By Sue Ellen Ross Post-Tribune correspondent August 16, 2013 2:28PM
IF YOU GO
138 S. Broad St., Griffith
Contact: 218-3089; email@example.com
Hours: 12 to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday
Updated: September 20, 2013 6:07AM
When Mary Serrano and Ashley George began working together at a local hair salon a few years ago, they admired each other’s style of wearing vintage clothing. That mutual respect led the women, along with Mary’s husband Mike, to open Mothball Boutique in downtown Griffith.
Featuring previously owned items — vinyl records, home decorating selections, jewelry, men’s and women’s clothing and accessories — the storefront area greets visitors with a large metal moth designed by artist friends of the new business owners.
“We are not a thrift store, a resale store or a second-hand store,” said George, 22. “We have hand-picked items and are considered a boutique.”
None of the three owners have quit their day jobs just yet. Mary Serrano, 25, and George continue their at the hair salon and Mike Serrano, 27, works in video technology in Chicago.
“It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a teenager to have a record store,” Mike said as he organized vinyl record albums in deep bins. “Everything just came together when we decided to start this business.”
The store’s inventory isn’t large, and, since clothing items are vintage, they are not available in all sizes. The owners hope to offer customers unique finds at reasonable prices.
“We’re sort of a personal shopper,” Mary Serrano said. “We’ve done the work. Our customers don’t have to go to the other stores and dig to find the treasures. We have them here.”
An open house was held last month to introduce the new business to the community.
“There’s a lot going on in this downtown area, which is up and coming, and hundreds of people came through,” George said. “We offered live music and visitors were very receptive to our new business. There is no other store like ours in this area.”
Upon entering the store, customers are greeted by a long glass display case that houses vintage jewelry and hair accessories. A seating area is available for those wanting to relax, discuss music and the arts, or wait for friends using the dressing room.
Future plans for the trio of new entrepreneurs include adding clothing from local designers, hosting live music, and offering art shows. For now, establishing themselves in the community is the number one focus.
“We’re not for everyone — we are an eclectic, niche market,” George said. “We have created a place for the counter culture community, giving northwest Indiana residents the opportunity to express themselves through our high end clothing and items.”