Rebecca Wattenschaidt, owner of Elizabeth & West Fashion House, opened the new store May 1 at 15 N. Beaver Street. The boutique specializes in trendy,
Rebecca Wattenschaidt, owner of Elizabeth & West Fashion House, opened the new store May 1 at 15 N. Beaver Street. The boutique specializes in trendy, timeless and affordable women's clothing and accessories. (John A. Pavoncello — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

A local blogger is realizing her fashion dreams with a new boutique downtown.

Rebecca Wattenschaidt, author of mommyinheelsblog.com, opened Elizabeth & West Fashion House on May 1 at 15 N. Beaver St. in York City.

The 32-year-old Manchester Township resident named the new shop after Elizabethtown College, where she and her husband met, and a neighborhood in her hometown.

Everything about the store is an extension of what she loves.

"I've always been passionate about fashion and clothes, and I've always wanted to have my own boutique," Wattenschaidt said.

Just as her blog is an online closet of outfits donned by her daughters Ella, 6, and Charlotte, 18 months, her store features some of her favorite women's styles.

It also sells some of the things she would never choose for herself, such as the crop top.

"I might not like it, but someone else might," she said.

That's one of the main differences the Elizabethtown business major has found about shopping for her store versus shopping for herself.

Hours: Another challenge of being an owner of a new downtown shop is being at the mercy of Central Market hours, which are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. the first and third Fridays of the month. Elizabeth & West is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month to coincide with York City's First Friday celebration. Those hours help her attract the most customers, Wattenschaidt said.

"It's definitely slower on days that aren't Market days," she said.

But the challenges of being a downtown business owner are outweighed by the benefits, Wattenschaidt said.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Everyone is so nice and so helpful here," she said.

As Wattenschaidt was starting her business, she reached out to other Beaver Street business owners, Melissa Grove, of Sweet Melissa's Dream, and Hilary Arthur, of Arthur & Daughters.

"I asked them the pros and cons of being downtown, they told me how downtown is growing, and they were more than willing to help me," she said.

Grove agreed the local shop owners make for a supportive business community.

"We all have a friendship. We're not competitive. We're in it together. We're all excited for her to be part of the street," she said.

—Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.