Exquisite Living owner, Zaina Wuest, and her team, are honored to be voted Best Furniture/Home Décor in the 2019 Best of North Atlanta contest. In just a few short years, Zaina Wuest has transformed her side gig as an interior designer to a thriving furniture and home design business.
Exquisite Living opened its doors in 2016 with a store on Atlanta Highway. The space has since more than doubled from 3,200 square feet to 8,200 square feet. In 2017, Wuest left her corporate job to run the store full time.
This year, Exquisite Living opened its second location in Alpharetta City Center, right across from City Hall. The stylish furniture and elegant décor are right at home among the boutiques of the downtown.
Wuest credits her company’s fast growth and success to its superior customer service and the bonds she forms with her clients.
“It’s about the relationship and not feeling like you’ve gone somewhere and somebody just tried to sell you something,” she said.
Exquisite Living employs four consultants with an educational background in interior design.
“It’s one of the things we do differently, which is the reason our design side has done tremendously,” Wuest said. “Most furniture stores offer complementary design service, but that’s just a sales person going in there and seeing what inventory they can pull out of the store.”
The designers work with the sales team and the client to help the homeowners come up with a plan for their space.
“We discuss with the client what their priorities are, their budget,” Wuest said. “We’re really big on respecting budget and timeline.”
When she set out to build Exquisite Living, Wuest studied the factors that usually prevent someone from hiring a professional designer. Many shoppers feel pressured by sales people who put artificial deadlines on the design process, she said.
Wuest then set out to eliminate those hang-ups from her business model.
“The client can take a look at [the plan] and say ‘Today I have budget for two rooms. Six months down the road when my husband gets his bonus, I can do upstairs,’ and so on and so forth,” She said. “I think that’s a big differentiator for us. No one feels pressured.”
The designs give homeowners confidence in how their rooms will turn out.
“Once they get the plan they feel comfortable because they can visualize what their home is going to look like and now the decision is up to them when they want to do it and how much they want to spend,” she said.
This strategy of putting service before sales has proven fruitful, with many clients returning to Exquisite Living for multiple rooms or even multiple houses. Wuest said developing trust with the homeowners is the most valuable currency for her.
With a new location in the heart of Alpharetta, Wuest is looking for new ways to have Exquisite Living be involved with the community. She is researching ways the business can help local philanthropic groups.
“I really want to decorate for those children that suffer from cancer and have just a few days left, where they can be in a room that they enjoy and the room that they always wanted,” she said.
Another way the company is getting involved in the community, Exquisite Living recently partnered with Appen Media Group to hold a room makeover sweepstakes. One lucky Herald newspaper reader won a $5,000 room redesign.
“Every business ought to do something like this, especially when you’re such a neighborhood kind of business,” Wuest said. “I’d like to continue finding opportunities like that to do more.”
Exquisite Living has stores at 374 Commerce Street and 6225 Atlanta Highway. For more information about its services, visit exquisitelivingatl.com or call (770) 807-0675.