Renee Tessier's new shop offers a mix of new, vintage and repurposed home decor items.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Renee Tessier is hoping to turn what started as a hobby into a second successful business venture.
"This is my passion. I love to recreate and repurpose and reuse and I love to make things look beautiful," Tessier said last week as she styled her new space in the Berkshire Emporium. "A lot of people don't see the beauty in something like a dresser or a buffet, or to take a large hutch and make it into two pieces and change things. I love home decorating and decor."
Tessier's new store LifeStyler is a mix of repurposed, vintage and new home decor items. She describes the shop as a mix of "home decor, refurbished furniture, and boutique items."
She already operates the well-known Renee's Diner, a popular eatery on Massachusetts Avenue for the past dozen years. But she's always loved styling and redecorating.
"People would follow me on Facebook or Instagram and look at my house and asked me if I would come decorate their house," she said. "I thought about it for a few years, opening up a space or store, and when Keith [Bona] came to the community and said, 'hey, I have an opening,' I gave him my idea and, as well as a few other people had come to him, he thought this was a good fit for him and for me."
Bona, proprietor of Berkshire Emporium on Main Street, has been experimenting with retail incubator spaces for more than year. Several sandwich shops/bakeries have already operated out of the antique shop, including the current Bailey's Bakery, and Bona has expanded the concept to a number of mini storefronts including LifeStyler.
Tessier's storefront is on the Holden Street side but accessed through the Emporium. Her merchandise includes repainted and repurposed furniture, home decor such as baskets and bottles, vases and florals, tchotchkes and tapestries.
Her style is a mix of French provincial, boho and modern farmhouse layered eclectically, and the shop offers inspiration for those hoping to achieve the same effect.
"Not a lot of people know how to layer merchandise, vases, florals, beads," she said. "Not that I'm an expert by any stretch of the means but I do, you know, enjoy doing it. So I think about it a lot and I think that I've executed it well."
Tessier said the items are high quality and hand picked and range in price from $5 or $6 to up to $1,000, including furniture that she's repurposed and painted.
"I'm not a box store. I'm not a Walmart or Target. I can't buy stuff at large quantity," she said. "So the stuff you're getting could be low to medium to high price, but it's all quality stuff. I've hand picked it all.
"There are some pieces in here that are one of a kind and there's some pieces that are multiples."
Tessier's planning a soft opening this week and a grand opening this weekend. The shop's open the same business hours as Berkshire Emporium from 11 to 5 and 11 to 4.
"I'm really excited. It was a lot of work. A lot of hard work and especially, you know, running another business and having a family," Tessier said. "But I think this is something the community really needs in our town. We don't have anything like this. There's no other store like this around here."
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