Moving an entire business in a week is the stuff of Pure Imagination.
For Marc Tressler and Rhett Walsh, the owners of the Bellefonte-based toy and gift shop, completing the move to their new location at 401 W. High St. by Mother’s Day became a reality thanks to patience, a dollop of elbow grease and more than a few boxes of pizza.
Tressler cited additional parking and greater accessibility as reasons for the move. The shop’s new location is near Talleyrand Park and a municipal parking lot.
Pure Imagination, which has been in business since 2001, was previously located at 102 E. Bishop St.
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“People are within walking distance now,” Tressler said. “We’ve definitely seen a big change already with people being able to get to us.”
Tressler and Walsh enlisted the help of some local high school students to move into the new space, which was previously occupied by a Curves franchise. After the last of the fitness equipment was moved out May 1, Tressler and Walsh’s crew began moving boxes. The shop had a “soft opening” May 6 and is now “fully operational,” Tressler said.
The group had a pizza party to celebrate and thank those who helped with the move.
Tressler and Walsh had originally looked at the space five or six years ago. After hearing it was unavailable at the time, they continued to keep in contact with the landlords.
“We wanted to be down by the park where all the activities are because we were being lost up there in our old location — it was kind of tucked away,” Tressler said. “ Now we’re right in that vicinity where all the food vendors are, the park activities and the arts and crafts.”
Tressler added the shop will pattern its color scheme from the films “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” drawing inspiration from their playful palettes. He and Walsh plan to keep some of the colors from the previous tenant. A ventilation and heating duct that runs through the shop’s two rooms, for instance, is painted purple.
“It fits perfectly with what we’re looking for,” Tressler said. “So it already kind of looks like a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory in here.”
One room will be geared toward infants and toddlers, while the other will be devoted to ages 3 and up. Alluding to the growing tourism in the region, Tressler said the shop plans to carry Bellefonte-specific souvenirs and merchandise.
Pure Imagination, which unveiled a new logo concurrent with the move, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Sundays, but will be open on some Sundays when there are events in town. Tressler said he and Walsh have already received positive feedback from the community about the move.
“It happened at a good time,” he said.
Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4659, @rogervanscy