Home Decor and Art Come Together at Shops Up Front
by Candace Lagerhausen
In 1999, Bill Warren found himself out of work, and looking for his next adventure. After driving past a storefront he had seen many times, he noticed something different – a “for rent” sign in the window. On a whim, Bill decided to buy the shop. “I felt so compelled that within two days, I didn’t rent it, I bought it, and I started Shops Up Front without any thought or plan, just knowing it was the right thing to do”, he said. Bill knew that he wanted his shop to be unique, so he set out to fill it with eclectic, eye-catching items. “People usually stop within the first five to ten feet and just look around”, Bill shared, adding that while the shop looks small, it’s actually divided into 11 different rooms.
Shops Up Front has both high end and low end items, with everything from furniture to art. When it comes to stocking his store, Bill buys based on what speaks to him, and what he thinks his customers would like. “We have to be inspired by the things we see”, he said, “we buy not only for ourselves, but we buy with our customers in mind”. Bill shares his passion for creating aesthetically pleasing spaces with his son-in-law, Josh, and added that his wife, Drinda, and daughter, Stacey, also help around the shop. “I’ve been very blessed with a great family”, he said.
Performing Arts Live Iredell
Besides having an eye for visual art, Bill is also an active member of Performing Arts Live Iredell (PAL). A member of the board for twelve years, Bill spent about four years as the Executive Director for the association, and was President of the Board before that. PAL has a six-show season, for which tickets can be purchased for single shows, or as a membership to attend all of the shows. Tickets are for sale through their website, or at the box office – located at Shops Up Front.