HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – A store in Howland is trying to bring more people to the Valley by offering products only made locally.
Sloas & Company Unique Furnishings is owned by Todd Mahaffey and his cousin. It’s a unique store that features dozens of products from locally-based artists and producers.
Everything from popcorn to music to handmade tables can be found.
After leaving the Valley and living in places like New York and South Carolina, Mahaffey decided to come home three years ago to take care of his mother.
To occupy himself, he started designing and making rugs. Then he started painting furniture.
“One day I tried painting a piece of furniture. I thought I was Picasso. The next thing I knew, I was painting a bunch of furniture,” Mahaffey said.
So, he opened up a store with his cousin — Sloas & Company.
He then wanted to search the Valley for other artists like himself, and he found plenty of them — people who make their own honey, paintings or jewelry.
“It makes me happy because now all of a sudden they’re like, ‘Oh, I never thought of putting that inside a store before.’ Or, ‘I never thought about selling that many before or making that many pieces.’ And the next thing you know, we all come together and have a great time,” Mahaffey said.
He says his store often feels more like a coffee shop than a place to buy things.
“It’s just trying to get involved in the community and display people’s items and let them know they don’t have to go to the big box stores,” he said.
The Valley has certainly changed since Mahaffey left, but ever since he’s been back, a lot has happened.
“I see all of these different businesses, restaurants, entrepreneurs busting loose in the Valley. Finally!” he said.
The shop is located at 141 Niles Cortland Road.