By Molly Cerreta Smith
Tucked into the open-air shopping center of The Summit at Scottsdale on Ashler Hills Drive and Scottsdale Road, Why Hello Modern Home offers shoppers a relaxing and inviting environment in which to enjoy the shopping experience, not stress about it! Opened just over a year ago in October 2018, Why Hello Modern Home is a decidedly “no-pressure” store that offers beautiful, unique and nearly one of a kind gift items and home accessories designed to make people feel good.
Why Hello is owned and operated by designer Suzanne Hueners, who is originally from Anchorage, Alaska. There the American Institute of Interior Design graduate built her interior design career while raising her children. Just more than a decade ago she and her husband became “snowbirds” in Arizona, and purchased a home in Cave Creek. The two spent time going back and forth between Arizona and Alaska before finding a permanent home in this area that they simply love.
While Why Hello is just in its infancy, the idea has been developing since Hueners was a child herself. “It was always in my mind that I would open a shop,” she says, revealing, “From the time my sister and I were little girls, we would dream about it.” Though Hueners went on to seek another career path, owning her own shop remained part of her vision. When “on the road” with her husband, who travels extensively for his work, Hueners says they would visit small towns across the country and she fell in love with the concept of Mainstreet USA. “When we’d go to all these small towns, we loved walking up and down the streets of the town and finding those boutiques that are just treasures – the ones that carry things you just can’t find everywhere,” she says.
Then about five to 10 years ago, Hueners began taking her visits through these shops to the next level and starting taking stock of the items she saw and fell in love with. “With purpose, I began looking at unique items that I’d like to have in my own store someday,” she says, adding she would buy some of these items, take them home and then research where it was made, where it came from and how she could connect with the company so that she could carry their products in her own store — one day.
As fate has a way of doing, it appeared out of nowhere about three years ago — in a tiny shop in Midland, Michigan. “By this time I was really formulating my plan for opening my shop and I came across this beautiful print that read, ‘Why Hello,’” Hueners says. Naturally, she loved it so she bought it and took it back with her to hang in her own home. However, she just couldn’t find the right spot for it. “I kept moving it around the house to different places but none of them felt right,” she says.
Suddenly in the middle of one night she says she jolted up in bed with a revelation — the picture didn’t fit right in her home because it didn’t belong there, it belonged in her future shop! And so Why Hello Modern Home was born. However, Hueners still needed a location.
“I knew I wanted my shop to be in the Carefree area because we live there but also because it really has that neighborhood community small-town feel,” she says. She landed upon The Summit at Scottsdale center and says surrounding local tenants have been so welcoming and supportive.
Why Hello Modern Home features small furnishing, accent pieces and unique gift items that Hueners sources from all over the country (with a focus on buying USA-made products) and offers some lines from England, the Netherlands and Italy. “I just love things from Italy,” she says, adding she would like to incorporate more Italian-made item in her store. She also works hard to source items that cannot simply be found on Amazon or online, but that are true treasures to add to any home.
As an interior designer, she says that moving into a new home, building one from the ground up or remodeling can feel so huge that when it comes to the end of the process — the decorating and design of the home, many people don’t know where to turn. “The furnishings and accessories might be considered the ‘little stuff,’” she says, “but those are really the parts that truly make a house feel like a home.”
Why Hello features beautiful items from furnishings to clocks, mirrors, pillows and throws, but Hueners also admits that much of her clientele comes in looking for something they need “right now” in the way of a gift for a hostess, bridal shower or some other event. “It’s become a very important element of my shop,” she reveals.
Hueners also offers in-home consultations for those that are looking for interior design services. She says that sometimes people just need an hour, while for others she can spend upwards of 12 hours helping them create a customized look for their home that fits their personalities and melds with what they already have.
Mostly, she wants Why Hello Modern Home to be a place where people feel good when they come in to shop. “When I was formulating ideas for the shop, I wanted to attract customers like me,” she says. “A majority of this area is an older demographic. They are people that are starting new chapters in their lives and many are not as comfortable shopping online. They still like to be able to shop the old-fashioned way — and look, feel and touch.”
She also emphasizes that she wants people to really experience that small town spirit that is unique to the area when they come into her shop. “I have gotten some wonderful feedback from people that say they just love walking through the shop when they have had a hard day or just need to get their mind off things,” she says. “That’s why we never make people feel pressured to buy — we simply want them to enjoy the shopping experience and feel good when they leave here.”
In addition to forming that small town feel, Hueners invites the community vibe by offering neighborhood residents special after-hours exclusive shopping opportunities, especially during the holidays. “I started doing that recently and it’s really fun,” she says, adding, “It becomes a social hour as well as a shopping event.” To keep up to date on future events, shoppers can visit Why Hello Modern Home’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WhyHelloModernHome/ or via Instagram at www.instagram.com/whyhellomodernhome/.
Whether you’re in the market for a redesign or are simply looking for that one-of-a-kind gift that will really wow the recipient, stop into Why Hello Modern Home and peruse the modern home goods that are hand-selected by an experienced designer. And if you don’t find anything at all, you will walk away with that feel-good feeling that everybody could use a little more of these days! Why Hello Modern Home is located at 32421 North Scottsdale Road in North Scottsdale. For more information, visit www.whyhellomodernhome.com.