Today’s Q&A with a local business owner is with Chris Meier of Against The Grain at 91 Main St.
Here’s our exchange.
New Canaanite: Against The Grain opened five years ago in downtown New Canaan. Congratulations on hitting that milestone this year. How’s it going at your Main Street shop?
Chris Meier: Thanks Mike! We’ve actually had the best year we’ve had since opening. Customers seem to truly love our combination of unique gifts and very high quality custom furniture.
We have many new residents in town, including those who have purchased homes amid the residential real estate boom of the past year-plus. What would you like to tell them about Against The Grain?
We’ve met many of these new residents as they’ve come to purchase their outdoor furniture here. My #1 message is make sure you order your outdoor furniture early! I’m talking January/February at the latest as lead times have increased across the board. We’re doing our best to stock up but planning ahead is your best bet. Order early!
When we connected in the early weeks of the pandemic, you noted the rise in interest that you’d seen a spike in sales of outdoor furniture and fire pits. Is that something that you’ve seen continue?
Yes. The sales have continued and the demand is still up. We’ve become the number #1 destination for Adirondack Chairs, in not just New Canaan, but all over Fairfeild and Westchester County. Fortunately, I have pre-ordered a large supply of all different colors of the Adirondack chairs in order to keep up with the customer demand.
How is business this holiday shopping season?
We’re slowly seeing the foot traffic increase as we get closer to the holidays. The trend the last few years has been that as soon as we reach the cutoff for online shopping products being shipped in time, there will be an influx of people coming to town to shop.
What are your best-selling items right now?
One of our best selling gift and home items have been our polished, lacquered and food safe bamboo bowls that come in an assortment of colors. Our larchwood cutting boards, made in Canada, make a great addition to any home. Of course the games, puzzles and marble machines always do well for the gifts for kids.
What else would you like to tell our readers?
Thank you everyone for supporting our store! Word of mouth is always the best advertising so please tell your friends about us and come by to pick out some great gifts for the holidays!
[Other installments of our Q&A series with local businesses this holiday season can be found here.]