiting a lake. The Rangeley area is a magical place in the summer. With no city lights for miles you can see every single star.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, Nick is the reason I even have this business. I could’ve talked myself out of it 1000 times if it weren’t for him believing in me and pushing me to do something that was very scary – especially considering I was 6 months pregnant when opening day came around. I also credit my sister Abby, who is an Art Director and was (and still is) really instrumental in helping me create a brand that feels true to me.  She’s also a great sounding board and will give me the truth when I ask her for opinion on things.  Being a solo business owner can feel a little lonely, so I feel very grateful that I can reach out to her around the clock to bounce ideas off of.

Website: http://www.fitzandbennetthome.com

Instagram: @fitzbennetthome

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FitzBennettHome/

Image Credits
All photos from us 🙂

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.