By John Robert
Early last month Trenton became home to Wise Designs, a resale shop that offers quality furniture and decorations for reasonable prices.
Located at 3240 West Jefferson Ave., across the street from N.A. Mans, the store offers a mix of merchandise likely to interest a wide range of customers.
For owners and Trenton residents Janet and Chris Livernois, the business is a labor of love. While Chris has another job he must attend to during the day, Janet is the primary operator of the store, greeting customers with a friendly smile when they enter.
For years, Livernois had decorated her own house with the very things that now stock the store’s shelves. She would visit flea markets, estate sales, and whatever else she could to find unique, charming items.
However, the task of buying items that would interest others is not new to Livernois, who said “(my friends and family) would say, ‘I’m looking for a specific thing,’ and then I would find things for (them).
“Then (the idea) came up: I want to bring these things that I like and enjoy, and bring it to everybody else.”
That was the idea what eventually would lead to the opening of Wise Designs.
Their dream had to be delayed until the couple’s son was grown, but finally the chance has come to open their own store.
It is fitting that the store, which wants to help furnish your home, has a particularly local and homey feel. It is cozy, but not overwhelming in the amount of items competing for your attention.
Most importantly, they price everything reasonably, partly to help make room for other things that need to be displayed, but also because they understand that the economic climate is tough.
The store’s offerings range from the fun to the practical. On one shelf a small clay bust of a samurai was displayed. Another featured pottery and paintings. There also were steins, mugs, chairs, tables, and a variety of other mostly handcrafted items that could easily adorn a home.
“I like to pick things out, too, that are professionally made,” Livernois said. “If it’s a print sometimes it’s signed. I love even canvas art.
“It might not be Picasso,” she said, with a laugh, “but it might have been somebody local.”
“I love original pieces. I love textures, I love colors,” she said, in reference to the pottery she sells, but this mantra could be applied to much of the store.
The couple tries to get out to estate sales and other markets every weekend, so every week they may be selling new items.
To further augment their supply, they occasionally will buy items brought in if they think it matches their tastes, though they do not do consignment sales.
They hope that their tastes will impress their visitors from Trenton and everywhere else, and they can become a fun, local boutique-like experience which will draw people in. For more information, you can visit and like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wisedesignstrenton.