A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.
By Ronni Newton
It seems like spring has been rushing by, and it’s hard to believe that we’re just a few days away from Memorial Day weekend and the official start of the “summer” season.
Last week was one of those weeks where there was very little business news to report and I was afraid that this column would be nearly empty – until the very end of the week when all of a sudden I learned about several interesting developments.
If you have tips about businesses opening or closing, or doing something worth sharing, please provide that information in the comments or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
Here’s this week’s Buzz:
- I met West Hartford resident Susan Callison, owner of Solidea Medical, several years ago when I interviewed her for a feature story. Back then she was just getting her business going, and hoping to make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors and others who struggle with lymphodema and edema with “Active Compression” garments. Callison is a breast cancer survivor, and she discovered the Italian-made garments when searching for something more effective, comfortable, and attractive to manage her own condition. Our paths crossed again on Friday, when Callison was receiving an award from the West Hartford Police for her role in saving the life of a West Hartford teen who collapsed while jogging on the Kingswood Oxford track. She said her business, which is all online and run out of her West Hartford home, is doing really well. “I’m slowly, surely creating a huge impact,” Callison said. She has added business partners in Chicago and Oregon. “My goal is to educate people about compression, and change how people think.” She’s also started a new blog, My Lymphodema Life.”
- Two new stores are getting set to open at Westfarms! According to a news release from Westfarms, North Face will open its first Connecticut store later this summer. The North Face, which is a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in San Leandro, CA. North Face jackets have long been popular with teens, who often refuse to wear anything else as outerwear (spoken from personal experience with two of them), but according to the news release, the company is known for offering “the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snow sport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snow sport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.” The North Face will be located on Westfarms’ upper level, near Nordstrom.
- The other new store coming to Westfarms is Lucky Brand Jeans. The store, which is set to open this week, will be the company’s first in the Hartford area. According to a news release, “The Lucky Brand began crafting great-fitting, vintage-inspired jeans in Los Angeles in 1990, quickly earning the title of ‘America’s favorite.’ The brand also produces apparel, shoes, accessories and jewelry for men and women that are sold in more than 200 retail stores within the U.S., high-end department and specialty stores, select stores in Canada, and online at LuckyBrand.com. Lucky Brand Jeans will be located on near Nordstrom, on Westfarms’ upper level.
- More Westfarms news: We mentioned DAVIDsTEA in Business Buzz a few weeks ago, but just learned of the recent opening of Vans. The Westfarms location of the “action sports footwear and apparel company” is central Connecticut’s first. “Vans collections include authentic footwear, apparel and accessories, snowboard boots and the Pro-tec line of protective gear,” according to a news release. Vans is located on Westfarms’ lower level near JCPenney.
- Bonus Westfarms news: Don’t worry, Victoria’s Secret has not closed. The store is being renovated and is in temporary space on the lower level near Nordstroms. It will return to its regular space in late summer.
- Non-Westfarms Buzz includes news that Salons by JC plans a mid-July opening in the space above Marshalls in Bishops Corner. Gary Dahms is the owner of the West Hartford location of the San Antonio-based franchise, a unique type of salon where, according to a news release, “individuals lease private suites, affording them the freedom to set their own hours and rates, along with the family atmosphere.” Dahms said, “It’s an opportunity for stylists to run their business without the hassle of owning a full-service salon. A lot of these folks are ready to do their own thing, but may not have the capital or courage to open a huge salon.” Look for news about a ribbon-cutting soon.
- Congratulations to West Hartford resident John Farley, a partner in the law firm Halloran & Sage LLP, who last week was nominated to the Connecticut Superior Court by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Remember, if you have any business news to share, remember to add it in the comments section below or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].
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