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We're Open: The Industrial Cottage sees 40% increase in sales as homeowners redecorate during pandemic

Posted at 6:06 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 17:41:37-04

NORFOLK, Va. - What was once old becomes new again in the workshop of the Industrial Cottage in Norfolk.

"We can refinish it, restain it, hand-paint it or lacquer it," said owner Molly Tilman.

The Industrial Cottage started about five years ago, specializing in re-purposed dressers and tables. The business then moved into a warehouse space on Church Street in Norfolk in 2018, becoming a furniture store where funky finds and vintage pieces pop again.

"We just bring it back to life and give you a new look for your home," Tilman said.

At this time last year, designers were diving into projects as the pandemic took a seat.

"It was scary. The first three weeks, we were very much in shock, so we were holding our breath waiting to see if we would lose it all or keep it afloat," Tilman said.

Then the phone started to ring off the hook.

"Orders began to snowball," Tilman said. "People were sitting at home looking at their houses and saying, 'If I'm going to be sitting here, we should make it pretty.'"

Crazy, explosive growth happened -- the store saw a nearly 40 percent increase in sales as homeowners yearned for a fresh new look.

"It is very humbling and we are very grateful," Tilman said.

With that growth, the Industrial Cottage is adding on new employees and expanding.

We got a sneak peek at their new Home Reimagined collection, full of housewares, kitchen accessories, bedding, textiles and more.

"People aren't just walking out with dressers -- now they want all the accessories to go on top of it," Tilman said.

And unlike other furniture and home goods stores, the Industrial Cottage isn't fighting shipping delays here -- another reason for growth.

"We can get things out often in 4 to 6 weeks," Tilman said.

The new collection will be unveiled this Saturday starting at 11 a.m.