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New Main Street store aims to help Concord shoppers spruce up homes

  • Bridget Windsor and her dog, Gus, greet customer Eric Rosenberg at Spruce Home Goods, her new home goods and design store on Main Street. The store next to Dos Amigos Burritos opened last week just ahead of Market Days. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Bridget Windsor prepares to open her new home goods and design store on Main Street on August 18, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bridget Windsor at Spruce Home Goods, her new home goods and design store on Main Street with her dog, Gus, on Wednesday. The store opened last week. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Some of the items at Spruce Home Goods on Main Street.

Monitor staff
Published: 8/22/2021 4:56:12 PM

For Bridget Windsor, her new home goods and design store on Main Street is a return to her high school days in Concord, when she and her friends started a house-painting business to pay for college.

Spruce Home and Company opened Aug. 19 at a spot next to Dos Amigos where a Metro PCS store once stood. The store is a family affair, with Windsor’s daughters and 82-year-old mother pitching in to get the store ready to open during the recent Market Days.

The store sells quirky gifts, like napkins with embroidered abbreviations for swear words, as well as materials for home improvement, like wallpaper and a non-toxic mud furniture paint that Windsor loves. The products with New Hampshire images and 603 slogans will make good gifts for people like her son and daughter, who now live in Los Angeles, she said.

Windsor also offers home design consultations, an extension of her interior decorating business that preceded the store. She hopes that combination will set it apart from other Concord businesses. “I’ve never seen anything where you can get gifts, and then also have color consultations and painted furniture,” she said.

As a junior in high school, Windsor started up a painting business in Concord, working during high school and college summers to save up. It taught her how to run a business, and gave her an interest in painting that she never lost.

“We painted every house up in the West End, and around White Park, during the summers and had such a great time as young people, and then were able to make a bunch of money,” she said. “I’ve always just kind of come back to painting my whole life.”

After 18 years at home with her kids, she returned to home decor by working as an assistant to an interior designer before striking out on her own.

When the pandemic hit, she helped redo the interior of Bona Fide Green Goods across the street. The slowdown allowed her to focus on the parts of her interior design business that she enjoyed.

“I started painting more furniture during the pandemic because I had time and because I was home,” she said. “People were loving it and buying it, and just seeing that they could have something at home that’s been in their attic or garage or whatever and give it a new life.”

In November, Windsor opened a pop-up shop in Portsmouth called Shop Broad with Bona Fide Green Goods owner Amanda Hackett and two other women business owners, in a gelato shop vacant for the winter.

“I was in charge of the decor and the setup and how the store looked,” she said. “I didn’t realize how much I would love it.” Although she hadn’t always planned to open a retail store, when the Main Street location became available, she jumped on it.

Her phone camera roll is full of photos of the painstaking renovation and painting needed to make the drab cell phone store into something that feels more like a fashionable friend’s living room. Some mishaps did occur – Windsor had to get her contractors to rip out the wood flooring she had tried to do by herself.

She wants the store’s atmosphere to feel friendly and welcoming. “I want people to come in and have a good time. I want them to feel like they’re welcome here. I want them to feel like they’re in my home,” Windsor said.

Customers are greeted by music, occasional snacks and Gus, a friendly brown Labradoodle with a bed nestled behind the back counter.

Her now 16-year-old daughter came up with the name “spruce,” after searching for a verb to sum up Windsor’s skill for making a room brand new again with small touches.

“We live in New Hampshire and out in the woods, there’s spruce trees everywhere. I’ve always loved that and love the woods,” Windsor said.

Those Granite State woods are echoed in the store’s walls, which are painted a bright shade of green. Green also happens to be the paint-passionate store owner’s favorite color.

“People would say to me, ‘I just want you to spruce up this area, and really spruce up my kitchen.’ So it just kind of evolved into that.”

Spruce Home and Company is located at 32 N. Main St., in downtown Concord.

Cassidy Jensen bio photo

Cassidy Jensen has been a reporter at the Monitor, covering the city of Concord and criminal justice, since July 2021. Previously, she was a fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, where she earned a master's degree. Her work has been published in Documented, THE CITY, Washington City Paper and Street Sense Media. When she's not at City Council meetings, you can find her hiking in the White Mountains.

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