Homenclature is celebrating its second anniversary at its Carmel location. Its owners, Amanda and Shayne Snider, want to thank the community for the support they have received in expanding their existing business into Carmel. Homenclature is a home furnishings store unlike any other. It offers the most unique, highest quality and affordable home decor and furnishings in the Carmel area.
Whether you are looking to redecorate an entire room or your entire house, Homenclature works with every budget and every time frame. You don’t have to be a seasoned interior designer—the knowledgeable and creative staff at Homenclature is happy to show you around their showrooms.
The Sniders first opened the doors to their 3,600-square-foot showroom in 2007 in Munster, Indiana. By 2013, they had grown substantially and moved from Munster to Valparaiso. The now 28,000 square feet of showroom and warehouse is filled to the brim with designer furniture, an array of eclectic accessories and one-of-a-kind pieces that the couple have hand-picked from designers and manufacturers all over the world.
Shayne is from Hammond, Indiana. He was an educator who quickly rose through the ranks from teacher and coach to ultimately Asst Superintendent at Riverforest Community School District.
Amanda is from Portage, Indiana. She is a graduate of Indiana University and Purdue University with major in biotechnology. Amanda worked in the medical sales for many years prior to starting Homenclature.
Amanda and Shayne had long considered owning a business, but the idea of a furniture store was spurred on by what Amanda believed was a lack of local supply of distinctive furniture and accessory options. She felt that the furnishings market could benefit from a store that would offer one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and decor.
As a small business startup, Sniders set up some ground rules for the business. They decided that they would borrow no money to start the business and would close it if not profitable. With that, Amanda began garbage picking, flea marketing and repurposing in preparation.
“Originally, our model was repurposed and gently used unique furniture in a modest space in the back end of a strip mall next to the local neighborhood bar. Though we had stockpiled inventory for nearly eight months prior to opening, we had sold nearly everything in about the first two months,” says Amanda.
She began perusing Craigslist and visiting neighborhood garage sales, estate sales and auctions, collecting items to sell in the store.
Eventually, Amanda had put her prior sales experience to work and began cold-calling warehouses, distribution centers, shipping companies and furniture manufacturers in an effort to acquire new, pristine merchandise.
The Homenclature Difference
We asked the Sniders why they chose Carmel when they decided to expand in the central Indiana area. “For the most part, [Carmel] and the immediate surrounding areas has quite a few big-box stores with limited options for the growing demographic of people that are not married to uber traditional design. There are not as many choices for folks who are wanting to really convey their personalities through the way their home looks at a fair and reasonable price point,” Amanda said.
“We offer really unique, high-quality selections that make our clients’ homes different from everyone else’s. It’s not easy to create history and character in a brand-new home. We’re able to do that through new pieces, vintage pieces and just some things that you don’t normally see ina conventional furniture store.”
Strategic Relationships With Manufacturers
The Sniders travel to market shows throughout the U.S., as well as overseas to work with international manufacturers—many that are family-owned. “We go to different markets and shows to see what is ‘new’ and ‘trending,’” Amanda said.
Building meaningful and strategic relationships with the manufacturers, both domestic and international, is key to the Snider’s business development strategy.
“We really make it a point to figure out which partnerships we want to foster strategically,” Amanda shared. “We work with mostly family-owned businesses, specifically in Indonesia, India and Vietnam. We buy from these same vendors a few times a year. We visit those businesses and see their children growing up along with their businesses, and we see the direct effect our purchases are having on their businesses and families.
We make the 23–26-hour flights and make these investments in the relationships, and we’re bringing back stuff that other businesses similar in size to ours won’t have or are incapable of getting. We also are offering these items at price points that rival or often beat big stores.”
It’s important to note that much of Homenclature’s mainstream inventory is specifically sourced in the US.
One Stop Shop to furnish The Entire House
Customers will find an array of vintage, traditional, old-world, modern and very contemporary designer brands, hand-crafted pieces and a myriad of unique and expressive accessories in a creative and nonintimidating, no-pressure environment at the store.
“Some people hire designers that make the space look magazine worthy or to look like an ‘Instagram-home’—a term that is being thrown around,” Amanda said. “While the end product looks wonderful, I think that people and designers who like our store understand how people are living now and how they actually use the space in their homes.
For instance, people use their ‘dedicated’ dining rooms maybe a handful of times for the holidays throughout the year, but we encourage people to use that room for other purposes the remaining 95% of the year in ways that are purposeful and multipurpose.”
Amanda suggested that in lieu of a formal dining table, use a secretary desk that folds down and expands so that the space can be used to seat people for a holiday dinner but then folds down to a work desk for crafts and other projects.
“Anything that is space saving is great,” she added. “I also think the rule is there are no longer rules [regarding home decor].
We have people that will come in and ask if we have media centers, and I will say, ‘Well, yes, but couldn’t a media center be a really cool buffet or a dresser or a console?’
I think everybody is realizing that their home should be a collection of things that represent who they are and their journey through life.”
Amanda says that they have found that customers do not want to wait to make their homes beautiful and are tired of seeing the same old stuff from store to store.
“Clients have the ability to furnish their entire home from top to bottom in one store without looking like they bought everything at one place.” You could do your entire home in one day if you wanted to. Being able to access inventory from both locations really expands the offerings available to a potential customer.
The Heart Behind Homenclature
Homenclature is more than an incredible store with breathtaking pieces of furniture and eclectic accessories that are affordable and high quality. It is a business with a passion for philanthropy.
“We are currently developing a program where we are hauling our customers’ used furniture back to our storage locker when we deliver our customers’ new furniture,” Amanda said.
“We allow not-for-profits to go in and take the furniture and accessories out for people and families in need. There are four charities that we are specifically working with. Some of the people that are served are either homeless and have children or are victims of domestic violence who are making a new start.
We work with ReStore, affiliated with Habitat for Humanity,and have assisted with home builds. We do systematic and regular donations to Salvation Army. Last October, we donated five truckloads to Salvation Army and sixtruckloads to ReStore.
We’re always trying to work with different places like domestic violence shelters that help women and their families. We go in and help furnish their temporary housing, and then they can take their furnishings with them into their permanent housing.
Anything that we can do to help someone transition out of a difficult situation and give them something that makes feel good and have a little self-worth seems to go a long way.”
The Sniders are also involved with The Boys and Girls Clubs and host events in Valparaiso and are looking to duplicate these strategic partnerships in and around the Carmel-Zionsville communities.
Working with Two Chicks & A Hammer
The Sniders and their staff hosted the Indianapolis – based mother/daughter company Two Chicks & A Hammer earlier this month. Karen E. Laine (mom) and Mina Starsiak Hawk (daughter)are the costars of a television-based reality show on HGTV – “Good Bones”.
The duo will be at Homenclature again on Saturday, August 3 from 12-2 pm.
The mother/daughter duo approached Homenclature prior to filming season four of “Good Bones.” According to Amanda, the duo was attracted to Homenclature’s collections and price points and thought big-box stores offered a more limited selection than what the pair was looking for in their renovation projects featured on their hit show.
“Karen and Mina actually came into the store one day with their producer and designer. They immediately understood the mix of products that we have and appreciated the variety and the price points. My husband and I were elated to hear that they thought our inventory matched their vision. We appreciate that they cater to small, local, independent business owners and value their support.”
Homenclature participated in six of the eight homes of season four of “Good Bones.”
“I think it is cool that they’re helping to revitalize Indy,” Amanda said. “I think it’s a great philosophy that they’re trying to improve the city which they’ve lived in for a number of years.”
Homenclature offers a custom order program, financing and layaway, and white-glove delivery service is available as well as customer pickup. New items arrive every week. Visit Homenclature online at myhomenclature.com or stop by the store in Carmel: 2150 E 116th St, Carmel, IN 46032 or in Valparaiso: 902 Calumet Ave, Valparaiso, IN 46383.