In 2003, with 19 years of experience at building her book store into northwestern New Jersey’s largest bookseller, Carol Viall created Tweed® and expanded from retailing books into gifts, home accents, and women’s accessories. What really made the venture more exciting for Carol was that, for the first time, her whole family was going to become involved with her.
Her husband Paul had sold his industrial minerals, mining, and manufacturing business which was founded by Thomas Edison, and he was looking for a place to invest capital and to teach management to prospective leaders.
The Viall’s two daughters had also been busy. Kate (now Stottlemyer), after graduating in arts management from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, had married and settled in Richmond with her husband Robb. Liz (now Lazay), had just finished a master’s degree in design at the New England School of Design and had decided to make Boston her home with her husband Tom.
Tweed’s first New Jersey store did very well and within six months, the family discussed opening a second store in the Beacon Hill section of Boston, where they had already purchased a residence during Liz’s graduate student days. Liz had joined a large interior design firm, but was more excited about starting the Viall’s second business venture in Boston (the first was John Viall’s tavern, named “The Ship Inn,” in 1670, when Boston had a population of about 1,600).
Kate, being four years younger than Liz, had worked very hard to develop a core competency of winning competitive events, especially against her older sister. Hearing that the option was offered to go to Boston, Kate suggested Richmond, playing a more recent forefather card and honoring her grandmother from Hartwell, Georgia! Nana always said, “Our stores belong in the South”! Now it was serious!
Kate won the competition, and opened the door to the new store in April, 2004. Kate serves as Vice-President of Operations and you will see her friendly face daily at Tweed ! She and Robb are also busy parenting two lively young “southern gentlemen”. Liz uses her design skills remotely from Boston to help with advertising and display. She and Tom are rearing two beautiful young ladies! By 2007, Richmond was so successful, the Vialls decided to focus all of their resources there. They received a trademark for their name Tweed®, sold the inventory of their New Jersey stores, sold residences in Boston, New Jersey and Florida and relocated to the Richmond area.
They expanded the Richmond store in 2010, 2012, and 2015, and have also just added a separate receiving, distribution, and administrative center, two miles away.
The Viall’s original family of 2 now boasts 10 members, and their Tweed Family today is a team of over 40.