shopping 06.9.14


Luisa Cerutti and Nicki Lindheimer, the proprietors of Domus, 413 W. 44th St. [9th] 212.581.8099, clearly didn't have to be taught how to treat customers. Or how to find great stuff around the world. Or do right by their artisans (before selling organic Argan oil, they visited the cooperative in Morocco to make sure that its workers were receiving a fair wage). Or how to create an inviting shop and welcome everyone into it. It doesn't seem like a skill (or worse, a chore) but an extension of who they are. How many stores make you happy you're there?

After the gloom that had descended on the city following 9/11, Ms. Lindheimer and Ms. Cerutti left jobs in fashion and in food to find a way to connect the idea of home to their work. And so Domus was born.

Ms. Cerutti says, "We travel all over the world in search of objects made with love and integrity and you can tell immediately when that is the case because when people love what they do they don't take shortcuts in the quality of the work. When we see something that speaks to us, we learn the story of the people that make it, so we can bring it back with us and make a gift of that story to our customers."

Spotted recently in the store: brightly-colored bags by South American Wayuu tribeswomen, a handmade teapot, candles, vases, toys, wool blankets, cheeseboards.

"We imagine ourselves as matchmakers," says Ms. Cerutti. "When a customer needs a gift, we ask them to describe that person, so we can match the gift to the personality and needs of the receiver. We are pretty good at it if the amount of returns is an indication: we may have 4 or 5 returns per year! We are on a first-name basis with hundreds of customers. We have become a little bit of a country general store."

Domus is in Midtown, but it would be more accurate to say that Domus is where the heart is. Further proof.

New York City

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