MILESTONE: Swiss Interiors 60th

Swiss Interiors is considered a landmark in Oakville's downtown core. Celebrating 60 years of success in the furniture business, it is through value and trust they have secured a long-standing business at their Lakeshore Road address. Offering top brand furnishings and home accessories in traditional and transitional styles, this Oakville store has flourished for six decades.

At first sight, the store has a deceivingly small exterior, but is in fact 10,000 sq. ft. of multi-level space. Though of European origin, the family owned business has always provided North American-made furniture. Surviving the challenges and the changes over a 60 year span…their mainstay is value in product and principle.

Original owner, Sam Muller, started the business initially as an upholsterer. Heralding from Switzerland, it was in 1953 that he and wife Betty christened the store “Swiss Interiors”. Today, daughter Carol Vesters has the reigns, and has often rethought the name.

“Now and again we have talked about changing it, as the name may infer our furniture is Swiss made,” explains Vesters. “It may confuse a few first time visitors to the store, but our longevity outweighs that. It's not long before a new customer discovers the store carries familiar quality brand names at competitive prices.”

Along with husband Rick, the Vesters share a buying eye for what is of value and style. They learned from the best that when it comes to high quality fine furniture, nothing rivals the inherent beauty and enduring strength of wood.

Swiss Interiors' furniture is generally referred to as transitional in style, implying a union of traditional and contemporary pieces, simple yet sophisticated. “We find that a little less traditional is a nice comfortable fit for most people. Trends come and go, but the quality has to last. Our North American furniture is an investment into one's future…people want to have that durability.”

The exterior of the store has been recently renovated to reflect the more transitional styling of the furniture as compared to its very traditional roots. Noting a change in the last decade, Swiss Interiors provide selections for people with preferred transitional tastes and for the downsizers who require nicely scaled and simpler pieces for their condo or bungalow.

In-store sales consultants help customers choose and customize furniture to suit their needs and tastes, and interior designer Julie Eldridge is on hand for advise in-shop or at home.

Over the years Swiss Interiors has maintained that value is the one thing that never goes out of style ““ in tough times or good. Nor does customer service. Understanding that great client relationships equal value, Vesters says, “What customers experience in your store counts for as much as what they buy.”

Swiss Interiors is a story of longevity in a competitive marketplace. Carol Vesters claims it's because they stuck to the original plan. “My father began with treating people right and fair. Honesty is key, and as stores have come and gone we enjoy generations of customers. We take care of them from beginning to end. It's about trust…and that's what word of mouth becomes.”

Meanwhile, Dad and Mom Muller reside in Oakville watching from the sidelines. Sam still comes into his shop to see what is new and gets a kick out of seeing “˜retro styles with a twist'. “He is proud of his legacy.”