Downtown Boutique Boom
Three boutiques opened in downtown Grand Island this year, each with a distinct spice.
Kindred (Facebook.com/KindredGI) is a lifestyle boutique on the ground floor of the remodeled Tower 217, offering everything from clothing to decorative items to furniture. Chelsea Sackschewsky, proprietor, wanted to bring something different to Grand Island after moving from Colorado to be closer to family. Things in the store are always changing. The twenty foot tall tree branch in the window, which she miraculously wooed through the front door just a week before, was delicately decorated for Autumn.
“I chose downtown because it has the most character and soul, it had personality and felt like home immediately.” She likes being able to offer unique products to people they might not usually see, but primarily likes the relationships she develops with her customers – hence the moniker Kindred.
I like Grand Island as a community because, after living many places around thecountry and the world, I’ve found the people here to be authentic and kind and really invested in each other. And I like being a part of that.
Chelsea likes taking furniture people might normally discard and upcycling it. “I like Grand Island as a community because, after living many places around thecountry and the world, I’ve found the people here to be authentic and kind and really invested in each other. And I like being a part of that.”
Strut Boutique (StrutStyleBoutique.com) focuses on clothing and tries to stay ahead of the fashion curve. Liz Busch, proprietor, started the business in St Paul, Nebraska, but moved it to Grand Island when she found available space. When a small space opened up downtown this year, she jumped on it. “When something new happens in Grand Island, everyone’s supportive,” she said.
“Downtown is the heart of Grand Island and inspires my choices when stocking the store.” A lot of her business is done through online sales, but she likes having the brick and mortar presence in a unique downtown space with exposed brick walls. “Owning my own business is amazing, I do things my way — anything goes! Communicating with the people and the public is what I love most about it.”
J.Elizabeth (jElizabethStore.com) opened two years ago in the Conestoga Mall. It reopened downtown this Autumn as J.Elizabeth and the Happy Brush. “It’s not your typical retail store, everything is one of a kind,” said Jackie Bowen, proprietor. “The store just fits better with downtown. It feels like a neighborhood,” she says, recounting a late night when an adjacent store owner offered to help her work on her shop as she prepared to open the new downtown location. She’s been awarded a grant to aid in remodeling the building’s facade.
It’s kind of a party here all of the time.
Jackie is trying to bring art to everybody. As J.Elizabeth she offers her own paintings done on the glass of antique windows. As The Happy Brush (TheHappyBrushGI.com) she offers people the opportunity to immerse themselves in creative acts they wouldn’t normally be a part of. “We all have our phones and our computers . . . Tuesday I had some gals in who had a hard day at work and had to go back for a meeting in the evening, and they just wanted to come in and relax in-between. Kids come here with their phones in their hands, and they forget their phones after they’ve been here for a little while. The bachelorette parties, the birthday parties, the work parties, I’ve had all of it.”
“It’s kind of a party here all of the time.”
305 W Third
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"It's kind of a party here all the time."
"When something new happens in Grand Island, everyone’s supportive."
“I chose downtown because it has the most character and soul, it had personality and felt like home immediately.”