Lay it down
For Tina Smart, the COVID-19 pandemic was “one door closing and one door opening.” Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, she had been brought up in a family rug business focused on modern, trendy with an emphasis on durability. The family opened its first large showroom in 2010, and has since grown to four large retail stores in Ontario. “In 2016, I fell in love and married a Michigander,” Smart said. “I never thought I’d leave Canada – it was one of the toughest decisions of my life.” After commuting for a couple of years from her home in Shelby Township, she had a daughter in 2019, and then, in 2020, came the pandemic, and with it, closed borders to Canada. “I decided to open something of my own,” she said. Strolling around downtown Birmingham, she fell into vacant space at 202 E. Maple Road – right next to lululemon. In late March, she had a soft opening for Area Rug Store, with a May 1 grand opening planned. “What I carry, they have to be durable and easy to clean, but bring in a modern taste,” Smart said, noting there are many contemporary designs, along with some that are more traditional.
Business Matters for the Birmingham - Bloomfield area are reported by Lisa Brody. Send items for consideration to LisaBrody@downtownpublications.com. Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.