When she and her husband moved to Kingwood in 1989, she said there was a lack of retail options. So when Leviner had the chance to open her own shop in Kingwood, she opened The Forest Collection, a home decor and gift shop, in February 2007.
“I always look for a product that our community would like to have right here so they do not have to drive into Houston or into The Woodlands to get,” she said. “The focus of this store is: What does our community want and need?”
Since it opened, Leviner said she has adjusted the store’s offerings. Moving from initially selling mostly jewelry and clocks, her store is a product of years of adapting to the interests of the community.
The Forest Collection sells a variety of hand-picked gifts, home decor, furniture and fine jewelry as well as some clothes and shoes. The large store is separated into specific areas, including baby items, jewelry, and the new Christian gift and decor section, to name a few.
Leviner said the business has sustained for almost 14 years—in spite of the online retail wave—due to quality customer service and what she calls “the girlfriend experience.”
“When somebody comes in and they’re by themselves, ... they have somebody they can cut up with if they want to,” she said. “We try to meet that need and be their friend when they come in so they have a girlfriend to shop with if they want that.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, the store had to close for about a month. However, Leviner said the store and its employees were flexible, quickly switching to organizing and cleaning the store while fulfilling some curbside orders.
The store is now fully open and offering seasonal Christmas items, such as customized silk floral arrangements, ornaments and up to 12-foot trees decked out in different themes. With the holidays on the horizon, Leviner said she believes customers will return to the Kingwood store to spice up their homes for the season.
“I think people will buy home decor because they’re spending more time in their homes ... and people have gone through and cleaned up and cleared out closets,” she said. “I hope Christmas is a little more special [this year] for everybody.”
The Forest Collection
23998 Hwy. 59, Kingwood
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.