Popular boutique thrives thanks to family’s dedication; Business’ stylish impact felt from California to Florida.
If John B. Sirpilla — an original partner in Laura of Pembroke — were alive today, he’d give family members hugs and high fives for how far the business has come.
John B., his wife, Veronica, and daughter, Laura Sirpilla Bosworth, opened the original store in 1987 in Rocky River near Cleveland. The store relocated to 3119 Whipple Ave, NW in Canton in 1993.
“My father used to say, ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get,’” said Laura. “He’d be so proud to know Laura of Pembroke is still growing.”
There’s indeed been luck. But hard work is the key ingredient in the success of this local family business.
The original store featured only women’s clothing and accessories. As the store grew, Johnny Sirpilla — John B. and Veronica’s son — and his wife,Susan, joined as partners.
Home furnishings and accessories, gift items and an online presence became part of the mix. Interior design consulting, personal shopper services and lighting fixtures followed.
Laura of Pembroke, with a website at lauraofpembroke.com, ships products throughout the country — from Atlanta to Aspen, Colo. and from West Palm Beach, Fla. to Santa Margarita, Calif.
Laura’s daughter, Lauren Bosworth, joined the team after graduating from Miami University’s Farmers School of business. She’s brought a fresh insight into the buying mix and internet ventures, and is now a partner in the company.
Lauren was the driving force behind opening a second store last year in The Pinecrest Development near Cleveland at 200 Park Avenue, Suite A in Orange Village.
“Family is my strength,” Laura said. “Without my husband, Andy, I could have never done this for 32 years.”
Laura graduated with a business degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, and studied design at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Veronica focuses on buying, merchandising and management, Laura is heavily involved in design and Lauren keeps an eye on business analytics and statistics. Each partner is involved in the buying process for their merchandise.
In 2018, the Canton location went through a major upgrade with new offices, a remodeled showroom and a warehouse expansion. A second showroom was opened next door.
Laura of Pembroke has handled furnishing and interior design projects including residential homes, commercial buildings, restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings, law firms and retail spaces across the country.
To highlight products and interior design capabilities, Laura of Pembroke also has continued to furnish model homes in Canton and model apartments at Pinecrest on 4th and Park in Orange. The store has excellent relationships with many local builders.
Laura of Pembroke employs 25 people in its Canton and Cleveland stores.
“We couldn’t be the company we’ve become without our team,” said Laura. “Employees are like an extension of our family. They’ll do anything for our customers. We’re so grateful!”
Laura of Pembroke is a destination. The store represents a certain lifestyle but isn’t reserved for just the rich and famous.
“We offer low-, medium- and high-priced items,” said Laura. “There’s something here for everyone.”
Whether a customer is shopping for a birthday card or for full interior design, the same honest, straightforward sales approach will be provided.
“We want everyone who comes in to feel good,” said Veronica.
The hard work and passion instilled by Veronica and John B. has been passed through the generations.
“John and I led by example,” said Veronica. “We worked hard, our kids work hard and their kids work hard. We love what we do.”
When that’s the case, is it truly work?
“When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” said Laura.
Veronica’s passion remains as strong as ever.
“People ask me, ‘Why aren’t you in Florida?’” said Veronica. “When I’m away, even for a little while, I can’t wait to get back into the store.”
Relationships with customers are key. The store continues to evolve as customers’ wants and needs change.
“We get to know our customers,” said Lauren. “We get to know their likes and dislikes so we can better serve them.”
Laura of Pembroke is very involved in local philanthropy and has been since day one. It’s a family tradition.
“We get calls every day to support local charities,” said Lauren. “And we support as many as we can.”
Veronica, Laura and Lauren may not know exactly what’s in store next.
But, never sitting still, the three generations always have eyes on the next big opportunity.
Based on the family’s past and the company’s founding principles, its safe
to say there won’t be much sitting around and accepting the status quo as more good fortune comes along.