Hammers are swinging and register bells are ringing as 42 Union St. undertakes new projects and renovations.
Since 42 Union opened last spring, creativity and interest in the remaining, vacant rooms in the building have peaked with local businesses and entrepreneurs.
“My vision for 42 Union was to be the bridge between the college and the town, because there are some incredible people who do deserve a place to gather,” owner Marty Hubbard said.
As Rough Draft customers have wandered the halls of 42 Union, some may have noticed the renovations and activity purposed for new businesses occurring in several of the back rooms.
“Down the hallway, it used to be just a storage space, but within the last two months they’ve made the rooms into offices, so they’ve sectioned it out into three different areas,” Rough Draft co-owner Haley Talkington said.
Nell’s Nest, a women’s clothing boutique, took one of the open rooms and opened for business on Nov. 18.
Its owner, Charnelle Davis, started the business in her home two years ago, working out of her basement and primarily using Facebook to make sales.
She said she chose to move to 42 Union in order to make a connection with the community and “let the college guys and gals know I’m here!”
“Come in, have a cup of coffee, and shop,” Davis said.
Davis said Nell’s Nest has two main purposes: comfort and trendiness.
“I’m very picky about fabric makeup. It has to meet a certain standard of softness, or we’ll send it back to the manufacturer,” Davis said. “And we only hold products manufactured in America.”
The boutique also has a unique feature for holiday shopping, where a shopper may fill out a wish list in-store or online, and Nell’s Nest will keep the wish list on file. Any family members or friends can access the wish list and have their gift prepared and wrapped in store.
Within the next year Nell’s Nest will also begin a screen print service, which will provide Greek life students to order T‑shirts with selected logos and patterns. Nell’s Nest also hopes to provide men and children’s clothing in the near future.
Nell’s Nest is open Monday through Friday, excluding Wednesday, from noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Another spot at 42 Union will soon be occupied by “resident artist of Hillsdale,” according to Hubbard. Heather Tritchka — known for her work on the Winston Churchill statue in the Grewcock Student Union and the Winona statue in Mrs. Stock’s Park — will be opening a studio in one of the open spaces.
“The public will be able to just come in, watch her work, and ask her questions,” Davis said. “Her door will always be open, so you can just watch her sculpt.”
Two vacancies remain for other entrepreneurs interested in renting space in 42 Union.
“42 Union has come together naturally. We didn’t have a plan. So, if someone walks in the door and says, ‘I’d like to do a dress shop,’ I say, ‘Well, I have this space here.’ They either give me the thumbs-up or go somewhere else,” Hubbard said. “I have two blanks left, but I’m in no hurry to fill them.”