Business with vintage goods to open in downtown Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers: Laura Kemler on Saturday will celebrate the grand opening of Laura Loxley, a business at 45 North Main St., Albion. She makes baskets out of tie-dyed cotton ropes.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 February 2019 at 3:51 pm

‘I have an absolute fascination for when things were made with quality and love.’ – Laura Kemler, owner of Laura Loxley

ALBION – A business that has grown too big for an Albion woman’s home will celebrate its grand opening Saturday at a downtown storefront.

Laura Kemler is owner of Laura Loxley. She makes vintage style baskets and other gift items.

The past three months Kemler and her husband Kevin have worked on the storefront at 45 North Main St. They wanted to create a space with a 1930s-’40s theme.

Mrs. Kemler wants her shop to take people back to an era when products weren’t mass produced.

“I have an absolute fascination for when things were made with quality and love,” Kemler said today at her business.

This basket was made in pink with a theme of breast cancer awareness.

She will open the doors to the public at 10 a.m. on Saturday. That day she is one of the host sites for the Sip & Stroll by the Albion Merchants Association. Laura Loxleys will host Circle B Winery from Elba.

Kemler didn’t plan to run a business creating rope baskets and vintage goods. She was teaching an art class over a summer a few years ago at Forrestel Farm in Medina. She dabbled with tie-dye and fabric manipulation. Kemler wanted to do more than the typical tie-dyed T-shirts for the students.

She started experimenting with different fabrics. She found she enjoyed tie-dying cotton ropes, and turning them into colorful baskets.

The baskets have proven popular to store envelopes and stationary. Kemler makes them in a variety of colors and themes. She turned it into a business about three years ago and made the products out of her home, selling most of them online through Etsy.

Kemler also makes magnets. This one has an anchor that she tried to make look like it had been submerged for years in a lake. These magnets are mostly made of egg shells.

Her baskets were featured in a national magazine in October, the 45th anniversary issue of Old House Journal. The magazine did a spread on “clever” American-made items used for storage. That writeup gave her business a boost.

Kemler named her business, Laura Loxley, because she likes the English-sounding name of Loxley. She has visited the country several times.

Kemler believes Albion’s downtown is headed in the right director. Her friend Tara Thom opened a quilt business, Town and Country Quilter, on East Bank Street in October 2017. Earlier this month Kylie Hughson opened Adara Fashion at 101 North Main St.

Kemler also thinks her business will benefit by its location next to the 39 Problems restaurant, which opened last year.

She would like to see more awnings and projecting signs in the downtown. She is a fan of the show, Small Business Revolution, which highlights flourishing small towns. She thinks Albion could be one of those towns with a business district full of energy and entrepreneurs.

“As more shops open Albion will start to flourish again,” she said. “The shops will create a destination, but we need to keep the ball rolling.”

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