Caroline Reyes-Dorson has a clear vision of what her store should be to her customers and she does not veer from that concept.
Birdcage, a San Diego-area store, is a magical mixture of home furnishings, accessories, personal care and fragrances created by Caroline nearly four years ago.
Ditching her first career as a vice president of Showtime, the cable TV network, she and her husband sold everything and bought a 35-ft. RV to head west from New York. Retailing appealed to her, so she bought Greenwich & Charles, a smaller store in San Diego. Soon, she had created Birdcage and just last year doubled her space to 5,000 square-feet.
Even in difficult times Caroline sticks to her vision: “We do everything we can not to look like anyone else.”
The shop creates vignettes under the direction of merchandising manager Claudia Osorio, and makes changes in them several times a week.
“She definitely has the eye,” Caroline said. “She’s brilliant and it comes naturally to her. Customers say to us all the time, ‘I could live here, it’s beautiful.’”
Caroline does all the buying for the store, mostly in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. She praises IMAX as one of her key vendors.
“IMAX has become important because the products are made well with phenomenal prices. Their etageres and frames are great ‘grab and go’ items. You can put an IMAX lamp in a vignette with a $5,000 sofa and a $3,000 chair and it works.”
Caroline limits advertising to some upscale regional magazines and direct mail. She has built up the interior design department, adding Chelsea Coryell. “I tell Chelsea to load up the station wagon with accessories and go to the customer. Very little comes back if we’ve done our job.”