owner Maureen Popkin knew she’d have to start from the bottom and work her way up.
“Business can always be better as a startup company, we’re still competing with the big furniture companies around,” said Popkin, a Connecticut native. “But because we offer some unique solutions for customers, people are taking a second and third look at us.”
Six months after her in Berkley, she’s showing sure signs of integrating with the community and making her mark among area businesses.
Popkin ventured to Berkley to open her shop featuring midcentury modern furniture, tables made from reclaimed Michigan barn wood, accessories, pillows, rugs and more, following a lifelong love for building things and equally impressive eye for design.
"From just a little girl, I always loved making things with my hands," Popkin said.
Since opening in November as a first-time retail shop owner, Popkin has given it her all to offer the best to her customers. In return, locals have embraced her and her work, coming back for more. And, she makes sure to keep things new and exciting for her customers.
Three Little Bears: New June Moon chapter
Of all the things Popkin might be most proud, it’s the new line of furniture in just this week.
“We just launched a big line for furniture,” she explained. “My store is based on the midcentury modern design, which unfortunately was all imports. But as of (this week), we are carrying a new line of beautiful upholstered products that are U.S. based.”
This fully customizable furniture comes with a great price tag and helpful warranty, too, Popkin said. “You pick what you want and we make it according to what you want to do.”
Because of its unique ability to mix and match fabric, pillows and design, Popkin gave the line a fun name.
“We’re coining it Three Little Bears because you can pick your style. If it’s too soft, you can get something more firm. If you want it larger or smaller, you pick your size … You can pretty much choose whatever you want,” she said. That includes pillows, chaise additions, left hand versus right hand return—just about anything and everything to make it “just right.”
With this new launch, June Moon is now the Berkley spot to go to for local furniture design and for a customer to have an entire room completely designed.
For Popkin, it’s a new chapter.
It was unsettling to not have American-made products, she explained, but now the line compliments the other pieces on a whole new level.
“Part of the design here is local barn wood tables,” she said, adding that she makes them herself.
Mixing the distressed look of tables with contemporary seating is in part what makes June Moon such a unique store.
“It’s a really cool look and people can’t seem to get enough of it right now. Mixing metals and woods, it’s unexpected,” she said. “You don’t find this look at your typical furniture store, but you can here.”
Chin-Azzaro line: Adding the perfect touches
In addition to the new furniture line being a staple of the store, Popkin has a new partnership with a husband and wife artist team now offering accent pieces at June Moon.
“The art is a great add-on, really just to compliment the look or your home with the furniture and accessories in my store,” she explained.
Beginning late last month, kicked off the venture to offer their unique work in the brick-and-mortar setting by joining forces with June Moon.
The Ann Arbor-based art and design firm specializes in appraisal, consulting, photography, installation and commissions. The couple believed Popkin’s eye for design could make the perfect home for their pieces.
“Our company is largely consulting based, so entering the retail arena is a new venture,” Yen said. “We’re particularly excited to be collaborating with June Moon Furniture because their midcentury aesthetic aligns perfectly with our vision.”
Chin-Azzaro’s limited edition and digitally illustrated prints, as well as photographs professionally printed on heavyweight archival satin paper, are offered at June Moon now. The prints and photos are available in sizes 5” x 7” up to 12” x 18” and prices start at $40. All of the pieces are produced by the Azzaros in their home studio.
The Coolidge Collection: Embracing customers
In addition to all the things Popkin is bringing into her shop, she’s putting an equal amount of work into getting out and connecting with the community.
Earlier this year, June Moon collaborated with more than a dozen local businesses for the Coolidge Collection endeavor. “This is going to be so much fun. We have a combination of about 15 businesses and we formed an organization together,” she explained.
Some of the other businesses include , , , and more.
to draw customers in and connect with locals. During the , Coolidge Collection will be hosting its biggest event yet, all in the name of thanking their customers — the Coolidge Rocks Concert from noon-5 p.m.
"We’re having a customer appreciation event here, in combination with Detroit Schools Rock and Berkley Instrumental Boosters,” Popkin explained, adding that the outdoor event will also feature plenty of sidewalk sales for the involved businesses.
“It’s our way to say ‘thanks for being our customers'."