We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Agne and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I spent ten years working as a dietitian (with a huge side passion for interior design!) before I decided to make the jump into home furnishings retail. When I was starting to think about making a change, I took a job in a boutique and immediately fell in love with curating and merchandising a shop. I knew within weeks I wanted to open my own shop and spent the new few years – that happen to coincide with several cross-country moves for my husband’s job and the birth of our first son – researching, collecting vendors, and drafting a business plan. Once we settled in Kansas City, I started filling in all the specifics of the business plan and looking for financing and a location! We started with primarily small home accessories and gift, and after a move to a larger location in 2018, we added furniture and started offering interior design.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Golden & Pine has a natural and organic modern style that has become our signature. When we opened 5 years ago, there was not a lot of light wood, bright white walls and handmade textiles and ceramics in Kansas City, and it’s been fun to see our customers incorporate our style into their homes. It’s even more fun now that we are designing rooms from the ground up and get to put in hard finishes like cabinets and tile that reflect our style.

I can’t say small business has ever been easy, ha! Some of our challenges are when we moved to our larger location to snag a prime spot next to great neighbors, it was almost a full 3x bigger than our previous so it took us some time to grow into it. After years of customers asking us about interior design, this pushed us to take that leap at that time. We also subleased a portion of our space to wellness and skincare shop, which has been a great complement to our offerings.

The pandemic of course presented crazy challenges for us as well. We had been primarily brick and mortar shop for our first few years open and when we had to close for 7 weeks, we used the time to pivot and get everything we wanted online. We have since developed a drop ship component to our business, where furniture online is shipped direct from the manufacturer and it’s been a great growth area for us.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh fun!

We’d start with brunch or lunch at Billies Grocery, one of my favorite restaurants in Kansas City. We’d pop next door to Hand & Land, a great natural focused shop and spa and either get a massage or take an infrared sauna session (which is key for me for getting through our dreary winters!).

For an active morning, Loose Park is my favorite spot for a nice walk, and I’m known to venture off path into the surrounding neighborhoods because Brookside, the neighborhood where Loose Park is, is so charming. An afternoon visiting my favorite shops (in addition to Golden & Pine of course 😉 would include Clarivaux, Welwythn, Verdant, Paradise Garden Club, and if it’s First Fridays I adore Urban Mining, a monthly vintage market.

If the weather is nice, nothing beats a pool day (with an actually tasty lunch!) at Woodside Village. If the kids are with us, a little miniature golf at the Nelson Atkins art museum golf course is always a fun experience. Or we love to visit Meadowbrook Park and grab lunch inside either the Market at Meadowbrook or at their little airstream setup outside of it. Other not to miss lunch spots include Caffetteria (my Golden & Pine neighbor!) and The Mixx.

For dinner, we would be sure not to miss Corvino, The Antler Room, and Port Fonda.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve had some really fabulous employees throughout the years! My first two hires were with me and and off for 4 years and became like family as we all moved thorough growing a small business. Because we did see a lot of growth as a home furnishings retailer during the pandemic (when we all thought about home so much more!), we have grown immensely during the last 2 years. I have a fabulous team, several with big responsibilities that allow me to focus on what I do best – buying, merchandising, and design. In turn we’ve been able to turn our retail jobs into more of a career track, with health insurance, retirement and even our first official maternity leave last year!

Website: www.goldenandpine.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/goldenandpine

Image Credits
These were all taken by Golden & Pine staff or contractors

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