OTONO to celebrate storefront expansion

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Photo via Facebook.com

A secondhand and vintage clothing store recently expanded its downtown Grand Rapids storefront.

OTONO, opened in November 2021 in a 900-square-foot space at 317 S. Division Ave. selling clothing, home decor, accessories and other curated products.

Now, co-owners Alana Sawicki and Emmanuel Ibarra have acquired the neighboring storefront and will use the additional 900 square feet to add more clothing racks, storage space and fitting rooms.

Sawicki said an expansion this early wasn’t something they expected.

‘We thought it would be really cool if, in the future, we could expand, but we had businesses on either side of us,” Sawicki said.

After one of the businesses moved out earlier this year, the owners applied for and ended up acquiring the space.

Prior to OTONO, Sawicki and Ibarra met in February 2020 as Ibarra was organizing pop-up events around Grand Rapids to sell his vintage clothing collection. Sawicki developed her craft for handmade spoon rings, and the pair hosted their first pop-up together at Lantern Coffee Bar & Lounge.

Although the start of the pandemic put their plans for more pop-up events on hold, Sawicki and Ibarra began to brainstorm a permanent store last summer before opening OTONO in the fall.

Sawicki said the plan for OTONO was to offer quality vintage items that also are affordable.

“A lot of what we have is strictly vintage, and usually the prices are in the $30-$70 range. And we wanted something in between that wasn’t a thrift store, but it wasn’t high-price vintage,” Sawicki said. “We wanted something that people who don’t have time to thrift or don’t know how to thrift can go and maybe find an item that they really like for maybe $12. So that was our goal and what we look for and what we curate.”

Sawicki said the store’s name was inspired by the Spanish word “otoño,” or autumn.

“We love the fall, and we feel that in the fall we can really wear what we want and layer up and just really dress how we want,” Sawicki said. “So (the name) goes in line with our business and our practice.”

To celebrate the expansion, a ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18. The event will feature remarks, wine and a meet-and-greet with some of the store’s vendors.

OTONO also will offer a 15% discount for purchases made this weekend.

Hours of operation are 5-9 p.m. Thursday and 12-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

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