The overall complexion of Belmont Center’s shop scene was uplifted by one colorful notch with the addition of intensely chromatic shop Marmalade Thursday.
“Belmont Center is sparking up a little bit, getting a little more color in its cheeks and with the additional space, we will be able to carry the stuff that I love, like more jewelry and stationary,” said Leigh Standley DiBernardo CEO and creative director of the shop's parent company, Curly Girl Design, in a phone interview Monday.
A bright kaleidoscope of whimsical cards, jewelry and eclectic gifts, Standley DiBernardo compares the shop that showcases her artistic design roots to the women’s chain boutique Anthropologie.
“It’s like a mini Anthropologie turned up for accessories,” she said explaining the unique patchwork of fun gifts. “The whole idea is that you could spend an hour in here; take a deep breath and have fun walking around.”
Originally Marmalade served as a space to showcase the products of the wholesale company, Curly Girl Design, that was founded by eight years ago. Focused on personalized greeting cards and small gifts, the shop outgrew itself and will expand in the new location that previously housed, An Elegant Affair, at 63 Leonard St.
DiBernardo said the impetus for Marmalade started with the Curly Girl Designs greeting card line for which she designs, the bulk of which is distributed throughout New England.
The cards are a collage of personalized messages with individualized designs and images, carrying messages that speak first to the receiver and then to the moment in their life.
“All of the cards are made for the person not for the occasion … they carry original sayings on the front, ones that are original to us,” she said.
The new space consists of 1,200 square feet that she will fill with more cards, but also expand to new lines in housewares, jewelry and paper related products from various vendors.
The new store space also includes a basement which DiBernardo plans on finishing for future use, likely to be dedicated to personalized workshops and community and holiday events, such as hands-on sessions with bookbinders, jewelers and artists to create holiday cards as well as themed events like trunk shows.
DiBernardo, who can walk to the Belmont Street shop since it's less than a block from her home, will continue to use the current space for the company's offices.
The swap began Thursday with the transfer of current products to Belmont Center, however, she foresees some lag time before opening the Leonard Street location.
“(On Thursday) the new shop will be closed for March for set up, she said.
The official opening is penned in for the first week of April and she promised a neighborhood party to shortly follow.
She said she will miss the neighborhood of the old location, and is looking ahead to the vibe of Belmont Center along with “being able to have a place to eat for lunch,” she said with a laugh.