Thursday November 15, 2018
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed

Just Imagine Turns the Corner

Chelsea store moves to Main, and more into music

by Shelley Daily

From the June, 2014 issue

Next door to Chelsea Bakery, William Harris--owner of Just Imagine, a book, toy, and music store--is strumming a guitar while he chats with a customer. At the end of March he moved his business, which he opened four years ago on Middle Street, to the space vacated by Back to the Roots cafe. The move gives him about a third more space and just enough time to expand for the summer season--"summer is important in this town," he says.

"I had to do something--we were the only retail around the corner, and we just weren't getting the traffic," Harris explains. And, he adds, "I love this space." Children's toys, games, and gifts fill the front of the store, with books toward the back. His music business has grown from a "sideline" to more of a highlight, all along the exposed brick wall. He sells a range of acoustic stringed instruments--standard guitars to mandolins to the Latin American cuatro, as well as brass instruments and accessories.

When Harris and his family moved from California a decade ago, his daughter was in high school and played the trumpet. He did an Internet search to find the best fit for academics and music, and he says Chelsea came out tops. His daughter has since moved to the east coast for her career, but Harris and his wife, Nancy, remain enthusiastic supporters of the town.

"For a time it seemed Main Street had empty-storefront disease," he says. "This is way too successful a strip to have that happen--and I wanted to help. Having a vibrant and walkable downtown is important to me."

Harris plans to expand his selections of "books for grown-ups," and toys and games for kids ages ten to eighteen, who he says are the toughest age group to buy for. Traditional games including chess and Go! are big sellers, he says, as are books for children and young adults. "People think e-books are taking over, but paper books are doing well!" he says. Nancy will use the basement as storage space for her nonprofit, Hearts Community Service, which provides clothing and household goods to those in need.

Just Imagine, 115 S. Main., Chelsea, 562-2040, Tues.-Wed. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. noon-4 p.m. Closed Mon.     (end of article)

[Originally published in June, 2014.]

 



 
Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

Restaurants with Wi-Fi
A clickable zoomable map
Outdoor Art
Spurned by the DIA, Saline creates its own showcase.
Sheila Beachum Bilby
Party Barn Battle
The war continues in Webster Township.
Cynthia Furlong Reynolds
Public Schools in Saline
Shakespeare in Love
PTD Productions is pleased to announce their next production!
Sponsored content by a2tix.
Business in Saline
Social and Political Activism
Learning Curve
After last year's setback, things are looking up for U-M football.
Craig Ross
Nightspots: Babs' Underground
"I have an eye for things that people like."
Robin Anderson sells home furnishings old and new at Vintage Home Bazaar.
Anita LeBlanc
spark ann arbor
Ann Arbor Turkey Trot
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor