Our Team

Erika

Proprietress | Shopkeeper | Interior Designer | Wedding Curator

Chief Buyer | Occasional Trash Picker | Self-Proclaimed Bargain Hunter

Slight Overachiever | All Around Idea Girl

I was born and raised in central New York and am one of five children. I have two brothers and two sisters and seven adorable nieces and nephews. One of my sisters and her family currently live in North Carolina, but the rest of us live here in CNY between Syracuse and Utica. My husband Alexis and I live locally, just a few miles from the shop.

Anyone who knows me knows that decorating and design is my passion. My mom encouraged this in me at a young age – I was allowed to decorate (and redecorate) my room more times than I can count. She also fostered in me a love for the charm and appeal of vintage finds and the “thrill of the hunt!” She taught me what to buy and how to pull it all together, how to make something out of nothing and how to decorate on a dime. Her sense of style and her creativity are a constant source of inspiration to me.

My mission is to take the mystery out of decorating your home – it should be FUN, not daunting! Our shoppe is meant to inspire you to do great things – to mix and match the old and the new, the modern and the vintage – to help you create your own personal style and to show you how to live with the things you love.

We began painting furniture and selling our vintage wares at local antiques and collectibles shows over 15 years ago. Nearly ten years ago, Alex and I opened SWANK. What began as a 475 square foot project has grown into a 2500 square foot space, complete with interior design and wedding planning services. It's been a wild ride, but I am loving every minute of it!

Alexis 

Proprietor | Shopkeeper | Occasional Trash Picker | Chief Furniture Painter

Delivery Guy | Errand Boy | Experienced Chauffer, Mover and Hauler

The Ultimate Assistant and Business Partner 

I was born in Manhattan. My dad is retired military, so we lived in Germany, NYC, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Washington State and Florida. He retired at Fort Drum in upstate New York and that was where Erika and I met. My parents currently live in Virginia, and I have a brother who lives in Baltimore and a sister in upstate New York.

Honestly, it wasn't a boyhood dream of mine to own a retail store filled with home goods and women's accessories. But then I met my lovely wife and since it was her dream, it became mine. After all - she's so darn good at it! ;) Since we live in a college town, people come to Hamilton from all over the country and all over the world. I enjoy getting to know our customers and meeting new people. 

One of my favorite things is seeing the powerful transformation paint makes to a piece of furniture and coming up with creative ideas to re-purpose an item that might otherwise be discarded. As Erika said, owning a small business is a wild ride, but I am loving every minute of it as long as it's with the love of my life!

Linda (aka Mom)

Customer Service Guru | Idea Maker | The Ultimate Gift Wrapper

Master of Samples + Hospitality

I am Erika's mom. I was born in Utica, NY and raised in Clinton. I currently reside in Deansboro with my husband Donn (Erika's Dad). We've raised five children and enjoy our seven grandchildren, ages 10 on up to 17. I have worked with Erika and Alexis since they opened the business almost 10 years ago and have watched it grow, grow, grow! 

From Erika:

"My mom encouraged all of us to be creative, to make something from nothing and to re-purpose with flair. We got to change our rooms around often, to accompany her on treasure hunts to uncover the perfectly imperfect, and to witness her inspiring enthusiasm for, well, just about everything! She loves people and is one of the most hospitable women l know. She just knows how to make you feel special. I can only hope to be just like her when I grow up. ;) Knowing that she has our back and our best interests at heart is priceless and I am grateful to have her here to grow along with us, so THANKS MOM!"

 

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