Fabric store

Fabric store sees increased activity and new location in Westport amid pandemic

WESTPORT – Although it already has a long history in Westport, Calico – the design and fabric store – is celebrating another grand opening in town.

“We were at 1701 Post Road for 25 years,” said manager Jane Peck, who herself lived there for 17 of those years.

This month the 72-year-old national chain, which began selling second-hand designer fabrics in Bedford Village, NY as Calico Corners in 1948, opened downtown at 224 Post Road. East.

“It’s a great location because of the visibility,” she said, noting that the groundbreaking ceremony on February 8 included a visit from State Senator Will Haskell, as well as a range of officials. , designers and industry professionals.

“They decided to do it before COVID,” she said, “but surprisingly we opened the store as planned.”

The corner building on the west side of Imperial Avenue, which originally housed Ed Mitchell’s and, in recent years, the State Cleaners, is now a new Calico store offering a range of design services, both in person and virtual, including custom furniture. , custom upholstery, furnishings and window treatments.

“We do pretty much anything that is made of fabric,” Peck said.

The store no longer houses the fabric bolts they used to cut for samples and the like, although the services and offerings, as well as the quality, will remain the same.

“I feel like our move makes us more up to date,” noted Shaun Amberg, designer with the store for 13 years.

The new location still attracts its loyal clientele as well as a few new ones.

“I know you can trust them when it comes to quality and value for money,” said client Kathy Volpe, who has just moved to Westport from Massachusetts and is decorating her new home.

“When I built my house 25 years ago outside of Boston, I went to Calico,” she said, where she had design work, window treatments and even new furniture for her.

“I was extremely happy with the quality,” she said, adding that the furniture was still in use in her other home on Cape Cod. “All the things they’ve done for me still look perfect.”

Peck said business was booming this year, due to the pandemic.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of customers decorating their homes because they are so much more at home,” she said. “Also, we have seen new homes, people moving into this area and they need to decorate their homes.”

Store visits are by appointment, Peck said, although they can also travel directly to their homes to consult or work with a customer virtually.

“We’re also allowing people to borrow fabric and take it home for two days to see how you like something,” she said, adding that it was a better option than just having the traditional small sample to continue.

She noted that the commercial nature of the store is part of what makes it unique. While customers can visit simply to purchase a fabric or related item of interest, they can also involve their work and design team to the level they require.

“We do a lot of design work here (and) we have a lot of products that we can offer our customers,” Amberg said. “It’s a great location.