“It’s daunting, moving from my ‘home’ that feels like a sweet cottage” into a traditional retail storefront, says Vicki Honeyman, owner of the gift shop/gallery Heavenly Metal. She’s also the Vicki of Vicki’s Wash & Wear Haircuts, and her barber chair dominated the front room of the Ann St. spot she’s rented for thirty-three years. It will have its own back-of-the-store area when she reopens around the corner in the space just vacated by Dogma Catmantoo.

She didn’t give herself much time to ponder this daunting move. “I found out on the fifth of August that Dogma was gone” and immediately “went to Peter’s office to make sure he knew I was interested.” That’s Peter Bilakos, her landlord, conveniently located next door in the lovely 1830s Greek Revival Chapin House. Heavenly Metal, attached to Chapin House, got its cottagey feel because that part used to be the servants’ quarters, recessed from the sidewalk.

On August 15 she pitched Bilakos a proposal. On August 17, they came to an agreement, and two days later, she and assistant Cait Quinn headed to the New York Gift Show, “knowing we have a big space to fill.” They’ll reopen with much more slightly offbeat clothing, jewelry, scarves, bags, wall art, and trinkets, as well as gifts for men, and even some vintage furniture, bric-a-brac, and home accessories.

“I have to do this as inexpensively as possible,” Honeyman says. “Because my budget is very low, all my best buddies are pitching in.” The first thing her buddies did was tear out a partition in the rear of the store, revealing a huge window in the back wall that lets in much more light. She’s aiming for an October 1 opening.

Honeyman, a 1974 U-M grad in film studies, eventually seized on hair-cutting as a way to support herself while running campus film societies and, from 1986 to 2002, the Ann Arbor Film Festival. A fearless and fanciful extrovert, she also taught jitterbug–she and dance partner Jim Kruz won two Michigan State Fair jitterbug contests.

Vicki’s Wash & Wear Haircuts opened at the height of her jitterbug fame as a Fifties-themed salon, but by 2002 she had stopped both jitterbugging and directing the film festival. Her friend Alice Liberson, then-owner of Dogma Catmantoo, “took me to a trade show,” and Heavenly Metal grew up around her barber chair.

Honeyman has never made any secret of how rough a ride retail is in the Internet age, but she just continues to cut hair and sell things she likes. She credits her mother for her skill in creating an atmosphere. “I learned my taste from her. When my mother got bored, she’d redecorate.”

Looking around her new shop-in-progress, she says: “I never imagined at my age I’d be reinventing myself. When my parents were my age, they were retired in Florida. I just signed a five-year lease.”

Heavenly Metal, 208 N. Fourth Ave., 663-4247. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. heavenlymetal.com

While Honeyman was moving from Ann to Fourth, her neighbor Lisa McDonald was expanding from Fourth to Ann. Her original TeaHaus carries hundreds of teas, “teaccessories,” spice mixtures, finger sandwiches, pastries, and an exotic variety of dishes flavored with teas. Now she’s launching a sister business at 211 E. Ann called Eat More Tea. Most recently Bodies in Balance (which moved to W. Stadium), the new space will not only provide a much larger kitchen for special orders and cooking classes, it will also produce even more sweet treats flavored with teas: gelatos, desserts, caramels, spice blends, chocolates, shortbread kits, homemade candies, and European treats.

“People have been trying to get us to expand our business” ever since she opened, McDonald says, collapsing into an armchair near the impressive display of 170-plus tea bins, with a glass of iced peach melba tea in her hand. “We didn’t have enough kitchen space to do that, however, until my landlord talked to me about the space opening up where the spinning studio used to be.”

A Colorado native, McDonald got into tea while teaching international politics at the university in Tuebingen, Germany (one of Ann Arbor’s sister cities). Soon afterward, she met Ann Arbor native Marc Hewko in a theater group. When the couple moved to Sweden, Lisa ran a consulting company in intercultural communications, and they did what Europeans do at night: “walk to a cafe to get tea and cakes,” she says. After their first child, Tim, was born, the couple decided to move to Marc’s hometown.

That was in 2006. McDonald discovered that she loved Ann Arbor, but missed the bakeries and high-quality loose tea available in every German village and city. She decided to open a business that combined them. “I’d been cooking and baking with teas for years,” she says. “Teas give everything a depth of flavor you can’t get any other way–no extract oils are necessary. For instance, I infuse cream with tea for a couple of days before making caramels.” She opened TeaHaus in 2007, five days after the birth of her second son, Andrew.

Sixty percent of the TeaHaus business is based on tea sales; the rest on food. “We have a decent online business, but we quickly realized that the size of our kitchen was a drawback to expanding our business,” McDonald says, offering a quick tour through a tiny kitchen where three cooks and three servers were politely sharing elbow-to-elbow space.

She expects gelato to be her top seller at Eat More Tea; that made the delays that pushed back her planned summer opening even more frustrating. The gelato will be sold only in the store, but she estimates that 70 percent of sales of baked goods and “teacessories” will come from wholesale orders. “I’ll brand those products under the Eat More Tea label–I don’t want to become a competing brand for the TeaHaus,” she says, admitting she has plans for franchising “at some point in the future.”

The EMT kitchen and storage facilities will allow her to offer cooking and baking classes as well as tastings and pairings with other local businesses. The decor is very different from the dark European modern TeaHaus atmosphere, with large windows offering views of the kitchen, large glass jars displaying exotic candies, sparkling gelato machines, and long pastry cases McDonald will fill with tempting treats. Eat More Tea will feature the sweet–and decidedly fun–side of teas.

The shop will open for business as soon as inspectors give the final thumbs-up–she hopes in early to mid October. “We can’t wait,” McDonald says, rising to answer a question from a new server. “This will be very different from any other business in town.”

Eat More Tea, 211 E. Ann St. 622-0460. Hours TBD.

This article has been edited since it was published in the October 2016 Ann Arbor Observer. Eat More Tea’s phone number has been corrected.