IONIA — Downtown Ionia is well-known for its historical past and allure.
One storefront on Major Road was house to Winchell and Stone within the early 1900s, a furnishings and enterprise enterprise after which later a bill-paying heart for a utility firm.
The storefront subsequent door housed State Financial savings Financial institution and ultimately the 2 buildings merged into the location of Western Auto, Buck’s Bargains after which, after a protracted emptiness, Divine Faculty of Dance.
Now the buildings at 326 and 328 W. Major St. are house to The Jewel Field, an vintage and present boutique labor of affection which goals to pay tribute to a lot of the wealthy native historical past surrounding it.
“Our buildings have a incredible historical past,” proprietor Heather Poland-Sizemore mentioned. “I joke that we have now a little bit little bit of the whole lot right here, however we actually do. Now we have specialty gadgets made only for us showcasing Ionia, similar to coasters, mugs and glasses. We additionally acquire Ionia memorabilia and different Michigan historic items which might be on show within the retailer.”
The Jewel Field celebrated 5 years in enterprise this previous November. Heather and her husband Carl Sizemore opened in November 2017 at 324 W. Major St. After outgrowing the area, they’d the chance to buy the 2 buildings subsequent door and expanded into there, opening in March 2020 — robust timing, clearly. And now with Michigan coping with more and more increased costs, provide points and predictions of a potential recession, the battle continues for small enterprise homeowners.
“We’re nonetheless engaged on the buildings and hoping to have each buildings open quickly,” Heather mentioned. “The previous couple years have been a little bit difficult. I feel individuals are making an attempt to navigate quite a lot of modifications. Enterprise, for us, has been a little bit sluggish. I feel individuals are extra cautious with their spending, understandably. Now we have lots of people who cease in and go to us from throughout and that completely makes my day. I’d like to see extra individuals strolling round downtown and assist the native retailers, as we have now some nice regionally owned companies right here on Major Road.”
Heather doesn’t simply vocally suggest downtown Ionia companies — she champions her fellow retailers in each manner potential. She is a co-host and co-organizer of Ionia’s Thursday on the Bricks, which happen the primary Thursday of each month from Could to October, together with Karlee Bailey of Brick Road Studios. In Thursday on the Bricks, companies are open late and occasions happen to carry extra individuals into the downtown space.
“Heather could be very obsessed with making our group higher,” Bailey mentioned. “She is all the time pushing individuals to buy native and all the time desires what’s finest for downtown. She is continually serving to out in any manner she will and tries to make our downtown higher for our prospects and higher for its companies by coordinating new occasions, selling our downtown usually, giving updates to our group about issues occurring and combating for change that can profit everybody.
“She pours her coronary heart and soul into her constructing and enterprise,” Bailey added. “I’m so grateful that she has such a coronary heart for our downtown. It’s nice to see another person so passionate and keen to proceed making our group higher.”
Heather can be a board member with the Ionia Space Chamber of Commerce, a citizen attendee of the Ionia Downtown Improvement Authority’s month-to-month conferences and serves on a number of different native committees.
“I actually simply like to see individuals visiting and supporting Ionia’s group companies,” she mentioned.
Promoting native and Michigan-made merchandise usually is necessary to the homeowners of the Jewel Field.
“We provide antiques and carry items from quite a lot of different small Michigan-based companies,” Heather mentioned. “I additionally carry just a few nice merchandise from small USA-based companies, however a overwhelming majority of my merchandise are from Michigan. Some names that individuals acknowledge are Cherry Republic and Stormy Kromer. We stock artwork from A State of Copper. We simply have manner too many items to record all of them.”
Prospects who stroll into the Jewel Field will doubtless see a furry pal or two on website. The Poland household has a canine named Champ, a “very talked-about” cat named Quest (“He has his personal following,” Heather laughed) — each from the Ionia County Animal Shelter. Generally guests can be fortunate sufficient to see Mr. Fuzz, a rabbit belonging to Carl and Heather’s daughter Fiona.
“All of us have our completely different contributions to our retailer,” Heather mentioned. “I’m the proprietor/boss, my husband is the one who helps carry my visions to life and Fiona usually does little fundraisers for the Ionia County Animal Shelter — we all the time settle for donations for them and ship them, I’ve a field by our door. I generally name Fiona our strolling commercial, as she is drawing on the sidewalk or pushing Mr. Fuzz up and down the sidewalks in his classic stroller.
“All the time one thing right here,” Heather mentioned with a smile.
The Jewel Field
What: The Jewel Field is an vintage and present boutique retailer specializing in distinctive gadgets and Michigan-made merchandise
Location: 328 W. Major St., Ionia
Hours: At the moment by appointment, however common hours can be supplied quickly
For extra info: Name (616) 727-0986 or go to “The Jewel Field of Ionia” Fb web page