Downtown boutique to celebrate grand opening

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A new lifestyle and home boutique will have its grand opening later this month.

Courage and Soar is set to open with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at 40 Monroe Center St. NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

The boutique will bring a “new concept” to Grand Rapids, according to co-owner Alex Benda.

“Our new space offers modern and upscale home goods but at an affordable price point,” Benda said. “We have fine art from local artists on display available for purchase, and we plan to partner with other local businesses and host workshops and scavenger hunts that showcase the beauty of downtown Grand Rapids. We couldn’t be more excited to bring this concept to the city.”

The celebration will include refreshments and free gifts with purchase. Representatives from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce also will be present.

Benda co-owns Courage and Soar with his wife, Kayla, whose favorite quote inspired the name for the store.

“I’ve always loved the quote ‘Courage doesn’t always roar,’ and Alex randomly said one day, ‘You know, even pigeons soar,’” she said. “It felt perfect to combine the two to build a brand that promotes breaking out of the norms and stereotypes you’ve been born into.”

The Bendas opened their first store, Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts, just two months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Kayla said it’s “surreal” to be opening another retail store just two years later.

“We didn’t know what to expect when we opened in 2020, but with the support of the Grand Rapids community, we’ve thrived beyond imagination,” Kayla Benda said. “Never in a million years did I imagine I would be opening a second store, and it’s all because of the insane support from the city and its people.”

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