By Jean Sharry
Recently, the Village Art Gallery and the Bradley House came into new ownership, and the women who bought the buildings have a deep desire to keep art and entrepreneurship alive in Warren.
Rita Ioannides opened Art in the Village in December 2019 when Village Art Gallery owner Jeff Burnett retired. Ioannides was new to art-making and to the gallery scene, she said.
“I always really loved color and creating since I was small and living in Vermont and having time brought all this out in me,” she noted. When asked why she opened the gallery, she explained, “I love my town and I love art and so I went for it when Virgina Roth gave me this opportunity.”
She said that the recent acquisition of the buildings with Carol Dallas and Diane Dolliver “gives me the opportunity to do something special for our town and I hope to create a wonderful place with the other shop owners for the town and Vermont.” The art of Dallas and Dolliver’s art is represented in the gallery along with that of other local painters, sculptors, photographers, potters and 3-D artists.
In the rear of Bradley House, Lisa Reisner’s Someday Boutique opened during COVID. She has found the response to the shop overwhelmingly positive as people were excited to get out of the house. She has a background in sales, marketing and event planning. Asked why she named her shop the Someday Boutique she said, “I always said, over and over, ‘Someday, when I have a store’.” “I also wanted to show my two girls that you can follow your passion and make a living doing so.”
She said she loves helping women find the best version of themselves and said she chose Warren because she loves where she lives. “I have been so lucky to meet the most amazing people and develop friendships. So many of us move here without family, and we rely so much on our friends here. I wanted my store to be a part of this wonderful community and to add value to it.”
Her resale shop offers consignment and new items. She recently remodeled the boutique to enhance the space and make it more organized. She plans to have more of an online presence going forward as she wants to give customers who visit the Valley only once the opportunity to purchase online.
Forage and Finery Boutique, the shop at the front of Bradley House opens onto Main Street and is an artisan and lifestyle boutique. Owners Sasha Walsh and Sasha Lyons opened the shop's doors in July of 2020, after each of their solo projects was interrupted by COVID-19. Lyons received a phone call from Walsh proposing the possibility of opening a shop together that would be a home base for Walsh’s jewelry as well as Lyons’ botanical beauty line and support fellow artisans. Within the last year and a half, they’ve been able to expand throughout the second floor, providing even more handmade offerings.
Sasha Walsh Designs features jewelry that draws from classical metalsmithing practices and the design aesthetic of her work is rooted in natural textures and forms. Sasha Lyon’s Mountain Lyons Botanicals was founded with the desire to nourish and restore the skin and body with all natural and organic ingredients. She describes her beauty line as “skin food.” All of her products are made in Warren, where she grows many of her herbs and creates all her products.
In addition to Walsh’s jewelry and Lyons’ beauty and body care line, they’re offering home decor, clothing and accessories, and more.
Sharry is a Mad River Valley Arts board member.