By Joan Slowey Dellett
We all know how lucky we are to live here at the Jersey Shore – the nearness of the vibrant ocean, the salty smells, the calming sounds, sand between our toes. We love it so much we continually try to find ways to bring the seashore outside into our homes.
The owners of Bungalow Road share those same feelings, evident by the coastal environment they have created in their shops and the compulsion to share those feelings with their customers.
When co-owners Kara Tongring Wirin and Katie Finn Cashman met, they discovered they were two moms who shared the same entrepreneurial spirit of wanting to bring the beauty of the shore into peoples’ homes. In August 2011, they opened Bungalow Road on Main Street in Avon. They saw it as a place where customers could indulge their seashore dreams of filling their own homes with affordable items that reflected them and their life at the beach. The very name Bungalow Road conjures up a certain feel – warm, cozy and casual surrounded by treasures mirroring a beach lifestyle.
Originally started as a place for coastal home décor, Kara and Katie collaborated to find the right mix of items that would entice and excite their customers. Listening to their customers and others in the retail industry, they soon branched out to carry jewelry and women’s accessories. Through trial and error and continually working to offer unique gifts, they then added women’s clothing, a baby section and wedding essentials. Not long afterwards, they opened a second location in Atlantic Highlands with co-owner Bridget Duffy to bring their unique and affordable coastal creations to an even wider audience.
All the owners take great pride in their selection of gift items. It is important to them to feature items by local artists. By focusing on the local aspect and always on the hunt for unique and exclusive items, they work hard to maintain their community connection. In doing so, they have been able to establish Bungalow Road as a destination for unique seaside gift ideas through extensive word of mouth. Customer service and the relationships they form with their (often repeat) customers is paramount to them, often bringing certain items into the store that they know a particular client will like.
Bungalow Road has also found a unique niche for the store – a customizing element. They feature a multitude of specialized items customized with the names of 14 shore towns that allow customers to show their love of the Jersey Shore with gifts to make your personal “bungalow” reflective of your favorite coastal town.
Bungalow Road also features Stitch Lane, an embroidery service that allows the customer to monogram or customize most gifts in the store.
Ever grateful to their community for their support, it is very important to Kara, Katie and Bridget to give back by hosting fundraisers, participating in holiday boutique vendor nights off-site and donating baskets to local charities.
The owners of Bungalow Road are constantly trying to reinvent the stores. Their aim is to help a client find the gift that makes you say “that’s perfect!” – a win-win for the giver and the receiver! Even with a second store, plans are to stay small in order to give their clients unsurpassed personal attention. This is a lifestyle store putting forth a gift and home philosophy.
For the holiday season, Bungalow Road is chock full of gift ideas combining beach and Christmas themes, such as unique ornaments, candles, scarves and jewelry. The store is open 7 days a week, staying open until 8 pm on Thursdays for the holidays.
To find out more information about Bungalow Road and how they can help you find the perfect Christmas gift, visit:
https://www.bungalowroad.com/ or check out them out on Instagram or Facebook.