NEWBURYPORT — The dormant Farley’s of Newburyport storefront came back to life Friday, but with a new business inside.
The new tenant, Kim Lively, is a prolific local shop owner who moved her Edit Style Lounge from Middle Street, where it had been for almost two years, to 47 State St.
“I love it, I love this space,” Lively said. “I feel like I am moving from my dorm room to a mansion.”
Lively’s store, which includes clothing for men and women one might find in Milan, Paris or New York City, is only a few doors down from her other fashion-centric clothing store, Meraki.
“I want you to feel like you’re not in Newburyport,” Lively said, adding that she believes a little escapism is good for the soul.
Edit Style Lounge’s new home came after Lively said she asked the owner of Farley’s whether she intended to reopen.
Until Lively reached out, Farley’s fate was still in limbo after it closed last winter. But when Lively showed serious interest in moving Edit Style Lounge there, that tipped the scales enough for the owner to essentially hand over the keys to Lively, she said.
While nearly doubling Edit Style Lounge from roughly 700 square feet to almost 1,300 square feet when the local economy is still recovering from the pandemic, Lively admitted it is a risky endeavor.
But risk has never deterred the serial retailer who has been selling clothes and accessories for more than 25 years. The fact that she is supersizing her store when already owning Meraki also did not stop her from taking advantage of an opportunity.
She pointed to the times when she owned Soak, a bath and body store on State Street along with Lively Kids, a children’s apparel store just a door or two down.
She later sold Soak, and after opening Meraki, she held onto Lively Kids for a while before selling that business.
Asked whether it made sense to expand her second store at a time when the local economy was still fragile and hiring enough people to keep a shop open was anything but certain, Lively admitted she was taking a chance.
“I think everything is coming back,” Lively said of the local economy.
For the two years Edit Style Lounge was on Middle Street, the business was run by Lively and one other person. At the new digs, there will be Lively and three other people.
Unlike many businesses and restaurants that had to curtail hours of operation or close down all together, Lively has been able to hire another person and is close to hiring another.
A third person is moving over from Meraki, meaning Lively won’t have to work 70 hours a week.
More space and more employees means more opportunities for shoppers.
Unlike the former location, which was open Thursday through Sunday, the new location will be open seven days a week from roughly 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those hours could increase should business pick up, she said.
Edit Style Lounge’s soft opening was Friday, Sept. 10, with its grand opening scheduled for Friday, Sept. 17.
Dave Rogers is a staff writer with The Daily News. Email him at: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.