Telling a story with unique and eco-friendly products is the goal of retail industry veteran Lawton Hall. His luxury gift and home décor store, EcoHome, is a Buckhead mainstay in Atlanta.
Hall opened his store in 2017 after spending time as an executive at AmericasMart. Hall’s professional experience primed him with the information on the wholesale and retail industry and the passion to create a retail store that reflected both a curated mix of high-end items as well as a place to offer eco-friendly merchandise with a charitable giving opportunity for the local community.As a former executive at AmericasMart, Hall understands the wholesale trade show industry. “I was always interested in the environment so I created a retail store that housed luxury gift and home décor items but also has a story — eco-friendly products with vendors who have a policy of giving back to the local communities,” said Hall.
The retail environment he created in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood caters to luxury gift and home décor items that each “have a story — unique eco-friendly products with vendors who have a policy of giving back to the local communities.”
EcoHome also specializes in exclusive merchandise, tailored specifically to its Atlanta store. Hall works with vendors to ensure product is exclusive and that the items it carries in the store are not sold to other retailers within at least 10 miles of its location.
“We carry a wide variety of gift products — entertaining, barware, jewelry, baby, men’s and a wide variety of candles,” Lawton detailed. “We source our products from the Internet and I also have a consulting service working with me to find unique items. Our top vendors are smaller local and southeastern artisans who specialize in luxury products.”
EcoHome is very busy in the spring, specifically around Easter, weddings, graduation and Mother’s and Father’s Day. “The biggest season is the fourth quarter with the various holidays in addition to Christmas,” noted Hall.
Hall explained that COVID-19 hasn’t changed the way he locates or buys products. “I stopped going to trade shows years ago — too expensive to travel and I can get much more productive work done working with the vendors who can come into the store. Many of these vendors work with me on an exclusive basis,” he said.
In wake of the pandemic, Hall has not modified the way the store merchandises, but is very cognizant of the sanitization process. “We haven’t really changed the look of the displays but we are constantly cleaning all of the surfaces every day,” he shared.
Customer communication is important to any retailer, and EcoHome is no exception. Hall’s tip to other retailers: “I would recommend staying in touch with your loyal customers and remind them that you are open for business, but also practice the guidelines that have been constantly discussed — wearing face masks, practice social distancing, constantly cleaning surfaces.”
This retailer enjoys his career and he shared his favorite thing about owning his own business: “I don’t have to report to anyone else and I have the satisfaction of finding products that people really enjoy.”