Tim Friar saw a void in the Central Ohio furniture retail scene and, rather than lament it, decided to fill it himself.
Friar, a modern furniture fan, was all too aware of the lack of local retailers selling mid-price pieces in that style. Now his store, Grid Furnishings, will carry them.
Located at 944 N. High St. in the Short North, Grid will carry a range of modern residential furnishings, art furniture, and art designed by makers and artists in the United States and Canada.
“Grid’s target customers are Columbus’s new urban residents, many of whom live in apartments and condos and show a preference for smaller, proportioned, and well designed furniture for their dwellings,” Friar says. “They also have appreciation for art and could be creating their first home or creating a transitional home later in life.”
When Friar decided to launch the store, he did his homework, researching Columbus downtown housing and development trends, business formation specifics, and possible store locations. He talked to gallery and furniture store owners in Columbus and across the United States. He also attended the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.
Surely the Columbus College of Art & Design graduate’s professional experience −15 years at a local design consulting firm and seven years at a local medical product manufacturer, where he ran the product development department− also has come in handy.
However, Friar did have some help making Grid a reality.
He credits Clark Pritchett of Rance, Pritchett, Branter, Keller & Ely, Lisa Craig Morton of Victorian Village Guesthouse, Sandy Wood and Mark Wood of Wood Cos., Sharon O’Brien of Grandview Mercantile, Randy Carr of CPA Solutions, and Kris Harrison and Gina Cronley of Orbit Design with providing helpful advice and input.
Among the local resources he utilized are DowntownColumbus.com, Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, ColumbusUnderground.com, Small Business Development Centers, Development.Ohio.gov, the Short North Business Association, and CCAD Career Services office.
Ultimately, Friar says he wants Grid to be “the top spot for modern and art furniture between New York and Chicago.”
Grid will have a preview opening during the November Gallery Hop and the store will be fully operational the week of Nov. 8.
To learn more about Grid Furnishings, visit GridFurnishings.com.
More information about the store’s offerings can be found on ColumbusUnderground.com.
All photos by Adam Slane Photography.