Good Life

Boutique highlights local artists, will host seed-to-table dinner

Sustain, a new boutique, recently opened in State College.
Sustain, a new boutique, recently opened in State College.

In the coming months, a Bellefonte home will add sliding barn doors to its high-ceiling interior. Until the buyer picks them up, they’ll sit in a real barn at 201 Elmwood St. in State College, the current home of Sustain, a home decor shop just off East College Avenue.

Stack a few of those barn doors on the ground and you’ll have a short, rustic walk to Happy Valley Brewing Company.

The shop holds plenty more curios and consignment goods within its 3,500-square-foot space. The two-story boutique opened in April and features the work of several local artists. Many of the pieces have been refurbished, including a wood pallet-turned-porch swing and a repurposed surveyor’s stand.

For owner Patricia Gordon, the stand can also double as a floor lamp. About every inch of the store holds some trinket of both old and new.

“Sophisticated clutter,” Gordon said, “is what I’d like to call it.”

Sunlight pours through windows on the roof, spotlighting clothes and smaller goods held in the loft space. Paintings hang above handmade tables, while chairs scattered around the barn test the limits of geometry. One such throne, shaped like a hand, greets customers as they walk up the stairs.

“It’s a good place for people who have things that are too nice to sell at a yard sale, but they don’t want to deal with Craigslist and eBay,” said Angela Cepullio, the store’s manager. “We’re kind of like Etsy in real life.”

The shop plans on hosting a Seed-to-Table Dinner at 7 p.m. July 28, and is currently selling tickets. The featured chef is El Gringo food truck owner Ben Stanley. The Organic Garden Center, which is housed just below Sustain, is scheduled to present about sustainable growing practices at the dinner.

“We want this space to be community-driven,” Cepullio said.

Making a splash

With Shark Week, “The Shallows” and “Finding Dory,” fish-themed entertainment is having a moment.

Add Finatics to the list. Set to open by September, the fish and small pet store will be lined with tanks of koi, pond, tropical and saltwater fish, providing more than just verisimilitude to potential customers. They can find the real thing between Payless ShoeSource and Charlotte Russe in the Nittany Mall.

The mall announced the opening in a Facebook post in June.

Jeff Bailey, Finatics’ owner, had a pet store in the mall previously, said Polly Welch, the mall’s general manager. While a large portion of the store will be devoted to aquatic life, there will be small pets available, such as hamsters. Welch said the store plans to work with local shelters, such as Centre County PAWS and Pets Come First, and conduct adoption events on a regular basis.

Bailey contacted Welch in March, indicating his interest in the space. He will start moving into the 1,751-square-foot space, which was previously the Beauty Bar, in August.

Trendy topics

In about a month, one Nittany Mall store will have more room to spread its sartorial savoir-faire.

About 5,000-square-feet to be exact. Maurices, a women’s clothing store, plans to switch premises within the mall, moving to a 7,500-square-foot space that was previously a Hollister Co. location. The grand opening is set for Aug. 19.

“We’re getting a total remodel,” said Annie Shumway, a co-store manager.

Potential changes include updated displays and a wider selection of apparel. Shumway said the company may bring an active wear line to the larger store. Maurice’s previous location in the mall was about 2,500 square feet.

Construction is underway. The move will occur between Aug. 12 and Aug. 15, during which time the store will be closed.

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy