AUGUST HAVEN

Interview with Jim Greene, owner of August Haven

PHOTOS BY ANGELA TRUSKOWSKI

Store Name:
JG: August Haven
Owner:
JG: Jim Greene
When did August Haven open?
JG: September 2011.
How did you get started in the business?
JG: The idea of August Haven was actually conceived over ten years ago on a cocktail napkin while out to dinner one night. We really wanted to have a dedicated space to what we like to call “urban chic.” It was the next step for us in addressing the emerging new luxury looks and brands that were popping up. Being in Green Bay, we knew there was enough customer interest right here for this type of upscale furniture. People in our community were interested in the high quality furnishings and accessories that now fill our showroom, but were having to drive to Chicago or Minneapolis to acquire those pieces. We saw that opportunity, and so August Haven was born.
What do you love about owning the shop?
JG: We believe that August Haven is unlike anything in the area, which is exciting in itself. To be able to be here every day and listen to repeat customers and first time visitors say how much they love the store, and how they didn’t even know they could find anything like us in Green Bay lets us know we’re doing something right.
Where did the name August Haven come from?
JG: August Haven actually started out with the intention of being Studio Home. But then I came across the Latin term for “august” which means “dignified and noble.” And of course haven means a refuge of sorts, so once you combine the two it really speaks to the personality of the store.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the business?
JG: We try very hard to stay current with trends and even set our own trends. The challenge in that, though, is achieving that balance between having trendy and classic pieces. We don’t want to be just another store where you can find an of-the-moment item. The trend gets lost that way and can get very outdated very fast. We aim to stay fresh with revived sets and new arrivals so that every time a customer walks in, he or she is inspired and intrigued all over again.
Do you have a favorite entertaining or design tip?
JG: Keep it simple. Decide on your focal point and focus your time and energy there. Don’t get lost in the little details. Your focal point should always be the most memorable part of any event or design. So if it’s a big dinner party you’re hosting, focus your energy on the table presentation and serve an easy, yet classic meal. We tend to go overboard with everything and lose sight of the most important elements. Just a few well-executed ideas will keep your guests happy and you stress free.

“WITHOUT GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE, YOU’LL FAIL. IT’S GUARANTEED. WE COULD HAVE THE BEST LOOKING SHOWROOM IN GREEN BAY, BUT IT WON’T MATTER IF WE’RE NOT GENUINELY GOOD TO OUR CUSTOMERS. RIGHT NOW I THINK WE HAVE A GREAT TEAM WHO ARE GENUINELY ENTHUSIASTIC TO HELP OUR CUSTOMERS HOWEVER WE CAN. WE WILL ALWAYS GO THE EXTRA MILE TO GIVE EVERY CUSTOMER A GREAT EXPERIENCE, WHETHER THEY PURCHASE SOMETHING FROM US OR HIRE OUR DESIGNERS FOR DESIGN WORK.”

-JIM GREENE, OWNER OF AUGUST HAVEN

Do you have any favorite pieces in the store right now?
JG: We always love our LEE Industries and Verellen pieces. The design, quality, and uniqueness of their products never ceases to amaze us. We also have a rustic foosball table that arrived a couple months ago. It’s like nothing we’ve ever carried before and it catches the attention of everyone who walks into our store.
What is your favorite quote?
JG: It’s actually my [Jim Greene] own quote: “One of the greatest joys in life not universally experienced is being on a winning team.”
Favorite vacation destination?
JG: Anyplace warm. New York City is always fun, too.
What is something you have learned in the business that you didn’t expect?
JG: It’s not so much that we didn’t expect this, but we’re always reminded that you can’t please everybody. We’ve also been surprised by customers’ reactions to pieces that were completely opposite of what we expected. That’s why it’s so crucial to stay true to your vision. August Haven was started with a very specific vision and I think we’ve done a great job of maintaining that vision while letting it evolve. Sometimes you’ll succeed, sometimes you’ll fail, but you’ll never have regrets if you stay true to yourself.
What items are your best sellers?
JG: We sell a lot of dining chairs and food items from our market section. Maybe that’s coincidence, maybe it isn’t. Living room pieces also seem to be quite popular.
What inspires you?
JG: Innovation, passion, and creativity.
Meet the Team…
We are fortunate to have a small yet dynamic team at August Haven. Within our close knit group, we have talented team members who are extremely knowledgeable about interior design, crafting, cooking, entertaining, decorating, and more. Because everyone is at a different stage in their professional life, everyone brings something different to the table. Our designers have different styles and different ways of doing things, and that’s great because it means we cater to a wide variety of customers with a wide variety of tastes.
 
What sets your business apart from online shopping?
JG: We actually launched an ecommerce website this summer, but you really can’t get the full August Haven experience unless you visit our showroom. We’re constantly refreshing sets, showcasing new products with fun visuals, and decorating the showroom so it’s seasonally relevant. Plus, our design team is always here to answer your questions or guide you through the buying process so you end up with an inspired space. You’re truly missing out on all of those elements if you’re solely shopping online.
Do you have a favorite customer story?
JG: All of our favorite customer stories are the ones where the customer leaves satisfied; its’ even better when they return to our store again because of their great experience with us. When you have a frustrated customer who comes in and is having trouble knowing or finding exactly what she wants, it’s a great moment when you’re able to take that frustrated customer and turn her into a happy customer. Helping her find the perfect piece or create the perfect space is extremely gratifying.
Are there any happenings or upcoming events in your area that you want to share?
JG: We have a few fun things planned for the holidays – winter table decorating demos and a holiday open house just to name a couple. You can check out the entire winter festivities calendar when it publishes on our Facebook and Instagram pages, or sign up for our emails.
Any store mascots (kids, pets, good luck charms…)?
JG: Nope. Just our smiling faces!

WE’RE MORE THAN JUST A RETAIL STORE. WE HOST OUR OWN SPECIAL EVENTS AND SEASONAL DECORATING DEMOS. OUR DESIGN TEAM IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR A MINIMAL FEE TO HELP YOU DESIGN A ROOM OR YOUR ENTIRE HOME. THEY’VE ALSO DONE DESIGN WORK IN PREPARATION FOR OUTDOOR EVENTS AND HOME STAGING FOR THE SHOWCASE OF HOMES. LASTLY, WE ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU CREATE CUSTOM GIFT BASKETS. WE CAN CREATE PERSONALIZED GIFT BASKETS OF ANY SIZE AND FOR ANY BUDGET. THESE MAKE SPECTACULAR GIFTS FOR BIRTHDAYS, HOLIDAYS, AND JUST BECAUSE!

August Haven in a Nutshell…
1. COFFEE OR TEA? Coffee. Always.
2. SALTY OR SWEET? There’s a time and a place for both, but I’m going to go with sweet. Our Indulgence chocolate bars are perfect for satiating that craving. Have you tried one? They’re dangerously good!!
3. BEACH OR MOUNTAINS? Mountains are scenic and beautiful and all that, but we’re in Wisconsin. It’s cold here. Give me a beach, please!
4. BEER OR WINE? Again, we’re in Wisconsin. I’ll take a beer.
5. CITY OR COUNTRY? The city is always an inspiring place to be.
6. CATS OR DOGS? Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, right?
AUGUST HAVEN
Green Bay, WI
855 865 8765

August Haven carries a unique collection of rustic, urban and antique home furnishings and accessories. It is our goal to inspire and delight our customers with one-of-a-kind items that have everyday purpose, infused with comfort and redefined luxury.