As they say, the only thing constant is change, and those who cease to evolve will cease to exist. The same is true for businesses, they must continue to assess the current market and customers’ needs and evolve with the times. One local Richmond business understands that more than most.
“We aren’t afraid of change,” said owner Sarah Paxton, owner of LaDiff, a contemporary furniture store that has anchored Shockoe Bottom for decades. “Over the last 42 years, LaDiff has been a gift store, a whole-house store, a lifestyle store, a huge furniture emporium.”
This past summer, the company shifted gears, albeit slightly, with a big move “across the river,” as Richmonders say, to a new location along Commerce Street in Manchester.
Multiple factors precipitated the move: Paxton’s husband, who originally founded the store in Charlottesville, was ready to retire while Paxton herself was not, and they were also putting their iconic downtown building up for sale.
“Our current iteration, with our smaller footprint, is more of a custom showroom. Our design team is full of problem solvers who can offer artistic and practical input into how you furnish your spaces,” said Paxton.
While the space is a smaller footprint, the plentiful parking and 5-acre plot give the store room to breathe with additional convenience while overlooking the beautiful Richmond skyline.
“It’s so easy to get to,” said Paxton. “We are just off the Maury Street exit, follow 4th Street around, and it will spit you out across from our store.”
Nowadays, getting there is easy, but moving 75,000 square feet of furniture to a new building was another situation entirely. Paxton credits her staff with coming together to make it happen.
“[Moving] was a gargantuan task. Everyone chipped in to help,” she said. “While the warehouse team filled truck after truck after truck to move, the sales team packed lamps and gifts and rugs, wrapped glass, and organized office supplies. It took a village, and I am very proud of all of them for the help they provided.”
Solidly moved into their new “home,” Paxton has found some new favorite lunch spots, fellow local businesses, naturally.
“Stella’s Grocery, The Continental restaurant, and Hatch Local are only two minutes away, so lunch is always amazing.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is Paxton’s appreciation for her customers.
“Our customers really become part of our business. We recognize them in the grocery store and restaurants; they tell their friends about us, and they look out for us too!”
LaDiff is located at 1011 Commerce Road in the Manchester area of Richmond. For more information visit their website, ladiff.com.