ST. GEORGE — Following a series of events he said felt serendipitous, a 22-year-old man is unveiling a new home decor shop, offering a treasure trove of affordable delights for those eager to adorn their spaces with style.

22-year-old Ethan Toone is the owner of Graples Home Decor, a new store that offers affordable prices on home items, St. George, Utah, Jan. 23, 2024 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

“I just felt like this has to be meant to be,” Graples Home Decor owner Ethan Toone said. “I’ve always loved St. George, so I opened a store to bring that same love and commitment to this community.”

Toone isn’t new to home decor. Growing up, his parents sold home decor out of their garage before expanding to open Graples Home Decor in 2005. Located in Nampa, Idaho, his childhood memories included climbing on cardboard boxes and helping out at the family store.

“Throughout the years I really enjoyed what they did and how they treated people,” Toone said. “I really wanted to be a part of the culture.”

He recently returned from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Raleigh, North Carolina. While on a trip to St. George with his father to pick up products for their store, he discovered the vacant St. George storefront. He said things lined up quickly, which felt like a confirmation that the business venture and the move were the right decision.

Hand-picked items by Ethan Toone are on display inside his store in St. George, Utah, Jan. 23, 2024 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Opening the business has been a whirlwind. Toone created his business in November and arrived in St. George in January. Together with his mom, they put the entire store together and prepped for the grand opening in less than 14 days.

His parents have worked 19 years to build strong relationships with their suppliers, he said, and now those savings have been passed down to him. The savings are then passed to local consumers, making the store low on prices but not on quality.

“I look up to my parents a lot,” he said. “And I’m super grateful for their vendors to be able to share those prices with me.”

Instead of discounting items or having sales like other stores, the same low prices will remain year-round.

“I think the biggest thing for the community in general, I really want them to feel like it’s not about how much I sell,” he said. “It’s all about the person and their wants and needs. I want them to feel comfortable and loved.”

The store displays, which will change every week or two, will be personally decorated by Toone, and he hopes the displays spark creativity in every person who walks through the door. 

Hand-picked items by Ethan Toone are on display inside his store in St. George, Utah, Jan. 23, 2024 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Currently, about half of the 3,000-square-foot store space is being used, and he plans to expand to larger furniture and decor in the future. He will initially open the store as a one-man show, with a plan to hire employees as the shop grows.

“It’s just something that kind of gives you a lot of joy as you’re doing it,” he said about decorating. “I’m creating something that wasn’t there before, kind of like Legos in a sense. I just enjoy putting the pieces together to make it look really pretty so someone else can take it home.”

But where did the name Graples come from? When Toone’s mother was young, she was known for calling purple “graple,” and the word stuck. Purple also happens to be her favorite color. While Toone has adopted the family store name, it isn’t a branch or franchise of the original store.

Graples Home Decor is located at 967 W. Red Cliffs Drive in St. George. A grand opening will be held Saturday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m. The event will include a red carpet display along with celebratory plate-smashing opportunities – a tribute to his family’s Greek heritage.

Store hours will be Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, follow them on Instagram.

“It’s not just a store,” Toone said. “It’s a place where people can come and make friends, get ideas, be inspired and also inspire.”

Photo Gallery

Graples Home Decor offers everything from wall art to vases and furniture, St. George, Utah, Jan. 23, 2024 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

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