Welcome to our new column, “Biz Q&A.” Each month, we’ll sit down with the owner of a local store or service provider to learn more about the businesses and people of our area. As keeping money local by patronizing our area’s shops and services is an important part of sustaining our regional economy, we feel a monthly Q&A column is a great way to connect readers with owners. We’ll also include a section of quick, fun questions so we can better get to know business owners as the people they are, with their own unique personalities!
This month we catch up with Pamela Sexton, owner of the home décor boutique Cattail Cottage in Southport (122 N. Howe St.) For more info on the shop, call (910) 454-4533 or visit www.cattailcottagenc.com.
Southport Magazine (SM): When did you open Cattail Cottage and why did you select that location?
Pamela Sexton (PS): I opened my business in the fall of 2007. When I heard that this location was going to be vacant soon, I knew it was meant to be! Not only was it close to the waterfront, but it felt so inviting with its white picket fence and original metal awnings. Plus, all the separate rooms make it so cozy—just like a cottage should be.
SM: How do you choose what to feature in your shop?
PS: There are many factors that affect the items I want to share with my customers. First and foremost, I order things that I like—that I would buy for my own home or things I would give as gifts. When making my selection, I also strive to find items that are made in the USA. Not only are they a better quality, but supporting the cottage industry in our country is very important to me. I try to have a little something for everyone.
SM: What is your favorite time of year for seasonal merchandise and why?
PS: My favorite season is fall. I love the colors, the scents, and the weather! To me, fall gives you the perfect excuse to enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially when you gather around the table for Thanksgiving.
SM: What do you think makes Cattail Cottage different from other stores in the area?
PS: It is important to listen to customers and their needs. If a customer asks me for a particular item and I don’t have it in stock, but know that I can get it, I will order it for them. I strive to provide the best customer service possible by offering one-on-one time with customers, as well as design tips, complimentary gift wrapping, layaway, and various loyalty programs. I also plan several events throughout the year, from seasonal open houses to fun luau parties. It is my way of giving back to my customers with specials, giveaways and just plain good ol’ fun!
SM: What’s in the future for the shop?
PS: I recently added more garden accessories with the expansion of my garden oasis and new items arrive almost daily—so the shop is always changing. I like to change my inventory for every season and holiday so that I get to enjoy new things, too! We are currently preparing for our fall open house which is scheduled for September 6th and 7th where we will have specials, refreshments, and even a prize wheel to win discounts/items, and giveaways.
SM: Favorite food?
PS: Any Thai food—yum!
SM: Favorite book?
PS: “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman. (I have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter.)
SM: Favorite musician?
PS: Brad Paisley.
SM: Favorite place to travel?
SM: Favorite thing about Southport?
PS: The waterfront.
SM: Favorite movie?
PS: “The Notebook”—I’ve watched it many times and I cry every time!