|Hats off to new BG store|
|Written by By JENISE FOUTS Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Thursday, 20 May 2010 10:59|
When personal finances won’t allow the purchase of new clothes, fresh life can be breathed into what’s already in the closet with just the right accessories.
Ginny Stewart has opened one of downtown Bowling Green’s newest businesses to help customers update their wardrobes. Her store, Bowling Green Hats & Accessories for Women and Men, shares the rear half of Gayl Walterbach’s store, Coyote Beads.
“It’s such a wonderful collaboration,” said Stewart. “She has jewelry and beads. I have hats and scarves. ... Two business owners can collaborate together, and keep our costs down and enhance each other’s business, which allows businesses to thrive in a tough economy.”
“I feel that it was definitely the right fit for my store,” agreed Walterbach. “Ginny brings in a lot of energy and some freshness I think I needed for the store. With her hats and accessories, and my beads and jewelry, I find we can get ... customers who may not want to spend a lot on a new wardrobe, but update their look without spending a lot of money.”
Admitting to always having had a love for hats, Stewart is pleased with the timing of her store’s opening since “fashion is taking us back to hats. It starts on the east and west coasts and moves this way. The response to the store and the hats has been just terrific.”
In addition, Stewart recalled a comment on National Public Radio that “in this economy people aren’t gong out and buying new outfits. They’re accessorizing to refresh their outfits.”
Not only is wearing a hat a form of self expression, but she said more people are wearing hats to avoid exposure to the sun. University students are wearing fedoras and duck-bill hats, and persons are sporting them on television and in magazines.
The inventory at Bowling Green Hats & Accessories is “more” than fashionable; Stewart said she wanted the store to “make a difference.” So, in choosing suppliers, she asks questions about where the products are made, about the employees’ working conditions and if they are philanthropic as a company.
For example, one line she carries, “Sunday Afternoons,” provides not only great items but gives back to five different groups philanthropically where they have their products made. Workers at one large Cambodian hat company make a very good living, while another company uses renewable fibers in making its baskets to protect the forests.
Bowling Green Hats & Accessories even carries items supplied by Lusted to Wander. Stewart said a couple travels around the world teaching men and women how to knit and crochet to make their own products and thus create their own cottage industries.
“Right now there’s not another store in Northwest Ohio that carries what I have,” said Stewart. “I’ll continue to bring to Bowling Green what you can’t find elsewhere.”
She acknowledged she could have opened her shop anywhere, but chose Bowling Green because she loves the city, and its people “have been wonderful to me. “
Bowling Green Hats & Accessories is located at 178 S. Main St., and is open Mondays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The phone number is (419) 353-4287. The Web site, www.bowlinggreenhats.com, is under construction.
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