“With the crazy world we live in, people can just sort of get away from everything and walk and see some nice things, and that’s what we'd like people to do,” Linscomb said. “You don't have to buy anything; just come to the store.”
Linscomb and his wife, Pam Kuhl, approach running their business much in the same way another married couple might host a dinner party. Greeting visitors at the door, welcoming in dogs and offering free drinks are all part of the job. Most hosts, however, do not have to hand out a map as the Kuhl-Linscomb owners do.
The duo bought a 1960s apartment building, repurposed it as a home goods store in 2001 and have since expanded to four surrounding apartments attached by hallways lined with bamboo from the outside. For passersby, most of the buildings making up the expansive campus appear more residential than commercial.
“We're part of the neighborhood. We're dog friendly, and it's a neighborhood store, so people stop in while on a walk,” Kuhl said.
The variety of products, the large footprint and the welcoming decor all come together to make shopping at Kuhl-Linscomb a strong competitor for online retailers, Linscomb said.
“If you make it different, if you make it interesting and if you make it an experience, then people will come back it, whether you're a smaller or a larger business,” Linscomb said.
2424 W. Alabama St., Houston
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 1 p.m.-6 p.m.