CHELAN — Interested in fashion, design and entrepreneurship, Lacy Boosinger started working at Chelan’s Main Street Gallery when she was 15.
Some eight years later, she and her mother, April Marcel, are now owners of the fashion boutique and art gallery at 208 Woodin Ave.
The change became official Nov. 1.
Barbara Koenig opened the gallery in the early 2000s, offering a mix of fine art and fashion, an extension of her original gallery in Edmonds, which she later closed. Her son David initially helped manage the Chelan location and in 2012 purchased the business.
“It was her vision,” David Koenig said of the gallery’s offerings that cater to a mix of locals and tourists. “All the artists are from Washington and we focus on fashionable clothing at affordable prices. We’ve worked hard to keep it affordable, so the locals like our store a lot.”
It proved to be an ideal training ground for Boosinger, who learned merchandising, trends and customer service — skills that served her well in later endeavors, she said. Always in the back of her mind was the idea of putting those skills to use in her own business.
This past summer, Boosinger, now 23, and Marcel, started seriously exploring the idea.
“We looked into a couple different spaces in Wenatchee,” Boosinger said, and reached out to David Koenig, her former boss, for advice and guidance.
“That’s when he asked if I had any interest in purchasing the store,” she said.
Koenig said he hadn’t actively been looking for a buyer.
“I figured I would sell at some point down the road, but didn’t think I was quite ready,” he said. “Once the idea got in my head, it sure sounded good.”
He continues to own the downtown building, but the store reopened under new ownership this week after what Boosinger described as a whirlwind of refreshening — including new paint and an interior redesign on the 2,000-square-foot space — with new merchandise and displays.
“We are a family-owned business and everybody has had a hand chipping in with help however they can,” Boosinger said. That includes brother Luke who helped with the point-of-sale system, website and social media sites.
Main Street Gallery’s new owners continue to focus on art and fashion.
Koenig said that was one of the reasons he offered to sell the business.
“It was about trying to keep the same vision,” he said. “We have a pretty good reputation in town. She can take advantage of that. We have a lot of real loyal customers I will miss working with, but who are happy to see Lacy take over.”
He said the Chelan market has evolved over the years.
“When we first started, the months from June to September provided 70% to 80% (of the annual revenue). Since then, the shoulder seasons have grown, thanks to the wineries, more tourism and more people moving to the area.”
Now, he said, the summer months provide maybe 60% of the revenue, subject, of course to weather and wildfire.
To gear up for the new venture, Boosinger and Marcel attended the Las Vegas fashion market to select merchandise — apparel and accessories — to fit the fashion-forward Chelan lifestyle.
They’ve also refreshed the fine-art gallery side, expanding the selection of paintings, photography, sculptures and carvings to the boutique’s mezzanine, with a lineup of new artists and new arrangements.
“Our gallery artists range from local painters and photographers to some well-known creative people from Western Washington,” Marcel said. “Many local collectors look to the Main Street Gallery to add the finishing touch to their homes and offices. The artworks also make a memorable and lasting gift. We are additionally bringing in art experts to help curate future presentations and special art shows. Through the process, we have discovered a wealth of talent in Chelan.”
Boosinger said they are working to continue the community connection.
“We are brewing up a lot of fun ideas for events and fashion shows with the store, and just hope to continue to keep the heart of Main Street Gallery for what it’s been for nearly two decades now,” she said.