Chelsea gained two new consignment shops this year. In May, Diana Rodgers relocated The Sewing Shoppe, her three-year-old alterations, repairs, and tailoring business, from a tiny 300-square-foot space near the Parts Peddler to the Chelsea Shopping Center. The move nearly quadrupled her space, and after talking to her customers, Rodgers decided to take advantage of it by adding top brand women’s consignment clothing to her offerings.

“Any more, women just love shopping consignment stores,” she says. “Customers would come in with the coolest clothes and I’d be surprised to hear they were consignment.” Rodgers dedicates about a third of the store to the retail business and the rest to her sewing services.

Tucked away above Main Street’s Smokehouse 52 BBQ–which is set to open by the end of the year–is Chelsea’s other new resale store. The Other Women is easy to miss. With Smokehouse 52’s windows papered and construction under way, owners Laura Rivard and Kim Watkins have been relying on word-of-mouth to boost the upstairs business. “I think it’ll get better once the restaurant opens, but we’ve been doing alright and covering our rent,” Rivard says.

The friends, who also work as servers at Metzger’s in Scio Township, chose to lease the spot where Resale Boutique got its start several years ago (it’s since moved to Saline). They sell both new–including Talbot’s clothing from an area store that closed–and gently used clothing and accessories for women, with a small selection of men’s and children’s items. All consignments are kept on the floor for sixty days, and the pair split the selling price fifty-fifty with consignors. Artwork and jewelry by local and Michigan artists, and some household items, are also for sale.

“Our store is all about helping other women,” Rivard says. “We thought the name sounded cool and fits what we’re about. We help them sell their things, and they’re also able to buy things they otherwise might not be able to afford.”

The Sewing Shoppe, 1080 S. Main (Chelsea Shopping Center), 323-2892. Mon., Wed., and Fri. 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tues. and Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Also by appointment. Closed Sat. & Sun.

The Other Women, 121 S. Main St. (upstairs), 562-2436. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m-6 p.m. Closed Sun.

In October, Chelsea resident Chris Livengood opened her revamped business, Chelsea Hearth & Fireplaces, in Oak Tree Plaza, filling the final vacancy in the shopping center on E. Old US-12. Livengood, who ran Chelsea Rentals & Hearth Sales for six years at her former location on W. Old US-12, says she made the decision to drop the rental part of her business because of health problems. “It was a high-labor business, and I needed to streamline,” she explains. The showroom offers displays of fireplace inserts and energy-efficient wood, pellet, corn, and multi-fuel stoves and furnaces. “It’s for people looking for a high-quality supplemental alternative to gas heat,” she explains.

She thinks customers will appreciate that “we’re not a big-box store–we’re a small mom-and-pop operation. We’re hands-on and work one-on-one with our customers to do sales and installation. We don’t sell the cheapest, but we personally test our products and only sell the best.” Livengood says although her hours will be shorter at the new location, she’s also happy to schedule private appointments.

Chelsea Hearth & Fireplaces, 12855 E. Old US-12 (Oak Tree Plaza), 433-1461, Wed.-Fri. 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and by appointment. Closed Sun.-Tues.

At the end of August, Chelsea residents Steve and Denise Burnette opened The Point at Cavanaugh Lake, an upscale convenience store and coffee bar that also offers doughnuts, hand-dipped ice cream, hot dogs, wine, and beer. The Burnettes gutted and renovated the 2,000-square-foot space, which previously housed the Chelsea Greenhouse. The Burnettes’ son Joshua Wright–who works at the store–says it was designed to fit in with the lake’s surrounding homes.

“We’ve had a lot of people come by and thank us for putting a convenience store here,” he says. “There used to be one here, and they really appreciate that it can save them a trip into town.” He says they hope to add lunch items in the future to serve the beach crowd.

The Point at Cavanaugh Lake, 163 Cavanaugh Lake Rd. (at Glazier Rd.), 562-2435, Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (Hours may change during the winter.)