WASILLA — Kris Shiesl achieved a longtime dream on Oct. 1, opening the doors to Cobblestone Furnishings and Home Décor to the public for the first time. She cut the ceremonial ribbon outside her new store in Wasilla, surrounded by city officials, friends and family.
“It feels good,” Shiesl said.
After the ceremony, everyone gathered inside to mingle, eat snacks and browse the various pieces of furniture and decorative goods.
“I think it’s great. One less reason to go to Anchorage,” Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle said.
Cottle was one of the first customers to shop at the store. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, he bought a pair of decorative pumpkins made of glass. It was a timely choice with autumn in full swing and families are starting to carve pumpkins.
“They last longer [than real pumpkins],” Cottle said.
Shiesl has over 25 years of design experience. Her store features an eclectic array of unique furniture and decorative items. She handcrafted nearly all the products on display, including refurbished and upcycled furniture and ornately arranged decorations.
“I love decorating,” Shiesl said.
Shiesl’s longtime friend, Denise Cargo, was one of several people who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony to show their support. She said that she was very proud of Shiesl for making her brick and mortar dream come true.
“It’s great to see her vision come to life,” Cargo said.
Cargo has known Shiesl for 42 years. She said that this creatively driven lifestyle, seeking out and crafting a majority of the goods sold in the store suits her creative friend.
“She’s very artistic and it shines through [her wares],” Cargo said.
Another good friend of Shiesl’s, Chrissy Arrigo, said the arrangement of the store was aesthetically pleasing. She said it was artfully arranged and easy to navigate through.
“She’s so good at it,” Arrigo said. “I think it’s perfect the way she arranged everything.”
Shiesl’s mother, Sandy Karaginides, was also there. Karaginides said that her daughter has always been a creative soul, always one to enjoy arts and crafts projects ever since she was a young child.
Shiesl grew up loving to draw and paint. Arrigo said she has one of her paintings at her house. Cargo has some of her paintings as well.
“I’m just so proud of her, a super talented lady,” Karaginides said.
Shiesl said the genesis of establishing her own furniture and home décor store came from her time at a Wasilla store called Sunflowers before it closed. She said that she was greatly inspired to emulate that type of establishment while working under the two creative women who ran the store.
She said that opening her own store in Wasilla felt like coming full circle.
“It really started right here in Wasilla,” Shiesl said.
Cottle said that he wished Shiesl the best of luck as she moved forward. He said that her success as a business owner will ultimately benefit the community.
“If she makes money, then the city makes money,” Cottle said.
Cobblestone Furnishings and Home Décor is located at 991 North Herman Road, Suite 400 in Wasilla, near Sakura Sushi and Brown Jug.
For more information, call 406-890-9268.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org