Women’s clothing store makes big changes at Main Street location

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Chamber of Commerce Phoenix Award

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Laura Gardner worked more than two decades as an accountant before opening her own women’s clothing store, a lily and a sparrow, in downtown Medina five years ago.

Gardner drew local shoppers and out-of-towners for the durable designer clothing from designers in Turkey, Israel, India and the United States. She sells blouses, jackets, trousers, skirts, tunics and boots.

Gardner also has an array of leather handbags, perfume, jewelry, vintage glassware and note cards.

The business has been doing so well that Gardner purchased her own building on Aug. 29, 2014. She bought the building at 438 Main St., a site that had been home to Baughn’s Shoe Store since 1960.

She and her husband Tom worked with contractors to remove walls, pull up orange carpeting, remove drop ceilings, gut the walls to the bare bricks and create a radically different space. They put in new drywall, a new HVAC system, new electrical and plumbing, and a much different façade.

“What she has done is absolutely amazing,” said Kathy Blackburn, executive director for the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is presenting Gardner with the “Phoenix Award” during an awards program on Friday (Sept. 18) at Tillman’s Village Inn.

Blackburn said “a lily and a sparrow” draws people to the downtown, including some customers from outside the area.

“It’s fantastic to be that innovative,” Blackburn said about Gardner. “She’s put a lot of effort in that store.”

Gardner said she has about 1/3 more space in the renovated storefront compared to her former location at 510 Main St.

“It’s made for a better experience for the customers,” she said.

For more on the store, click here.