In forty-seven years, this family business has been passed from mother to aunts to daughter, Linda Humphrey, and has evolved from a needlepoint store in St Matthews to a one-stop shop for stationery, home and fashion finds in Prospect.
Anyone looking for the secret to running a successful local business can turn to Etcetera owner Linda Humphrey. In the fifteen years since she’s taken over the family business, she has kept the emphasis on the warm, welcoming service that earned it such a loyal following, while adding more custom printing services and one-of-a-kind finds. All the while, she’s kept loyal customers happy while bringing in a new generation. “We try to touch on all aspects of our customers’ lives,” says Linda. “We are known for our stationery and that part of our business continues to grow, but we also have a baby and children’s department— although it’s only one wall! We have beautiful wedding gifts, perfect Derby wraps… I even have Vera Bradley camp chairs coming in for spring games.”
Having grown up around the business, she’s picked up a lot of merchandising savvy along the way. Linda’s mother and aunts originally opened the store as a needlepoint shop in St Matthews. It changed hands between family members over the years— from her aunts to her sister then to her and her mother. It moved from its original location to Plainview, to a tiny shop behind a gas station before upgrading to the beautiful, light-filled storefront in Holiday Manor that is its current home. Along the way, Linda has carefully edited and expanded her offerings, bringing in stunning local jewelry, housewares, and home accent pieces. “If I think people are going to enjoy it, I will sell it here,” Linda says. “People know to run in here for something special. If you’re on the way to a party and need a gift, you can stop here. If you need a wedding gift no one else will have, it’s here. If you need napkins and a few perfect accessories for a Derby party, we’ll have it.”
Her ability to spot just what her customers need for almost any occasion has earned her a multi-generational following. “We have granddaughters, mothers and daughters shopping here,” she says. “We’ve been working very hard at bringing in the daughters. We want this to be a place where everyone enjoys shopping.”
Part of that welcoming atmosphere includes her prices— which represent something for every budget. “I want people to be able to come in for a fifteen-dollar hostess gift or a beautiful piece of silver tableware that’s several hundred dollars,” she says. “I like to think I have something for every price point.” That thinking applies to her stunning custom stationery as well, which can also be ordered through the store web site. “You can get custom-printed wedding invitations or party invitations for a dollar and a half each or you can go as high as you want to go,” she says. “Either way, you’re going to get all of our expertise on not only great design, but also etiquette. We know what you need to include, how things should be stated, and when to send them. When people come in, we can answer all kinds of questions that help with not just cards, but planning.”
That kind of customer service is part of the successful formula that has allowed this delightful local store to survive and thrive in our community for almost five decades. Etcetera is not only embedded in Louisville’s history, but in so many family histories as well. “I have the best job in the world,” says Linda. “I see so many people and get to work on so many happy occasions, and be part of people’s lives. If you’re getting married, planning a party, designing your Christmas card, I get to be part of that. It’s pretty special.”
IF YOU GO
Etcetera is located at 4913 Brownsboro Road. Call (502) 438-9463 for more information or go to etceteraoflouisville.net for printing orders.