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   April 24, 2008 Issue                                       

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©2007 The Chestnut Hill Local

Hill Company branches out
by Lisa Kniezewski

Hill Company has seen much change since 1949. Once a local hardware store, since 1976 it has been transformed into a premier furniture store. Now the firm has a new partner, Marguerite Coyle, alongside owner Linda Moran, and a new branch in Worcester as well.

Although Coyle is new to Hill Company, she has a history with the store and Moran. She worked in advertising sales for Philadelphia magazine for seven years, and Moran was one of her clients. After building a friendship, Coyle, who also worked briefly at Robertson’s florists, approached Moran with interest in becoming a partner.

“We had become really good friends, and spent most of our time chatting about things other than work,” Moran said of Coyle. So when Coyle approached Moran with interest in Hill Co., Moran said, “I was thrilled.“

Moran had just signed the lease for the second location and she was planning to tackle the management of two locations on her own after her daughter in Boston, who was supposed to become a partner with Moran, was unable to do so.

“It was like a gift from heaven,“ she said of Coyle’s interest in joining the company. “She said she would like to work for me, but more than that would also like to buy into the company.“

Since Moran took over ownership in 2006, the store has been renovated and expanded to create room for more pieces. It also was voted “Best in Philly 2006” by Philadelphia magazine for outdoor furniture. With all the success, it seemed appropriate to take the next step forward and open an addition, Moran said.

Opening a new store can be a stressful endeavor for anyone at anytime, and today’s struggling economy can make it even more intense. Despite these challenges, Hill Company, said Coyle, is in a good position because of the real estate market. People are staying in their homes and are looking for ways to make them more comfortable and beautiful. With a new location, there is more selection and Hill Company can also offer its services to a broader population.

Hill’s Worcester branch had a grand opening on March 15. The neighboring restaurant, Zacharia’s, catered the event and the store was well received. Worcester is an ideal location, Coyle said, because it is a suburban outlet and the area is booming. The new store, at 2960 Skippack Pike, is in the Center Point Shopping Center.

Coyle encourages people to check out the new store because the open floor plan and high ceilings provide a different perspective on the variety of pieces. She said the Worcester location is an “extension“ of the Chestnut Hill location, and the furniture displayed will be different than that in the Hill location.

To add to the excitement, Hill Company will be furnishing this year’s Philadelphia magazine Design Home in Gwynedd. Moran participated in the magazine’s design home for the past two years, and this year is tackling the furnishing of a pool area, a cabana room and two large covered porch areas.

“It’s a lot of furniture and a lot of work,” Moran said, “but it shows that we can design multiple areas.

“They don’t match, they are coordinated,“ she added, explaining that most home owners do not want the same furniture and colors spread throughout the home, but a mix that compliments.

Hill Company offers quality furniture, accessories and artwork that can fit many different styles and tastes. For those not afraid of color, there is a wide palate to choose from, and for those who prefer neutral, calm spaces, there are many pieces that have an understated elegance. The styles range from contemporary and modern, to traditional, country and shabby-chic.

Moran said when she is choosing furniture, she tries to pick pieces she think will sell best and represent the styles that are available through catalogues, if not in the store. “I choose, by eye, the materials and styles that I want to keep in stock,“ she said, explaining that there are always catalogues that customers can choose from.

When she chooses pieces, she said, she tries to make sure everyone who comes in will find something they like.

“There are all kinds of houses and all kinds of people; you can’t just buy for yourself,“ she said.

Free design consultation is offered at your home or at the store, and they will order to your taste. To learn more about Hill Company, visit www. Hill-Company.com or call 215-247-7600 (Chestnut Hill), 610-584-4020 (Worcester). The stores are open seven days a week.