A historic building in the center of downtown Howell has been given a new life.
So have two new business owners each opening their first brick and mortar stores.
After working in jewelry stores for decades, Taline Shiklanian goes into business for herself. Shiklanian, a longtime Brighton resident, opened Talines Fine Jewelry on the first floor at 102 W. Grand River Ave.
Yoga teacher Bree Boswell is preparing to open her Good Yoga business in a room on the second floor of the building next month. She started a virtual yoga business earlier this year.
Many locals know the building as the old McPherson State Bank, named after a family who helped Howell settle it.
More recently, the building was the location of Yax Jewelers, who operated downtown Howell for more than 100 years and had been in the building since 1977. Yax Jewelers’ longtime owner Tom Cunningham retired and sold the building last year.
CONNECTED: Yax Jewelers are closing down in Howell after more than 100 years
Developers Jeff Doyle, Geof Greeneisen and several investment partners have bought the building on the northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Grand River Avenue, the center of downtown Howell.
“We love the building. It’s one of the best in town. We knew we wouldn’t get another chance to get (a building) on one of the four corners,” Greeneisen said.
A brighter future
Shiklanian has been in the jewelry business since she was 16. She began working at Sparkle Jewelers, a now-closed jewelry store that her cousin owned in Oak Park.
Earlier this year, she was fired from Rottermond Jewelers in Brighton and faced an uncertain financial future.
“I have prayed and prayed, Lord, give me an answer,” said Shiklanian, who lives in Brighton.
She said her cousin’s wife, Krystal Shiklanian, encouraged her to start her own business.
When First National Bank of Howell approved its start-up loan, her future brightened.
“I had tears in my eyes. I thought it must be God’s blessing,” she said.
Taline’s Fine Jewelry sells gold, silver, diamond and gemstone jewelry.
MORE: Where nearby Livingston County residents can get a free COVID-19 test
Shiklanian said their price range is wide.
“It’s every price range. From $ 25 to any size diamond you want,” she said.
“My bride (jewelry) is my favorite. I love selling brides because I can immerse myself in their new beginnings and a lot of them that I stay with. I know when their anniversary is,” she said. “I work around their budget and make them happy. I love making people happy.”
While she plans to hold a grand opening on December 4th, she said that could change due to the surge in coronavirus cases in the county.
“I’m ready to work on the roadside. I could do it by appointment. I’m setting up a website (to sell online),” she said.
Yoga helped her heal
Boswell said she started practicing yoga to heal from sexual trauma and infertility.
“While yoga was healing for me, I wanted to help others,” she said.
“I wanted to start a business where people of all body types could be comfortable. I’m an oversized yoga teacher and I want a place that feels likecomfortable and safe for all bodies. “
MORE: LACASA sees an increase in abuse victims, costs related to COVID-19
She founded Good Yoga online and brought three other yoga teachers on board.
She said she is bringing three more yoga teachers on board now because she has a stationary studio.
The studio offers all types of yoga classes, including the hatha, vinyasa, and ashtanga yoga styles.
“I teach yin, a slow style of yoga that works on tendons and connective tissue, and restorative yoga, which I like to do for people who enjoy napping,” she said.
The studio also offers massage therapy. Boswell said she expected to add this in May 2021.
“Yoga is really the study of gentle movement through the body to awaken energy centers, and massage … can channel energy through the body too,” she said.
Your massage therapist plans to offer aromatherapy next month.
She said 5% of her profits go into yoga teacher training for people with color.
In addition to taking yoga classes, she plans to sell Michigan-made jewelry and candles, and she hopes to add a juice bar with Drought Juice, a Michigan-based company.
In addition to the jewelry store and yoga studio, there is a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor that is available for rent.
Doyle and Greeneisen said they made a large investment in refurbishing the old building. They renovated walls and floors and upgraded things like electrics and plumbing.
They are still working on completing the renovations.
“Everything was out of date,” said Doyle. “It’s always more (money) than you expect when you walk into a 100-year-old building and don’t know what to expect.”
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @jennifer_timar.