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At Homeology, home study takes on a new meaning


Karee Delsigne used to own The Loft in Ladera Ranch, a trendy, comfortable home décor store in the vein of Pottery Barn and Z Gallery, but says rent increases led her to sell the shop in May 2008.

Delsigne, who says she missed her family-run business, wanted to try again.

She opened Homeology on Via Fabricante in May 2009 in hopes of cultivating a clientele that shares her vision of what a home should look like.

Q. What made you decide to reopen in Mission Viejo?

A. Affordable rent. Keeping your overhead low in a bad economy is very important.

Q. Originally, Homeology was known as The Alley. What prompted the name change?

A. We had opened up as The Alley, but we didn't realize that there was a Palm Springs business called The Alley that had quite a following. People thought we were associated with them.

Q. What does the word "homeology" mean to you?

A. We thought the word "homeology" – the study of the home – would be unique and fantastic. We thought it would capture people.

Q. What products do you sell, and what makes your inventory unique?

A. With only so much room, we do home décor, gifts and some furniture. We try to have what other stores don't have anymore.

Anyone can stop at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Ross and Home Goods – and I do too – but that doesn't make your house unique.

We still have good prices because we have affordable rent. I'm big on that. I'm a flea marketer. I get out there and look for the deals.

Q. What is the price range for items at Homeology?

A. We've got stuff from $5 to $900. We took a big risk opening in a bad economy, so we knew the price points have to be right on. My thought is that if you're not eating it, or wearing it, you're probably not buying it. It's just the bottom line.

Q. Are there any unique products that you carry?

A. We're able to be a little more creative here with jewelry, purses. ... One of my daughters is starting an apron line; another makes chic custom signs – they're always coming up with things.

Q. What are you looking forward to businesswise in 2010?

A. We want to get our online (store) going and we want to find our niche again. ... Would I love to be a success story? Absolutely.