At just 335 square feet, the new outlet for 6.25 Paper Studio
in downtown Grand Rapids will give owner Abbey Fowler the opportunity to see if her new venture will pay off and possibly lead to an even bigger store. The stationery and gift boutique is one of the first two tenants announced this week for retail incubator Shops at Monroe Center and Division, or MoDiv
, 40 Monroe Center.
6.25 Paper Studio, once known as Syd Design, is Fowler's first step in introducing her lines of custom made invitations and personally designed greeting cards to a larger client base than she attracted by working out of her Kentwood home.
Fowler hopes to have the studio open by the start of ArtPrize
(Sept. 21). She'll offer her own greeting cards for holidays, birthdays and gift sets of blank cards.
Fowler, who, with her husband Mac, is in the process of adopting an 18-month-old girl from Africa, has also created a line of greeting cards for adoptions.
"I'll also offer products from 50 or 60 small companies, artisans and crafters," Fowler says. "I have some cute owl pillows from Belding artist Katie Mulder
and Michigan Awesome
T-shirts. I'll also do custom gift wrapping and sell gift packaging."
The shop will include a small design studio where Fowler plans to create her cards and meet with clients to design custom wedding invitations. She says the retail incubator concept of MoDiv, the ability to rent such a small space and the promise of having foot traffic generated by other future tenants has made a coveted downtown shop affordable.
"I was looking downtown about a year and a half ago, and even looked to partner with a photographer," she says. "By the time we added up the price per square foot and added on utilities, it was over my budget. Here, everything is covered in my rent. Hopefully this will give me a jumpstart into transitioning into a larger space."
Source: Abbey Fowler, 6.25 Paper Studio; Michael Zalewski, SeyferthPR
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
$400K renovation of Grand Rapids' Peck Building could bring retail incubators to downtown