Here are the facts: Everyone’s favorite gift shop moves to a bigger space (1555 Wealthy St SE suite 101) and if the store had a theme song it would be Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” so read the rest of the story with that tune in your head.
It is an absolute fact that a die-hard customer camped out at Rebel’s front door to be the first person in line to shop at the new store.
“I had no idea that was going to happen until I opened the door,” said owner Dann Boyles of the customer turned friend, who stood with her Rebel mug in a teepee, waiting to be the first person at the new space. “I cried. Kind of a lot.”
Bittersweet is the best way to describe the mood and the move. While owners Boyles and Chip Minor loved their cozy space on Robinson Road, they outgrew it a year ago—even surpassing shelf space. The pair knew they needed to think bigger and spread their wings to provide room for more interesting displays and groupings.
While the new space is around three times larger than their old spot, there’s more to love than just measurements. From loads of natural light to fresh display pieces and custom details, customers will see a mixture of color, beautiful lighting, and their old store counter from a hardware store circa the 1890s, mixed with modern touches such as stunning Rifle Paper Co. wallpaper.
Speaking of gifts, each category is “now on steroids,” said Boyles, detailing a more than doubled children’s area and an expansion in women’s accessories along with the introduction of more home lines that they’d been dreaming of stocking but simply didn’t have room for. “Our new kitchen area is my favorite addition to our product offerings,” said Boyles, who’s also raving over a new line of soaps featuring volcanic ash and sea salt that make everyday life more luxurious.
Lately, the days are busy. Walk past the shop and the doors are open and neighbors are running into neighbors. Boyles and Minor hand out dog treats to furry Rebels and there’s plenty of laughter and delight in people’s voices as they interact with the new space that’s already feeling a lot like home.
“One of my favorite things is that people really do call us the Rebel boys,” said Boyles. “I think the best possible outcome is that we have created something that Grand Rapids is proud of. To know that you have created an amenity that makes Grand Rapids a more desirable place to work and live—that’s pretty cool. It’s also a privilege to be a part of peoples’ celebrations and life events and to know you are helping them celebrate something and make it memorable.”
THE MOTHER LOAD
With the Mother’s Day holiday upon us, the Rebel boys share a few gift ideas and things that keep them up at night. “One year we ran out of Mother’s Day cards on the Saturday before the holiday. I will never not have a panic attack about that happening!” said Boyles.
Kitchen Series self-watering seed starter kit from Modern Sprout featuring Cherry Tomatoes, Sugar Snap Peas and Thai Peppers, $30.95 for the set of three.
Paddywax Peony and Patchouli hand-poured soy wax candle in a peach speckled ceramic container (that would be super cute reused as a pot for a plant), $28.95
Old Whaling Co. Body Butter. This small batch, small maker lotion is made in Charleston, South Carolina in a bunch of beautiful scents but our favorite is Seaberry, $12.95.
Rifle Paper Co. Citrus Floral Kitchen Recipe Box and Cards includes 12 letterpress dividers and 24 recipe cards, $34.95.