Old Town experiences the gains and losses of unique local businesses

By Victoria Bowles

Old Town Lansing staff writer

Old Town experiences the gains and losses of unique local businesses  

OLD TOWN LANSING— Two new businesses are opening their doors in Old Town despite the recent closing announcements of two veteran businesses. Old Town is home to more art-focused businesses like galleries, design firms and creative boutiques per capita than any other place in Michigan, said Sarah Christensen the owner of Katalyst art gallery and gift boutique. “Every place here is so unique and creative and having your own niche is important,” Christensen said. Christensen may have found her niche in Old Town but the owners of Greenfield Collection Antiques and Gallery 1212 have not been as fortunate. Currently both businesses are closing, and offering sales on remaining merchandise.

Ice storm knocks down Old Town

By Shanin Thomas
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer

OLD TOWN LANSING – As some searched for warmth and partook in a dark Christmas, Old Town’s unique boutiques and galleries lost a large number of customers and revenue. Galleries Affected and Money Lost 

Louise Gradwohl, executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association (OTCA), said more people should shop locally in the Old Town historic district to find unique, luxury items.

Absolute Gallery, Grace Boutique, and Katalyst Art Gallery sell unusual, handmade items specific for the holiday season, said business owners.  

Gradwohl said she noticed less business traffic during this holiday season due to the ice storm. Holcomb said Old Town was having a great business season, then immediately switched to seeing no one shopping at all. Summer Schriner, owner of Grace Boutique, said there is an upwards of 20 percent of holiday business in the three days before Christmas. She said business is down thousands of dollars this year because we had no power, and customers didn’t either.