Bringing life to downtown


While the Burlap Bee Boutique has been in Greenfield’s downtown for more than a year, the official welcome came Monday as a way to celebrate the boutique’s one-year anniversary.

The boutique has been in business since 2013, but it has only been in a storefront since Nov. 19, 2021. There was no grand opening celebration last year.

Owner Susan Howland did not have a grand opening when the boutique opened in a storefront because she was busy with not only opening her shop, but helping get storefronts filled downtown. She works with the village and has had a big hand in helping bring life back to downtown Greenfield.

At the time, Howland said about 75 percent of the storefronts downtown were vacant, and as she was working to change that, she decided moving her online boutique to a storefront would be a good move to make.

The boutique initially opened in a space in the Pythian Castle in the 300 block of Jefferson Street, then in April of this year moved to a new and bigger space in the 200 block of Jefferson Street.

In the new space, Howland has expanded to be able to also offer home decor and formal wear, the latter of which was one of the big reasons for the expansion so that prom, homecoming and other event wear would be available.

While Howland has built her business through the years from the support of clientele across the country since opening the boutique online nearly a decade ago, the local support has helped her grow over the last year.

You can find out what’s going on at the boutique by checking out its Facebook page. You can also stop in at 244 Jefferson St. when the shop is open, which is every day right now for the holiday season.

“I never imagined in a million years I’d grow out of that first space so quickly,” said Howland, adding that was especially surprising in the post-COVID economy. “Giant thank you to those who continue to shop with us online and to the new customers and faces we’ve met moving into the downtown storefront.”

Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.

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