My wife was looking for a special gift for a special relative without much luck for the past couple of weeks. Time was drawing near when the gift presentation was due. As luck would have it, she found the special gift she was looking for in of all places, a new Main Street Kilmarnock shop called … what else – “Specials”.
Specials is the brain child of Amy Groh and her father Tom Groh. Amy is the owner and Tom, drawing on his background in department store merchandising, is the buyer. I first encountered Amy and Tom last December as they were wandering the Steptoe District streets in search of an appropriate location for the store. Little did I know they would settle on the former Jim’s Gym which has stood empty for about a year and is just a neighborly few doors down from the NorthernNeck.com office. For the next 4 months they worked long hours renovating, laying out, and stocking the facility turning it from a sweaty gym to a beautiful and exciting boutique complete with a new exterior front.
Amy named the store Specials because that is what she intends to bring to the region’s residents. The store offers a little bit for every occasion – the range of merchandise is absolutely amazing – original art, estate and antique merchandise, fun jewelry, dinnerware and dining accessories (check out their wine glasses!), waterfront cottage décor as well as necessities (linens, soaps, aromatic candles) for the unexpected guest that happens to drop in for the weekend. Tom describes Specials as “a different type of variety store” that will offer quality merchandise at good prices.
Amy says the items she stocks are “fun” – fun because she stocks what she personally enjoys and, fun, because she know that customers will be excited at opportunity to buy locally, the range and quality of items that currently require a trip to Richmond, DC, or Williamsburg. Specials merchandise is priced for rapid sale as Amy’s goal is to keep the store presentation evolving so that a customer’s every visit is a fresh, new experience.
The other day, a card arrived in the mail from Specials thanking my wife for her purchase. Now that was really a unique and special touch.