Attic Boutique & Bella Gallery
Chelsea Marketplace Changes, Winter 2013
by Shelley Daily
It's a climb to the new women's clothing store and art gallery upstairs from Seitz's Tavern, but Deborah Coy's done everything she can to make it a "happy and welcoming" one: She decorated the risers on the stairs with whimsical decoupage and the wall with colorful empty frames. Both businesses aimed to open by mid-November.
Coy, thirty-two, hails from Brazil and lives in the Chelsea area with her husband and two young sons. She's sold clothing online for five years and is "starting small" in retail: her 500-square-foot Attic Boutique doubles as an office for her web sales. She says the tops, cardigans, coats, and dresses she carries share a "Bohemian look ... it's all soft and comfortable for everyday wear" but at "Old Navy prices." She pulls a long, open cardigan from the rack and shows how it can be layered with a floral cotton top, pointing out her favorite bright orange scarf on the mannequin in the front window. Coy orders most of her clothing from new designers in Los Angeles and also has Betsey Johnson and Lucky brand jewelry.
In back of the same space, Dexter resident Kim Watkins, thirty-eight, is launching Bella Gallery, an "artistry community" whose members sell their work on consignment (each rents space and pays a small commission). She's got pottery by Cheryl Green, pastel art by Debra Zamperla, and cloth dolls by Jill Andrews, as well as handmade jewelry and fairy costumes for kids. "I'm not an artist," Watkins says, "but I support art. I hope, through this, I can deepen relationships with artists and the community."
Watkins and Coy, who Watkins says have "become good friends," plan to alternate workdays to keep both businesses staffed.
Attic Boutique and Bella Gallery, 110 1/2 West Middle St., no phone at press time. Plans to open by mid-November. Mon.- Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sun. Possible additional evening hours during the holidays.
Back to the Roots closed its doors the last weekend of October after
nearly three years. During lunch a few days before the closing, the tables were nearly filled, and co-owner Caleb Lange was steeping one cup of organic tea after another at the coffee bar while fielding questions from customers. "It's not really true what I hear, is it?" one middle-age women asked.
"We've had guests near tears," Lange explains later. But with the restaurant's lease expiring at the end of the year, he and his business partners, Jason Bendinelli and Jason Povlich, made the decision to close and "regroup." Lange says they were "spread thin" from running other businesses (including Chelsea's Jet's Pizza) as well as their nonprofit that serves the needy in India and Haiti. He says there's "potential" to reopen in another, smaller form-perhaps for sushi and coffee-and mentions the extra space in the Jet's location further north on Main Street as a possibility.
[Originally published in October, 2013.]