You want to step into a store full of emotions and products to explore? Well, let us introduce you to Maike Hertel, owner of 2nd home, a concept store that is worth a visit.

2nd Home storefront at Vogelsbergerstrasse 38, Frankfurt.
Photo: 2nd Home
2nd Home storefront at Vogelsbergerstrasse 38, Frankfurt.

When and why did you decide on opening a concept store? Tell us your story and motivation!

The store was originally opened by Susanne Theissen at the end of 2010. Susanne was already reconstructing older apartments and she had this idea of creating a store that looks like a little apartment where you don’t stuff products on the shelves and wait till the customer buys it, but instead create a room where you can show people how to furnish, combine and decorate a space. You can buy anything you see – that is our concept. The paint on the wall, the shelves, the window bench, even the light switch. Our portfolio does not only consist of selling products but also offers services like color consulting and interior design. 

What is important for you in terms of shop fitting and store design?

Our store is in a constant state of change, since the customer can literally take everything from the store. For that reason we need to create new corners again and again. I always have a vision in my head and try to follow that step by step. Which couch do I chose for the store? Which pillows fit with the couch? What wall color can I take? This concept is constantly convertible and that is a lot of fun, because the store never looks the same.

What does your product range look like? How big is fashion percentage-wise? What products do you offer apart from fashion?

One third of our product range is clothing. Fashion and jewelry account for 60% of the sales. In addition to that we have for example interior products from Muuto, Normann Copenhagen, Hay, and Ferm Living and fragrances from Comme des Garcons.

What are the best-selling brands?

In terms of clothing its Sessun, Second Female and Roberto Collina that are our bestselling brands. Our bestsellers for jewelry are Saskia Dietz and Hortense. Hortense is a jewelry designer from Paris, but moved to California a while ago. Her design is so delicate but at the same time distinct and very modern.

What is your target group?

We don’t have a special target group but there are much more women that come to our store. I would say 70% female customers. A lot of our clients are regular customers.

What are four products you couldn’t live without right now?

Hyaluron Serum from Susanne Kaufmann, my scarf from the Danish label aiayu – I wear this scarf the whole winter, detox tea from Tea Lovers and my cat wristbands from Hortense.

What makes your store different?

Our store conveys a very emotional concept that is composed of the interior design, the colors, the products, the smell – it’s a certain calm atmosphere that is hard to describe. I think this is also the reason people like to come to our store. The familiar and intimate ambience that you can`t get online and on top of that you can take everything, really everything home what you see. And if you like the shelf but not the color we can try to order it in another color.

What do you love and appreciate about the location of your store?

I really like the neighbourhood here in the Nordend district in Frankfurt, our store is a little bit hidden, but that doesn’t bother us, because we hoped that people would talk about it and the word of mouth marketing worked for us.

2nd Home
Photo: 2nd Home
2nd Home

How do you stay in touch with the wants and needs of your customers?

In the past years we have intensified our social media activities, but of course we talk a lot with our customers and take notice of what they are looking for.

Is there a kind of model store for you? Some shop (worldwide), that inspires you?

I don`t look right and left much, I get more inspiration from the internet. I love to read through blogs like Sojournal, Ems Design Blog, Freunde von Freunden and good magazines. Of course there are stores like Merci in Paris and Colette who are really fast forward in shop fitting.

What is the most important ingredient for successful retailing?

First and foremost be nice to your customers! You can have the greatest store, but when you are not kind and friendly there is no point. Be diverse, offer products that are not available everywhere and curate them careful and surprise the customer.

How important are fairs for you still? Which ones do you visit and where do you buy from especially?

Tradeshows are important for me. I have been to Objet Maison the last three years and also Ambiente. But I am also looking for other and new fairs. This year, I want to visit the Biennale Interieur in Belgium and maybe Furniture & Light in Stockholm.