Emily Sikora, right, stresses the importance of shopping small this Christmas shopping season.  She owns Just by Happenstance and is seen here with her son Greg Sikora bagging up a purchase at the recent Christmas open house.

Emily Sikora, right, stresses the importance of shopping small this Christmas shopping season. She owns Just by Happenstance and is seen here with her son Greg Sikora bagging up a purchase at the recent Christmas open house.

Photo by Paticia O’Blenes


Clinton Township business owner notices customers returning to support small

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published November 23, 2021

 Just by Happenstance in Clinton Township specializes in accent furniture, home decor, lighting, wall art and more. It hosted a Christmas open house Nov. 13-14. The weekend included discounts on holiday items.

Just by Happenstance in Clinton Township specializes in accent furniture, home decor, lighting, wall art and more. It hosted a Christmas open house Nov. 13-14. The weekend included discounts on holiday items.

Photo by Paticia O’Blenes

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Emily Sikora places an emphasis on products made in America and stresses the importance of frequenting small businesses this Christmas shopping season.  

Sikora owns Just by Happenstance in Clinton Township. The business is located at 36809 Groesbeck Highway, south of 16 Mile Road.

Just by Happenstance specializes in accent furniture, home decor, lighting, wall art and more.     

Sikora, the owner and lone employee, established the business over four years ago. She transitioned from a career in health care to selling home goods.

“I do furniture refinishing and how I come about the pieces is just by happenstance,” Sikora said in explaining the idea behind the business’ name. “You find things here and there.”

Sikora, of Utica, works in refinishing, has new pieces and offers “a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”

With the busy Christmas shopping season upon us, she said there’s a big trend of customers returning to support small businesses.

“There’s a big surge in that, opposed to online,” Sikora said. “There’s still a lot of online shopping, but especially the pieces I have, they like to sit in, touch and see the quality of it.”

When folks step into her store, Sikora wants to make it a fun shopping experience for customers.

For Sikora, the greatest joy of being a Small Business owner is seeing customers happy with what they buy and seeing them compliment how beautiful the store is.

“Local businesses create a distinct sense of place for each of Macomb’s 27 municipalities,” said Vicky Rowinski, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development director. “It’s important to support these establishments, especially during the holiday season, so they can continue to make our community a great place to live, work and play.”

In regard to the challenges of operating a small business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sikora said receiving a regular flow of inventory has been difficult.

“I have to get all my holiday products up, and it’s still flowing in,” she said. “Normally, it’s here in September, and I’m still waiting for some of it to come in.”

Since the business offers custom furniture, Sikora cited production delays.

“It’s pretty astronomical and any of the new furniture I order, getting that in is taking a lot longer because they’re all stuck on those shipping containers,” she said.

Shipping backups have recently been reported at U.S. ports near California.

Sikora added that Norwalk Custom Order Furniture products, an Ohio-based company,  is running about 20 weeks to fulfill orders.

“That’s pretty good compared to a lot of companies right now,” she said. “People are looking for made in the U.S.A. because of the container shipping problem, too, so that’s a wonderful perk of that.”  

Sikora describes Norwalk products as custom-built and -designed, a very durable product and a company that guarantees it for as long as customers own it.

Due to her refinishing work, Sikora also sells Fusion Mineral Paint and Wisconsin-based General Finishes.

She explained that, when her business had to temporarily close during the pandemic, the paint portion of the business is what kept it alive.

“Everybody was painting everything, so it was wonderful, and I did that online,” she said.

In response to how she attracts potential customers to her business, Sikora cited advertising and an active social media presence. Another way to market her business was with a recent Christmas open house. The weekend included discounts on holiday items.

Compared to larger home decor stores, Sikora likes to keep more inventory of smaller items.

“A lot of people in this area are downsizing, so they like the small accent pieces,” she noted. “I don’t do huge living room or bedroom sets. I keep it to the small accent pieces. That’s what they’re looking for.”

While Sikora was new at having her own business in 2017, she wasn’t new to the Clinton Township business community and how much work it would take. Her husband, Ken Sikora, has operated St Clair Glass and Mirror Co. for over 30 years. That business is a few buildings down on Groesbeck from Just by Happenstance.

Just by Happenstance is open Nov. 27 — Small Business Saturday — from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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