By Lisa Carolin
Although opening a store during a pandemic was not exactly what Mary and Tom Harding were counting on, opening Cottage Rabbit in downtown Chelsea in June has worked out well.
“We have been welcomed with open arms from the community,” said Mary Harding, who says they have been taking proper precautions because of COVID-19 to ensure the safety of customers.
The Cottage Rabbit’s ribbon cutting took place September 23 at 5 p.m. at the store’s 115 W. Middle Street location with the help of Terris Ahrens, executive director of the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce.
The retail store sells vintage and unique crafts as well as home and garden decor, new and vintage clothing, accessories, repurposed furniture, and local artwork. The store is divided into small sections, each of which represents one of the 10 or so vendors selling their work.
“The vendors are from the southeast Michigan region, and the inventory changes daily,” said Harding.
The Hardings live in Saline and began their business two years ago with a vintage booth in Tecumseh.
“We chose Chelsea because we admire its friendly community and walkable historic downtown business district,” said Mary Harding. “There is a great variety of beautiful retail shops and restaurants as well as easy, accessible parking.”
The Cottage Rabbit is a member of the Chelsea chamber and #ShopChelseaMich. Store hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday noon-4 p.m.