Danielle De Melfi popped open a bottle of Champagne this past Saturday morning to celebrate the expansion of her decor and craft business, Simple Little Detail, into a second building in Brookhaven hamlet, just a few doors down from where it has been located since January.
Dozens of customers had already stopped by in the sunny morning hours at 426 S. Country Road to look through the items around the new, farmhouse-style location, which features many custom, handcrafted woodwork products made by Danielle’s husband and partner, Dan.
While the store was getting its first close-up by customers, the other shop a few yards away was selling products in and outside the building.
The recent expansion is impressive given this economic climate for many retailers, and was virtually unthinkable just a few months ago.
“When the shutdown first happened, we thought we were losing everything,” Danielle De Melfi, of Mastic, said. “We never thought we were going to stay afloat.”
The first Simple Little Detail store closed to when the coronavirus surged. The business applied to New York State for a grant, and the state at first said it did not receive the application.
“I got later confirmation that they received it, but I haven’t heard anything since that point,” De Melfi said.
The De Melfis were not sure if their store would make it.
When the state allowed curbside pickup, they decided to bring some of their handcrafted items outside so that people could see it and pull in from their car.
“People were coming outside and like literally we were seeing almost 100 people a day. It was insane,” De Melfi said.
When New York State issued guidance for re-opening and stores were able to fully open, Simple Little Detail brought ’s products into its parking lot every weekend. This went on for about two months.
“We were packing it up and putting it in a camper in my house because we had no storage,” De Melfi said. “And so we decided to expand.”
Simple Little Detail’s smaller store is based on country decor and fun items and the big store includes more modern farmhouse products and industrial furniture.
Social media has been a crucial tool for the business, which consistently posts updates to keep customers engaged. Some, including Amanda Prendamano, made it to the grand opening through the company’s post on Facebook promoting the launch.
Prendamano said she likes that the products are made in-house.
De Melfi said she is grateful for social media platforms, especially Facebook, that allow her to promote her items and her do-it-yourself party business.
“I would never have built a business without it,” De Melfi said. “All of my businesses ran through Facebook.”
The store has close to 20,000 Facebook followers and has a tight-knit community that supports it.
“There are women that have been following me since Day One and now support us with the store and my husband builds furniture,” De Melfi said. “Our support system is the main reason why we’re here. We never would have floated COVID without them.”