It will be an exciting time for Taylor Cummings this weekend, as she officially opens her new store, Bellevue Mercantile Friday, Jan 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday Jan. 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The new ‘pop-up business’ which started last year in the back of an old delivery truck, now has a brick and mortar retail space at 106 ½ State Street. Inside patrons will find a wealth of interesting items from homemade candles and scented wax, to jewelry, signs and t-shirts to vintage and antique collectibles.
“Bellevue Mercantile offers home and lifestyle goods,” said Cummings. “Whether it be found objects with a storied past to new items that bring style and function to your home and life.”
But the new store is more than just another retail business for Bellevue, it also part of a larger union of women-owned and managed businesses that are partnering with each other for added strength to grow Bellevue’s downtown. Vintage Sisters, owned by the Kirk family, as well as Mighty Miss, owned by the Valant family, along with River Ridge Brewing and Joselyn Zimmerman are part of the group.
“We can offer each other’s products and exchange ideas and events to help everyone,” said Cummings, a 2002 graduate of Bellevue High School and 2010 graduate of Clarke University with a degree in fine arts and graphic design. “We hope this can be the start of something new that will bring more people to show in this beautiful river town.”
And Cummings knows about bringing people to town, as she is the Director of Marketing for Travel Dubuque, and she feels Bellevue has a lot of potential to grow in the future.
“These relationships with other local businesses is a key to building up tourism and traffic,” she said.
While the new retail space downtown will be open until May, Bellevue Mercantile will continue in the summers as a mobile business, traveling from town to town and event to event on select weekends.
“This store is a vision that has quietly been growing in my head over the last several years and only became a reality about a year,” says owner, Taylor Cummings. “I have an obsession with rearranging my home, sourcing new decor, and an overall love of design. The only thing left to do was figure out how to channel all of that into a business. I finally said to myself, if not now, when?”
The name Mercantile was chosen as a way to invoke the feelings of nostalgia and simplicity of a different era.
“I absolutely love to find ‘found objects’ and give them a new purpose. There's something charming about taking familiar items and designing around them. Things used to be much simpler in design, classic looking, and made of natural materials. The name, Mercantile, reinforces some of those ideas and the products we carry will do the same,” said Cummings.
Bellevue Mercantile also serves as an opportunity for local businesses and artisans.
“There are so many talented people in the area, whether they’ve been able to translate that into a business or not, I’m excited to showcase what they offer to a larger audience,” Cummings concluded.
Businesses and artisans who have products for sale at Bellevue Mercantile include Mighty Miss Designs, Vintage Sisters, Ballinahina Designs, Joslyn Zimmermann, Placke Organic Milk Soap, Naturals for You and Bella Vintage.
Cummings lives in Bellevue with her husband, Shawn, owner of Cummings Construction Inc., as well as their two small children.
Learn more about Bellevue Mercantile Co. at https://bellevuemercantileco.com
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