Coveted Home: An Interior-Decor Shop We’re Loving in Kansas City

Kansas City-based home-decor, furniture and accessory store Coveted Home was founded by Jaclyn Joslin in 2008, at a time before platforms like Pinterest and modern-day iterations of social media were prevalent—and before anyone would think of picking up a piece of furniture at Target or buying investment pieces online.

Joslin has successfully steered Coveted Home through massive shifts in the industry, which have happened at a breakneck pace, while developing and maintaining a beautifully curated, warm aesthetic. And while anyone in Kansas City can wander through her shop, locals can also make use of her hard-earned design aesthetic with interior design services, which guarantee you’ll wind up with an intentional, thoughtful space.

We chatted with Joslin about how she made her way into interior design and how she has developed her business over the years.

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How did you develop this really specialized design niche and open your own store? That’s the dream of so many designers.
Where I am now is really an evolution that happened over the past 10 to 15 years. I originally got into design when I graduated college in the early 2000s. I had a home at the time, and I was always fidgeting with it: painting rooms and moving furniture around. Things like that. This was all way before the rise of social media and Pinterest, so it was mostly a slow process of learning and evolving my style. Friends would ask me to help them pick paint colors for their homes and things like that, and it wasn’t until a friend said to me, “You can do this for a career,” that the idea really occurred to me.

I was living in a really small town in Colorado at the time, and a design profession probably wasn’t a viable option there. I moved to California and enrolled in a community-college design program to get an associate’s degree, because I already had a bachelor’s. I also worked at some furniture stores part-time while I was going to school. The program was focused on a lot of architecture and technical topics that didn’t really interest me. I loved space planning, but that was about as technical as I wanted to get. I loved decor and stylizing details, like pillows and fabrics. After I got my degree, I ended up working at a store in Newport Beach that also had interior-design services. But I didn’t have any real connections in California, so I didn’t feel I could really do it there. So in 2008, I moved back to Kansas City and opened my first store that also offered interior-design services. I hadn’t lived there since I left after high school in 1996. All this time later, It’s really been an evolution.

What originally led you to California?
To me, it was the design capital. I loved that concept of California cool and casual; that design concept where the doors are always open, shoes are always off, and there might be some sand in the house, but we don’t care. To me, that feeling of comfort is what design has always been about. It has to be comfortable and livable. When I moved back here and started looking at the curriculum for the interior-design program here, it was nearly identical. But while I was there, I got to understand and experience these designers who we don’t really have here, which can’t be replicated. So I’m really glad I did it.

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Being a small-business owner is no easy task, especially in a creative field. How have you handled the ups and downs the level of risk?
There have been times when I’ve had the rug ripped out from under me and when I’ve had to adapt to change. I fell into offering vintage pieces, which was a much smaller part of the original vision. But my employees have always been into vintage and had the desire to source it. I had these built-in pickers who wanted to do it, so we started going a lot heavier on vintage.

We’ve also seen the rise of Target and Home Goods, which are now becoming viable options for decor and furniture. When I started in 2008, nobody shopped for decor at Target, because everything they had was ugly and cheap. Now they’ve really caught on, and they’re producing stuff that’s really on point, of-the-moment and inexpensive. I can’t compete with that. So the only way to get around that is to have the complete opposite. We have things that somebody made that come only in small batches, in a handful of small boutiques, across the country. And when they’re gone, they’re gone.

On the other hand, also when I started in 2008, there weren’t very many quality craftspeople out there who were making things I wanted to sell. But now, it is absolutely insane what has popped up over the years: so many artisans who are producing amazing things locally and making incredible pieces by hand.

What tips do you have for those of us who aren’t designers, but still want to create a beautiful interior?
The biggest thing I’ve always emphasized with that is taking your time. You have to have patience. When you walk into a room and it just doesn’t feel right, it’s often because it was rushed or not fully thought-out. For me, when I start working on a project, I might think about it for weeks before I do any hard specifying or pulling pieces. I’ll just think about the room, the person and the feeling for weeks before I actually understand the best direction. Then I can start gathering some pieces and it comes together. You can’t just hope it comes together on its own. You have to put the energy and attention into it. Pick your pieces slowly, curate them and ask for help. Come in to design and decor stores and bring photos. We love talking through inspiration photos with people. We even have a loan policy where customers can take things on loan and try it out and return it if it doesn’t work. In short, you have to do it over time, and you have to do it thoughtfully.

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What would you say to someone who wants to do what you’re doing?
I started out very naive. Whenever I have designers come to me and say, “I’m thinking about opening a store,” I’m honest with them, and I say, “I don’t know if I’d really recommend that to anyone.” I always tell people to start off online, and if you really think you can make it having a storefront, then do it. But this day and age, to me it doesn’t feel necessary to me to have a storefront.

No matter how you approach it, there’s still going to be a lot of trial and error. That’s how I’ve learned along the way, which is going to be true for everyone no matter your circumstances. I have had design students come to me, and I tell them, “Start by working for someone else—and then go out on your own.”

Images courtesy of Coveted Home.

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