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We’re so excited to announce that, starting this month, we’ll be writing regular columns about all things decorating for one of our favorite local websites, Living Greenwich! We’ll be offering decorating tips and trend roundups, as well as spotlighting some of the newest pieces from our inventory.
In case you aren’t familiar with the site, Living Greenwich is an amazing platform dedicated to sharing and highlighting all of the wonderful activities, restaurants, businesses, people, events and shopping our community has to offer. It’s essentially a guide to getting the most out of living in Greenwich (the name might have given it away!).
To celebrate this new partnership, we talked to the founders of Living Greenwich, Shep Boone and John McShea, about their purpose and vision for the site, their viral video, plans for expansion, and more!
What was your goal in starting Living Greenwich?
We love living in Greenwich and wanted to create a digital forum that celebrates all the great aspects of our town whether personal, social, commercial or charitable.
As we all know, there are so many different neighborhoods, and many different lifestyles, within Greenwich and yet we all come together and identify as Greenwich-ites. We wanted to create one “place” reflecting that diversity and pride of place. It’s a big, wonderful community and we hope to capture it all in LivingGreenwich.
We also recognized the pivotal role that local businesses play in our town. They add personality, service, and they’re some of the biggest contributors to our local charities. Quite often our neighbors are running these businesses. We definitely wanted to capture the entrepreneurial heart of Greenwich and promote local business whenever we can.
As an educated, forward-looking community, we wanted to offer the site with the latest technology and a superior user-experience. We invested in a custom mobile app and state-of-the-art content management system for the web site. We also have a custom built e-commerce engine to handle transactions, on both mobile and web, in a fully secure environment. Our readers expect the best so we try to present our content in the best possible digital formats.
What are your most popular stories or features on the site?
Our lifestyle pieces are very popular; sometimes a simple post or photograph capturing the day can bring the most readers and engagement, both on the web site and on our Facebook page.
Our most popular post so far was a video of GHS Senior, Olivia Hallisey, on the Stephen Colbert show talking about her winning the Google Science Fair. The video was watched by over 41,000 people on our site alone (additional views on other platforms) and shows how the town rallies around the success of one of our own. See the video here.
In E-Commerce, our best selling promotion was for the Greenwich Food & Wine Festival held in September. We offered tickets to our members the day before the festival started and we sold-out our allotment in about 12 hours. That was a great event. We had just launched the site a few weeks earlier so it was wonderful to see readers respond in such numbers, and that our technology worked. Phew!
Finally – our calendar of community events is also very popular. It gets a steady stream of readers coming to see “what’s up” around town. It is a feature which contributes to the “neighborly” feel of our platform
Who are your contributors?
It’s very important to include voices from our community and we do that in our “Local Voices” section on the web site. We carry regular contributions from Bob Horton, a lifelong Greenwich resident, who writes the Greenwich Perambulator posts about unique and sometimes “unknown” treasures around town. In addition, we are working with others in town on topics like restaurants, local businesses, charities and community events. And today we can share that we will be carrying bi-monthly content pieces featuring design ideas from The Local Vault. We are very pleased to be able to work with all of our contributors as they are integral to helping Living Greenwich raise awareness within the community as to just how special Greenwich is.
What determines if something is newsworthy for Living Greenwich?
For us it is not really about “news” as we feel that there are more than enough outlets covering the day to day in town. Rather we are more of a lifestyle site. As we mentioned before –for us it is about bringing the Greenwich community to life as best we can. Our aim is to offer something of value to our members – whether that be information about upcoming events, a commercial opportunity with a local merchant or just a picture that brings a smile on a sunny morning.
Do you have plans to expand the site to other towns or areas?
Well, we still have a great deal more to accomplish here in Greenwich but – yes – one day it would be nice to be able to broaden our reach to incorporate our sister communities along the Rye to Westport corridor.
What has the response been to the site?
To date the response has been fantastic. We officially launched the site last fall and we already have a very loyal, engaged and growing membership. We are hopeful that as we continue to share within the community more people will become and visit us on a regular basis.