After a long spell of being empty, a 1400 sq.’ retail space on Elmwood has landed a tenant. Michelle Voit is scheduled to open Village Designs Elmwood on May 5, and is currently stocking her boutique with lines that will ultimately attract women in the target age range of 25-40. The interior of the shop is quite expansive compared to the average retail shop on the street. It more resembles a store that you might find in a larger city, complete with hanging chandeliers and eye-catching display windows. “Although this is my first store,” Michelle told me. “My first retail experience was at 16 years of age. I have plenty of sales and customer service experience, along with a business degree from Medaille.”
It’s refreshing to see some upscale retail opening up on the 400 block of Elmwood Avenue. Along with Newbury Street (opening this Friday), Village Designs on Elmwood will help to make an impact on a section of the street that has seen its fair share of empty storefronts (thanks to certain property owners who have jacked up the cost of doing business on the street). Hopefully the influx of a few new businesses (including Habibi Sheesha Lounge) will be the new trend moving forward.
One look at the initial formations of Village Designs on Elmwood is enough to get me excited about the prospect of Michelle’s impact in the neighborhood. “I wanted to create a shopping experience that I felt was missing in Buffalo,” she said. “Not that there aren’t great stores… I just wanted to create my own niche in the market. I’m bringing in designer brands that you just won’t find in the area, and others that are hard to find – Black Orchid Denim, Rails (amazing “celebrity approved “shirts), Heartloom and Bella Luxx (contemporary everyday lines). I want the business to reflect what you might find in NYC or LA. My prices will range from mid to high – for example a pair of jeans will go for between $80 and on upwards to $150. The large size of the store means that I can carry more merchandise at varying price ranges. We’re going to be carrying accessories too, including jewelry, hats, scarves, clutches (to start). The shop will change depending on what’s selling of course, and where the trends will take me.”
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Village Designs on Elmwood | 448 Elmwood Avenue | Buffalo NY 14222 (near the corner of Bryant) | 716-881-7800