Destination shopping is not driving to an outlet mall for a smokin’ deal but making the trip for something extra special—that new buzzword: experience. Shopping online may be an incredibly easy, passive activity; loading and unloading online carts is practically a hobby at this point. But that doesn’t mean people have forgotten or disowned “real” shopping. Like most things in the 21st century, it has just changed shape. Now, there needs to be added incentive to leave the house, be it a secret undisclosed location, customization, or impeccable design.
Triple-threat Tiny Home Store in Langley, an hour east of Vancouver, provides all three. In the middle of blueberry-field country, a miniature white-picket-fenced house is really a lifestyle showroom curated by author and influencer Monika Hibbs. The fully shoppable space is set up like a tiny home at the bottom of Hibbs’ palatial property and gives the impression of a bottom-of-the-garden-type oasis complete with outdoor seating, coffee, and brass light fixtures you can buy off the walls.
In the distance you can see the home that Hibbs and her husband are building together and the barn that will eventually take over for the Little House when its inventory outgrows the space (which is expected to happen by December).
The Tiny Home Store is just one example of this growing trend. People want an offering of connection and personalization along with their objects. “If someone has questions or wants information about the light fixtures or curtains, we can sit down with them and show them options from a catalogue. Sort of like a design consultation,” says Erin Girard, managing director and food editor for monikahibbs.com. It’s helpful for people to see how everything is going to fit together and complement their own homes.
Similar to the ever-growing popularity of showrooms like Livingspace and by-appointment personal shopping, the Tiny Home Store provides substance to consumption. Only three people are allowed to shop in the store at one time, and the appointments must be booked online in advance—only then will you be given the address. The excitement of being part of a select few in the know is part of the charm of visiting and way worth skipping the online shopping for.
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