When Kris Vermilye’s favorite consignment shop, the Resale Boutique, left Chelsea for Saline a few years ago, Vermilye continued to visit–even taking an occasional afternoon off work to indulge in her passion for resale shopping. Now Vermilye won’t have to travel as far: on September 1, she opened Shabby Chic Consignments, in Oak Tree Plaza on Old US-12.
Vermilye, her husband, Dale, and their two teenage sons spent much of the summer renovating the 1,200-square-foot space, painting over the black and red stripes that accented the walls–vestiges of a tae kwon do studio–with “Tiffany’s box” blue. The initial stock, which includes pieces Vermilye collected as well as selections from the former resale shop Centsible Fashions, includes women’s apparel, jewelry, accessories, and “cottage chic” furniture and home decor.
“I’m going for Audrey Hepburn chic–that fun yet elegant attitude that you see in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” she says. “I’ll be choosy about what I offer here–it won’t be jam-packed. It’ll be a different experience each week, because I’ll have new items and changing displays.”
Vermilye says her general rule is to accept clothing that’s been purchased within the last two years–preferably designer label–but she’s always interested in unique pieces from any era. Consignors pay an annual fee of $20 and receive a percentage of sales.
“I want women of all ages to enjoy shopping here–even teenage nieces,” she says. And she hasn’t forgotten men. She’s created a comfortable sitting area with books and issues of Sports Illustrated outside the dressing rooms to keep them occupied while the women shop.
Shabby Chic Consignments, 12855 E. Old US-12, Ste. 3 (Oak Tree Plaza). 433-9730. Mon.-Fri. noon-5:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sun.
Michele Balaka says it’s “purely a business decision” to move her Chelsea TreeHouse indoor playground–located in the Clocktower complex since 2005–to the Village Plaza shopping center. She plans to close the Clocktower location in September and reopen in the renovated space in late October.
“I’d love to stay,” she says, but the business outgrew its 4,200-square-foot space. There’s often a wait on weekends, and, with some customers driving from as far as Lansing, Birmingham, and Toledo, Balaka says she doesn’t want to disappoint. The new 9,000-square-foot location between Dollar Arena Plus and ACO Hardware will include a cafe, fireplace, basketball court, toddler area, and seating for a couple hundred people.
Chelsea TreeHouse, 320 N. Main. Moving to 1101 S. Main (Village Plaza). 475-1555. Through mid-September: Mon.-Tues. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Thurs.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
When Mark and Cindy Lesser purchased Parts Peddler Auto Supply from Jeff Layher in May, the couple knew that AutoZone, a national auto parts chain, planned to build a store just a few driveways down on South Main. Since May, the Lessers have expanded their offerings from auto and farm equipment parts to include parts for motor sports and marine vehicles, heavy trucks, and snowmobiles.
“Parts Peddler definitely fills a niche,” says AutoZone manager Daniel Marshall. But, he adds, “Customers are telling me they’re glad we’re here. We offer the highest-quality auto supplies–brakes with lifetime warranties and the best car batteries.”
Mark Lesser says since AutoZone opened in August, customers at Parts Peddler–in Chelsea since 1960–have been supportive. “I think local people want to work with local people,” he says.
“I think there’s room for all three of us,” Marshall says, referring to a third competitor, Carquest Auto Parts, in downtown Chelsea.
AutoZone, 1198 S. Main. 475-4294. Mon.-Sat. 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
New Chelsea residents Cindy and Randy Coleman plan to open Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches in early September on Main Street in the south-side strip mall near Blockbuster. The couple’s last business venture was a Christmas tree farm in Belleville that they ran for two decades. Now that their daughters are grown, Cindy says they’re ready for a new challenge. A family member who owns a Jimmy John’s in Atlanta introduced them to the company. “We chose this business because it’s a strong brand in Michigan and it’s a product with top-quality ingredients,” she says.
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, 1149 S. Main. 433-4300. Daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
The Garden Mill owners Trinh and Dan Pifer have put their Main Street business up for sale. Trinh says that after six years in business the time was right to sell, with her children getting older and her desire to return to the public health field. In April, she became executive director of the Chelsea Senior Center. Meantime, Trinh says they will work closely with Chelsea native Maureen Tobin, the new store manager, and will continue to offer everything from the “functional to the whimsical” for garden enthusiasts.
The Garden Mill, 110 S. Main. 475-3539. Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. Closed Mon.