Editor’s Note: The Norwich Times is now in its 21st year, and we are excited to feature our loyal advertisers from time to time as space permits. Many have been with us since the beginning. We appreciate their commitment to the Norwich community, and thank them for sharing their good news and services with us.
Our part of the world is blessed to have many established, successful long-time businesses that not only enhance the economic life of the Upper Valley; they also become an integral part of community life. Some that come to mind include Dan & Whit’s, King Arthur Flour, and the Co-op Food Stores. One business that certainly fits this mold is Gilberte Interiors of Hanover.
Operating a business for 50 years requires more than just the nuts and bolts of proper management. It requires trust from the patrons of the business; a comfort in walking through the door and knowing you will be treated right; and the confidence that those working there will not only do what is expected, but perform above and beyond those expectations.
Fifty years is how long Gilberte Interiors has served Upper Valley residents, though Cheryl Boghosian, who along with brother Aharon run Gilberte Interiors, point out that the business works with clients across the country. Today’s technology allows businesses such as Gilberte to work with clients long distance, though Cheryl says, “I still like working face-to-face.”
Of course, with the advent of technology, it certainly is possible to be face-to-face with a client in California or Florida, she adds.
Family has always been at the core of Gilberte Interiors. Begun by Cheryl and Aharon’s mother, Gilberte, in a small retail space on Allen Street, the business has grown to encompass the large, exquisitely designed and decorated operation we see today. Andy Boghosian, Gilberte’s husband, worked locally at Split Ball Bearing while Gilberte started her business, but by the mid-1970s, he joined his wife in the growing enterprise. The couple’s hard work, and expertise in style and design, built the business into the success it is today. Andy remained involved in running Gilberte Interiors until he passed away in early 2017, and Cheryl says her mother, Gilberte, remains active in the business today.
Cheryl, who holds certification from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and Aharon, with an educational background in business (a graduate of UNH’s Whittemore School of Business), operate Gilberte Interiors on a day-to-day basis. Cheryl studied interior design and architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and Syracuse University prior to joining the family enterprise. She handles the design work while Aharon handles many tasks, including working with bath and kitchen elements and fixtures. Adding to the family nature of the business, Cheryl’s husband, Neil Roth, takes care of the business side of the operation, which includes working with the many subcontractors.
“Everybody has their niche,” says Cheryl. Using local subcontractors on the projects the business performs is important to this Upper Valley institution. Cheryl recognizes that our area is gifted with many talented local artisans and contractors; a great advantage for the work Gilberte Interiors performs. “We try to use local contractors,” she adds, “I have great confidence in them.”
Many fine craftspeople work directly for Gilberte Interiors; they fabricate a good deal of the elements used on their projects in-house.
Working closely with her clients, Cheryl’s design expertise helps create a room, or home, the client loves. “My goal is to listen to how they live, and their lifestyle,” says Cheryl. “We work to design to someone’s style.”
Working with a professional designer helps the client be assured that the outcome of the project will be just what they desire. “They want to take your lead,” says Cheryl. One important aspect to design today is incorporating green and sustainable elements into the home.
Not surprisingly, clients of Gilberte Interiors will continue to use the company’s services even if they move from the area. Though Gilberte works with folks around the country, their nucleus is still around the Upper Valley with Norwich being a home of many of their clients. Though a longtime Hanover resident herself, Cheryl says she spent part of her childhood living in Norwich.
“Norwich is great... it has many beautiful spots,” says Cheryl. That attractive environment plays an important role in design work, she added. Taking advantage of the countryside, the views, is critical in designing an interior of a home. The lifestyle of Norwich residents plays a role, too; family life is important to the designer. “Norwich is a pocket of active, interesting people,” she adds. “People here are very family oriented.” This certainly helps explain the attraction to a family oriented business such as Gilberte.
Though she spends considerable time operating the business with her husband Neil, and brother Aharon, Cheryl is active in sports, particularly rowing, hiking and tennis. Sporting activities are important to the family; Andy Boghosian loved playing golf, and Aharon can often be found in his off hours working out at the River Valley Club.
Cheryl also finds time to volunteer with the Good Beginnings program of West Lebanon, an organization that utilizes volunteers to assist families with new babies. Additionally, Cheryl is involved with many activities at her church.
Giving back is a component of the business, too; on many occasions I personally encountered Aharon, as he donated items from Gilberte Interiors to a local non-profit. Community is at the core of everything they do.