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incurring the cost or time involved in owning a building. Copeland rotates these vendors out every one to two months to keep things fresh and to give vendors a chance to catch their breath and produce more items. “It’s basically a full-time job to keep their booths fully stocked and looking great,” she says. “They have to be here every day. If they’re not here every day, it gets very empty, very quickly.” Copeland keeps a database of potential vendors that she reviews when choosing her pop-up booths. One rule that she follows is this: Never have two similar shops at the same time. “I find someone that’s unique,” she says. “It’s kind of the process I use for choosing pop-ups.” At the West Main store, Copeland has a classroom where she teaches painting and homestaging classes. The store now holds up to three onehour paint classes each month. Each class costs $10. She co-instructs the home-staging classes with her husband, Phil Copeland, an independent real estate professional with Jaqua Realtors. The home-staging classes are free. “It’s a service we feel we can provide and share our knowledge,” she says.

The Kitty of KalamazooKitty

Inside KalamazooKitty’s West Main Street location, customers can find furniture, vintage wares, and home décor items of all types.

Copeland started her work life in elementary education, teaching in Detroit and then Portage — experience that she has put to good use in those painting and homestaging classes. Her career change toward interior decorating happened while she was on maternity leave for her now-16-year-old son. She became glued to television programs featuring interior decorating experts like Christopher Lowell. “I got totally hooked on it,” Copeland says, “and I just started decorating anything I could get my hands on. And friends started saying, ‘Will you come to my house?’ — and then (friends’) neighbors asked.” Copeland says she has decorated bachelor pads, lake houses and everything in between. She has staged $80,000 homes up to those for sale in the upper hundreds of thousands. Now she stages homes exclusively for her husband, whose clients receive free staging to help sell their homes.

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Encore March 2017  
Encore March 2017  

Southwest Michigan's Magazine: Awesome Entrepreneurs! Meet KalamazooKitty, Nova Virtual Reality, Fitz's Farms, Chris Falk and many more of t...