2 businesses move to downtown Albion
ALBION – Two businesses have opened in downtown Albion, optimistic the historic buildings on main and Bank streets can again be a hub for small businesses.
“There’s a lot of creative and entrepreneurial people out there,” said Terri Jordan, owner of Bird & Matilda’s Gift Boutique at 6 East Bank St. “They just need to take the risk.”
Jordan in July opened Bird & Matilda’s, a business named after her great-grandparents. She had run The Soap Cottage from her home in Lake Alice for three years.
Jordan and her husband moved to Albion about a year ago. She had an established clientele from her hand-crafted soap-making business. She expanded her inventory to organic baby clothes, bath bombs, body butter, soy candles and other home decor. She also sells hand-carved wooden duck decoys made by her father, Douglas Jordan of Hamlin.
She grew up in Cuba in the Southern Tier. She sees how some communities, with fewer residents than Albion, have experienced a rebirth in their downtown business districts. Angelica is just one example.
“Small towns are making a comeback,” she said. “I believe Albion deserves a chance. It has a lot of potential.”
Jordan would like to see businesses put up awnings that add to the small-town charm. She is pleased that Tara Thom is opening a quilt shop next door at 10 East Bank St. Jordan also said the expansion of 39 Problems into a dine-in restaurant is good news for the downtown.
Bird and Matilda’s is open Thursdays through Saturdays. Jordan said a rental assistance program through the village is helpful to new businesses that set up in the historic district.
Tara Thom has been running Town and Country Quilter from her home on Ridge Road for 15 years. She wants to grow the business and add to the vibrancy of the business district.
“I wanted to be more visible and be a bigger part of the community,” Thom said today.
She will run the quilting business from the East Bank site. She uses a Gammill long-arm quilting machine. She often takes a customer’s quilt top and adds the batting (filler) and and the backing.
In her new storefront, she will offer quilting classes for beginners and long-arm certification classes. Thom will teach some of the classes, as will local quilting experts Janet Root and Irene Henion.
People who complete the long-arm training can rent Thom’s Gammill quilting machine.
Thom has been quilting the past 21 years.
“I like the unlimited possibility of taking a pattern and turning it into your own with different fabric choices,” Thom said. “I like creating heirlooms.”
Them completed the Microenterprise Assistance Program in the spring 2016. That program, run through the Orleans Economic Development Agency, motivated her to take the business outside her home.
“It inspired me to think about a change,” Thom said about MAP.
She will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the Fall Festival in the downtown. Them will have a bigger open house on Nov. 11.
For more information on Town and Country Quilter, call Thom at (585) 455-0760 or click here.