When Northampton's Fly By Night expanded a few years ago, the store went from large to enormous—from 4,500 square feet to 21,000, says Richard Zafft, co-owner, president and founder. A walk by the long storefront reveals much of the Fly By Night aesthetic, a combination of functional yet attractive design coupled with the kind of quality that comes with American-manufactured furniture.
The economy may have slowed, but for Fly By Night, says Zafft, it's been a time of "figuring out who we are. We carry a lot of different stuff, but it all has something in common—clean line, colorful design. There's been an explosion of media literacy about design, and it's nice to see people knowing more about good design and appreciating it."
Fly By Night began in 1988 as a futon store, which, back then, seemed like a dicey enterprise. "There were seven futon stores in Northampton," says Zafft.
From the store's initial success, co-owner Gary Graham helped move Fly By Night from futon mecca to full-on furniture store, and now you'll find all sorts of things, from tables and desks to a broad selection of lamps and upholstery. Though, Zafft reports, "It's harder to find American companies with high-quality stuff that still offers a value," stores like Fly By Night have become more important to furniture manufacturers. "We're even helping some small companies with design," he says. "We just got a solid ash round coffee table with a lower shelf for $299. Until we found somebody to make it, we never could have sold a table like that at that price."
Local futon store
2nd place Local mattress store
3rd place, Local futon store