Nancy Kimsey has opened the Legacy home decor and furnishings store in Montecito.
Kimsey, along with co-founders Cindy Sapienza and Carolyn McCall, moved to Montecito about eight years ago with the intention of retiring. But the retail-experienced ladies saw a niche for a business that offers a variety of tabletop pieces and decorative accessories for the mid- to high-end customer.
“This town has beautiful casual shops and lovely high-end stores, and we thought there is a niche to cover in the middle ground,” Sapienza said.
The store, which opened April 15 at 1137 Coast Village Road, features an array of china, flatware, wine accessories, glassware, linens, wicker trays and other products from all parts of the world — Italy, France, Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, etc. Customers can buy a five-piece place setting for about $160, or they can mix and match the right accessories to give their settings a facelift, Kimsey said.
“We carry a rather eclectic mix so people can pick and choose their own style. It’s about developing their style and taking it further with pieces here that can hopefully inspire them,” she said. “It’s not like you have to start over; you take what you have and build upon it to makes a table look new again.”
Some of the popular items have been the casual outdoor-themed accessories. Bright shades of blue highlight porcelain shell serving bowls that are accented by wicker trays in one section of the store. Another area features ornate Italian and French porcelain dishes and hand-polished bronze bowls from Thailand.
An armoire showcases lacquerware handbags from Bali, silk blouses from Thailand and Vietnamese silk lacquerware in a corner of the store.
Customers enter through a two-part Dutch door that adds to an open, friendly atmosphere, Kimsey said. They can range from a young woman setting up her house to a grandmother shopping for clothes for her granddaughter.
“I want people to come in and have a casual, relaxed, friendly environment where they can pick and choose and create their own casual elegant lifestyle,” said Kimsey, who worked for years in retail selling soft goods, or ready-to-wear products. “It’s something I love to do for my family and my house, so it was a natural thing to do.”
Kimsey said she waited for the right time to open a store that would take advantage of a well-trafficked location, which was previously Kate Boutique and borders Lilly and Peregrine Gallery.
“I’m feeling the economy is turning around, we turned the worst corner and we’re on an upward trend here; the timing just seemed right,” she said. “To be on Coast Village Road you do have to pay a premium, but it will be worth it.”
She said Legacy gives people more variety that can turn an average table into something that resembles a “beautifully wrapped present.”
“What we try to do is fill a niche and find lines that aren’t carried in town,” Sapienza said. “There’s no point in competing with someone down street. We want to make sure everyone has a good choice.”