Pittsfield — When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, local home-decorating guru Donna Gopfert will not only be celebrating a new year but she will be on her way to a new beginning.
The owner of Berkshire Fabric & Wallpaper, currently located at 274 Wahconah Street in Pittsfield, is slated to close shop on the last day of 2023 and pivot to exclusively in-home consultations, retaining the same vendors while, with the exception of wallpaper orders, offering the identical professional services the business has provided for the past 20 years. “We are evolving into the next generation,” Gopfert said. “We are doing what a number of my colleagues are doing by offering more in-home personalized services.”
Tweaking the company name to “Berkshire Fabric, Blinds & Shades,” she said the in-home-consultation segment of her business has expanded, forcing her to be out of the store when customers seek her expertise. Gopfert said she “ends up meeting them at home anyway,” so this transition was the next logical step moving forward. Her longtime staff will remain by her side, with the new setup allowing them more flexibility and greater production while Gopfert can devote more of her time catering to the needs of the company’s clients in their own space.
Additionally, she said the business’s territory has expanded to New York, the Northern Berkshires, and the southern Berkshires, “so we’re covering a whole lot more than we used to,” with the new format being more effective for home-based appointments.
Gopfert admits closing day will be “bittersweet,” after starting the business in 2003 with her late husband David Gopfert, who died in June 2018. With David Gopfert retired from an executive position, the then-Sturbridge, Mass.-based couple took a weekend drive that landed them at the Old Stone Mill in Adams. The duo bought the fabric and wallpaper inventory of that facility, as well as the company’s Kittery, Maine location, intending to liquidate the products over the next three months on eBay and then move on.
“Well, three months turned into 20 years,” Donna Gopfert said, adding that she sold 12 rolls of Laura Ashley wallpaper on day one, before David Gopfert even returned home from the golf course.
The business settled on its Pittsfield headquarters in 2013, after moves from locations in North Adams and Pittsfield’s Allendale Shopping Center.
After January 1, the new business can be found at www.berkshirefabricwallpaper.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and will keep the same social media platforms.
The current store will be open November 21–22 and then, following Thanksgiving, will reopen on November 27, Monday though Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Donna Gopfert said that the shop will be offering a discount of 50 percent off for in-stock fabric and finished products until December 31, or sooner if the site sells out. “Shop early for the best selection,” Donna Gopfert advised.