It all started with a makeover in her own life. Katie Gagnon had worked in corporate America for some time and raised her children. When she turned 50 and put her youngest through college, it was time for a change, so she bought the Blue Moon Trading Company in Tampa. Today the home decor shop is the destination to home owners across the Bay who want Gagnon and her rustic-chic aesthetic to transform their spaces.
The look, mixing sophisticated elements with simple ones, has become quite mainstream today, but Gagnon was into it before it was cool. She always liked the idea of a not-so-perfect space, and her friends and family loved her ideas so they were her first clients. Then in 2004 she began doing it professionally at the Blue Moon Trading Company.
The store features that combination in all its merchandise, from Teak wood coasters ($16 for a set of four) to Venetian finial lamps ($218) and a mirror made from an old window in a New York City building ($795). The color palette of the store is mostly neutral with rugs that add texture in all tones of beige, white, grey or "greige" (prices vary).
The idea is to make all of the pieces, many of them made from repurposed and recycled materials, work together to give the home a cozy, personal feeling, something brand-new furniture that comes in a box lacks. The artisan-made pieces are either one of a kind or one of very few, and instead of shopping from a catalog, shoppers also get the benefit of shopping with the advice of Gagnon or any of the other workers at the store who can offer an expert's eye and opinion on whether those vintage tied books ($20) or embroidered pillow ($45) will be the right choice for their home.
For a more personalized experience, Gagnon also offers design services for an added fee.