For today’s Q&A with a local business owner, we hear from New Canaan resident Suzanne Nardi of The Artful Mix. The Elm Street gift and fine art shop is offering online shopping and free delivery in addition to its regular store hours.
Here’s our exchange.
New Canaanite: You took over at The Artful Mix—then Ally-Bally-Bee—in early 2019, and then one year later the COVID-19 pandemic hit. What has this been like for you?
Suzanne Nardi: It has been very challenging trying to navigate the new normal with such a young brand. I chose the worst time to change the name. But as people re-emerge I feel hopeful. The town has been so supportive in shopping local.
Many local people quickly became fans of The Artful Mix after visiting the store and seeing the unique items for sale. What has the response been like from the community since you reopened?
The response has been steadily improving. Many people are discovering the store for the first time and the existing customers are loving the new name and new look of the store. Customers are truly appreciating all of the local art.
How is the shopping experience at The Artful Mix different now?
We are all about customer service. Keeping our customers safe first while catering to their changing needs. We get more online or instagram inquiries now and are happy to work with customers remotely. In store I think people enjoy feeling normal.
What is your message to the community?
We are so proud to be a part of this community and hope to continue attracting new customers as our product offering evolves. We welcome any feedback. In addition to our jewelry and gifts we carry an amazing selection of local fine art ranging from $250 to $2500. We are mobile—we are happy to come to your home for a complimentary art consult and will also bring the art to you for a “try before you buy.” If we don’t have just the right piece we can source from our extensive network of local artists. There is never any obligation, we know choosing the right piece takes time.