By Mike Steely
Affordable & Unique Home Accents and MD Interiors is a new business in Powell TN. They are located in the same building at 1904 West Emory Rd. The businesses are owned by Teresa Harper, a 46-year-old Knoxville/Powell native. Teresa lives in Powell, is married to Tim Harper and they have two children, Madelyn, 12, and David, 10. MD Interiors is the Home Staging division, and is also considered to be the bread and butter of the businesses. Affordable and Unique Home Accents is the wholesale store that has branched off MD Interiors; the new store helps flow the merchandise so they can continually replace the staging inventory.
“We started staging homes from my garage in 2001. In the beginning we focused on home décor rather than furniture. As we expanded we noticed that our clients were asking if we could provide the furniture as well as the décor. We felt like we should try to provide our clients with all their needs in order to provide the service that we pride ourselves on. So per our customer’s request, we became a one stop staging company”.
What is “staging?”
Staging is furnishing and decorating a home so that the buyer feels like they are at home. The National Association of REALTORS 2015 Profile on Home Staging found that 81% of buyers find it is easier to visualize a property as a future home when it’s staged. “Staged homes will spend 20% less time on the Market and the home will hold its value versus an empty or cluttered home” MD Interiors has “staged” homes, offices, condos, and modular homes as far west as Texas. The growth of the company’s popularity is due to word of mouth. The word of mouth advertising is attributed to pride in their work and making the client’s needs their first priority. In 2014 the warehouse moved to 1904 West Emory road in Powell where Harper built a small showroom and opened Affordable & Unique Home Accents to the public.
Affordable & Unique Home Accents has exceeded their expectations. They did not advertise so they were again getting customers based on word of mouth. The store manager, Rachel Clopton says, “All of our customers have been so kind and have helped us continue our success with the wholesale shop. We are not the normal home décor shop. You might say we are eclectic, vintage, cottage, contemporary, traditional, and transitional all rolled into one”.
One of the greatest benefits of the wholesale store is the actual wholesale pricing. “The store was not opened to make more profit, it was opened to keep our same wholesale mark up and move products out the door. This helps us replenish the products needed for the staging business” Clopton said.
“Lots of our customers are HGTV and DYI fans and when they come in here they often say, “That’s just my style, help me create this in my home” Clopton said. Customers have access to the full time designer on staff, which helps customers pick out and plan the pieces they are bringing back to their home!
“We are much busier than I thought we could be” she added.
“We really care about our products and our clients, we want to give them their vision at a great price,” Rachel says.
Teresa explains that she charges no design fee and makes funds by a simple markup on the products. She said that if she is asked to advise there’s a standard fee of $150 and if the client buys the staging products with MD Interiors, the fee is waived.
“We purchase merchandise in bulk and our new showroom gives us the opportunity to sell these pieces to the public at wholesale prices. We’ve been behind the scene for 12 years and now we are excited about offering our wholesale pricing to the public and getting to know the terrific people that have visited our store,” she said.
Affordable & Unique Home Accents is at 1904 West Emory Road and is open Monday through Friday 9 until 7 p.m. and Saturdays 10 until 7 p.m. You can call them at 859-9509 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is affordablehomeaccents.com.