A group of 13 retailers from the Center and Main streets area are active members of the 2-year-old Downtown Seville Business Association with the goal of drawing tourists and shoppers to historic downtown Seville.
One of the group’s key members is Jane Webb, owner of Seville Flower & Gift Shop. Webb has operated the store on East Main Street for 23 years.
“Every year I hosted the Christmas Preview open house, with refreshments, entertainment and door prizes,” Webb said, “And every year more and more merchants began to participate. It snowballed into our putting together a formal organization.”
The group meets once a month to discuss business and to plan events such as the upcoming Antique Show on July 19 and the Art Walk on Aug. 16.
“The village government supports us with all the tools we need, such as banners for the street,” Webb said, “plus we’re supported by other local businesses who are not necessarily in the downtown area. And we have been completely embraced by the community which is very gratifying.”
The importance of the organization is not lost on Webb who has witnessed the ebb and flow of local retail over the years.
“It was a huge blow to our downtown area when Seville Hardware closed several years ago. We had very few retailers here. We had a lot of services — services we need like insurance, auto, law, medical — but not enough retail.”
Webb said that situation has started to change as the association reaches out to potential new retailers.
One of the latest additions to Seville’s Main Street is Studio 5 West Design Market, operated by sisters Charlotte Knowlton-Motz and Kelsey Knowlton. The new boutique will offer full interior and exterior design services as well as rustic décor, handmade from local grape vines and Lake Erie driftwood.
While the space is under renovation, the studio is available by appointment until the grand opening near the end of summer.
“We chose to open in Seville’s downtown because the area has so much opportunity and promise,” said Knowlton-Motz. She said the two also hope to work on big projects with other downtown retailers.
“We can offer beautiful décor for weddings, while Jane can create the bouquets and flower arrangements. And Shell has furniture and props that can be used,” said Knowlton-Motz, referring to Shell Venus who operates Funky Junk Boutique.
Housed in an old gas station, the boutique offers vintage, up cycled and locally made items. Venus completed renovated the space with recycled materials, including reclaimed attic flooring for the five barn doors separating various areas in the store.
“Our biggest draws are the chalk and milk paints,” said Venus. Both paints can be used on furniture with no prior stripping, sanding or priming. Venus offers in-store painting workshops several times a month.
She also carries jewelry and accessories handcrafted by local artisans. “I try to bring in products from as close to home as possible,” she said, adding, “Seville is my home, that’s why it’s important to me that it continues to grow.”
“There are so many creative people here in Seville,” Webb said, “With the business association, we’ve come together and found a way to make it work.”
“We want people to know that Seville isn’t the same as it was a few years ago,” said Venus, “We have a lot of unique retail now and lots of fun events. It takes a village to grow a village. And we’re growing. ”
Other members of the Downtown Seville Business Association are Along Memory Lane Antiques, Innovations Salon, Peace by Piece, Photography Traditions, Seville Antiques, Seville Auto Parts, Seville Library, Velvet’s W. Main Framing, Vintage Corner Antiques & Collectibles and Primitives Only.
For more information about Seville, its downtown retailers and events, find “Downtown Seville, Ohio” on Facebook.
Contact reporter Nancy Johnson at (330) 721-4065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.