Greenhouse Mall re-launches as Outside in Style

AUSTIN, Texas - Greenhouse Mall, a longtime outdoor furniture and play set retailer with stores on FM 620 and Highway 71 here, as well as Loop 1604 in San Antonio, changed the name of its company this week to Outside in Style.

Opened in 1976, the company originally sold a variety of greenhouses and patio furniture. "The name ‘Greenhouse Mall' made sense at the time," said owner Karen Galindo, whose parents Matt and Muriel Wiggers originally started the company. "And because the mall concept was considered fresh and new at the time, calling ourselves a ‘mall' also made sense."

Galindo said that while the company changed and evolved over time based on changing consumer needs, the name did not. "The reality is that we no longer sell greenhouses," Galindo said. "And you'd be surprised by how many people stop by, thinking that we're a nursery, and ask ‘where are the plants'? It was time to step back, redefine who we are, and choose a name that best reflects what we sell today and where we're going."

In addition to the name change, Galindo said the stores are carrying many new outdoor furniture designs, "new looks by high-quality brands that no one else in central Texas carries. It's not the cookie-cutter furniture one might find down the street." The stores specialize in exclusive, high-end brands like Gloster and OW Lee, and Galindo touts the significant differences in the quality of such brands when comparing the furniture to mass-merchant options.

"Our Texas weather is extremely tough on outdoor furniture," Galindo said. "It's important to invest upfront in furniture that you can enjoy for decades and with fabrics that won't wear or fade in the sun after only a year or less. At first glance it may all look somewhat similar on a sales floor, but after a short time in the elements the quality difference quickly stands out."

Galindo said it's very common to run into people who tell her about buying their furniture from Greenhouse Mall decades ago, "furniture that's still in their backyards, furniture that they're still enjoying today."

Though still in progress, the stores are also undergoing physical renovations while open for business. "With a fresh name comes a fresh look," Galindo said. "We're painting, landscaping and adding more visually interesting design elements both inside and out, just to name a few of the upgrades."

Change will also be coming in the form of a company spokesperson, a role Galindo previously played as the voice-over on radio and television ads. Clear Channel/KASE radio host and YNN style expert Anne Hudson will be featured in new marketing efforts.

"We're not afraid of change or of investing for the future," Galindo said. "We're in it for the long haul."
Outside in Style partners during the brand transition include The Lee Tilford Agency of Austin, Dick Clark Architects of Austin, Lawrence Construction of Austin and Sphere Trending of Waterford, Mich.

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