I was introduced to Jessica Bernier and Andrea Woodward by Walter Fisette when I visited Walter's antique shop at the Manchester Mall at 811 Main St. Jessica and Andrea are sisters who recently opened their new store Glittering Moon Studios at the same address at the Manchester Mall.
The focus of their new store is retro, vintage, and handmade items. Jessica and Andrea offered to talk about their new business for Manchester Patch.
Timothy Becker: Jessica, I have never been in a store quite like this one. How would you describe your shop?
Jessica Bernier: Glistening Moon Studio has vintage and hand made items. All items are made by Connecticut artists from Colchester, Manchester, Bolton, East Hampton and several other local towns.
Andrea makes cinnamon apple sauce ornaments in the shape of birds, flowers, butterflies, and ruby slippers, knitting, crochet, and paper florals. We also both do picking of vintage items at estate sales, tag slaes, and at Brimfield, Massachusetts in the spring and fall. We also do up-cycling like the bird feeders that are made from old cups and saucers and cat beds that are made from old suitcases.
Timothy Becker: Are you offering any classes for crafters?
Jessica Bernier: We will be offering beginner knitting and crochet classes this fall and we also are starting a sit and knit group on Saturday afternoons. We also will be selling a line of specialty yarns from wool that is hand spun.
Timothy Becker: What inspired you both to open your shop?
Jessica Bernier: We both like picking vintage items and we both exhibited at local craft shows. The company that I used to work for as a medical receptionist closed last November. Andrea and I saw the space was available two months ago and we leased the space in June.
Timothy Becker: Did you have a lot of work to do preparing the space for your shop?
Jessica Bernier: We painted, did some red accents and started filling up the shop with items for sale.
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Timothy Becker: Did you start with a business plan?
Jessica Bernier: We wrote up a plan but it's unpredictable. It changes. We have been surprised by the number of artists that have contacted us. The word spread among artisans and they just started coming in with their work.
Timothy Becker: Are you going to sell your items on the web?
Jessica Bernier: We are starting a storefront on our website for the vintage and handmade items. We will offer to ship, or customers can buy online and pick up their items here at the shop.
Timothy Becker: Tell me about the furniture items for sale here in the shop?
Jessica Bernier: We currently have three local artists that bring furniture to the shop for sale. We have a gazing table that has a celestial finish. We also have hand painted furniture that has a country look.
Timothy Becker: What are you planning for holiday decorations?
Jessica Bernier: Halloween decorations will fill the store by the end of September. Right before Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations will be all over the store. Will will have vintage decorations, bubble lights and many handmade ornaments.
Timothy Becker: Are you looking for more crafts for your shop?
Jessica Bernier: Yes, we are always looking for more artisans. We don't take a percentage of the sale. We charge a low flat fee.
Timothy Becker: How do you get customers to walk in the store?
Jessica Bernier: Facebook has been big as well as our website. We will be doing some newspaper advertising in the fall. The events on Main Street like “Crusin' on Main” and “Imagine Main Street have brought a lot of people into the store.
Timothy Becker: What are your plans for 2013?
Jessica Bernier: We will be adding more display cases and shelves and we plan to expand our web store.