Happy Go Lucky Home is a Cabinet of Curiosities

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Swing open the door of Happy Go Lucky Home in the Short North and prepare for a visual feast. Somehow the boutique manages to feel special but approachable, whimsical but chic.

That's because owner Debbie Neimeth has been developing her curation style since 2005, the year she opened Happy Go Lucky in Philadelphia.

"There's something about this look that's very appealing to customers," Neimeth says of the store's brimming approach. "People enjoy that they can walk around once and come back through again and find something totally different."

Happy Go Lucky in Columbus almost didn't happen. When Neimeth moved to Columbus in 2011 to live with her husband, Cardinal Health CEO George Barrett, she considered hanging up her well-decorated retail hat. Instead, she persuaded her Philly-based manager to move with her and introduced her store to Ohio during the holiday Gallery Hop in that winter.

Last year, the storefront moved across High Street into a former barber supply shop. The new location has nearly double the space (as well as original fixtures like carved tin ceiling tiles-be sure to look up during a visit).

"We try to have fun with the displays and offer very distinct sections," Neimeth says. She picks items that range in style and price, from tiny Guatemalan worry dolls to customizable Lee Industries upholstered furniture.

Have a graphic designer in your life? The Pantone plates ($25 each) will make his or her day.

The wedding area brims with interesting gifts; a customer favorite is the customizable birch tree wedding platter ($135) by Rust Designs. Happy Go Lucky will ship the platter to the artist and have the couple's initials "carved" into the design's tree trunk.

Other areas cover gardening, hostess gifts, jewelry, stationery, kids' toys, art and kitchen decor. You name it, and Neimeth and crew have put their own charming spin on styling it.